RESEARCH SEMINAR: Undressing Diplomacy - Johan Verbeke

21 October 2022
Research Seminar
Bruges

Diplomacy has often been clouded in a halo of secrecy, superiority, intangibility, pedantry and pomposity. And diplomats have been quick in entertaining this image. In this lecture, we will undress the traditional diplomat. We will focus on the common-sense diplomat, the diplomat-at-work, two feet on earth. Rather than looking at what diplomats say they do, we will simply look at what they actually do. And then we’ll see that diplomacy is no less about such prosaic things as damage control, troubleshooting, bargaining and fixing, as it is about “securing the peaceful coexistence of sovereign independent states”.

To illustrate this point we’ll review some received ideas and ask some critical questions. What role do (often lofty) diplomatic ‘concepts and principles’ really play in diplomatic thinking? What does ‘transparency’ in diplomatic practice come down to? Why is the relationship between ‘law and diplomacy’ ambiguous? What is the role of ‘prudence’ in questions regarding the use of force (beyond that of legality and legitimacy)? And why is ‘rational empathy’ a crucial prerequisite for successful diplomacy?

The lecture is based on two recent publications by its author. The first one is “Diplomacy in Practice – A Critical Approach”, published by Routledge (2023, London). The second one is “Diplomatic Skills – The Basics”, published by ASP (2023, Brussels, forthcoming).

 

Johan Verbeke
Former Belgian Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Former Belgian Ambassador to the United Kingdom and the United States of America

Friday, 21 October 2022

11.00 - 12.30

Please note this is an in-person event held in Bruges and it will not be streamed.

Please register below before 18 October 2022 23.59 CET

 

Please click here to register

 

Similar Events

No events found.