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COURSE NAME: "The Theory and Practice of Diplomacy"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2019

INSTRUCTOR: Alberto Schepisi
EMAIL: aschepisi@johncabot.edu
HOURS: TTH 4:30-5:45 PM
OFFICE HOURS: TTH 10.00-11.15

This course examines the way that diplomacy is actually conducted, in light of the leading realist and idealist theories of it. It will analyze the changing agenda of diplomacy and the implications for diplomatic methods, skills, and actors; assess the problems of coordinating diplomacy within and among governments; discuss the influence of democratic government on the content and conduct of diplomacy; and describe the craft of diplomacy.

The course aims at offering students an opportunity to understand the new role of bilateral and multilateral diplomacy in a globalized world where the theoretical assumptions of traditional International law(such as the principles of State sovereignty and equality,of non interference in internal affairs,of the legittimate use of force and so on) are facing a gradual but inevitabile transformation.

The course will be conducted by Ambassador  Alberto Schepisi,who,during his diplomatic career in the Italian Foreign Service,has served,at various levels,in all fields of diplomacy ,from bilateral to multilateral,from commercial to consular.

The course will examine the role and the meaning of diplomacy in International affairs and its evolution from traditional or bilateral to multilateral and global diplomacy.

The course is designed for students interested  in the field of international relations ,with particular interest in careers in the Foreign service, in International Organizations ,multilateral corporations,NGO’s etc.

In particular,the teacher will focus his classes on the crucial importance of the diplomatic method in times of globalization,when war is less and less an option for solving the inevitable conflicts and tensions inside the International community.

The teacher will also explain the structure aof the modern International society,where not only nationstates,but also other entities,such as International organizations and transnational NGO’s are important players of diplomatic activities.

Particular attention will be given,in this respect, to the role of diplomacy  in facing the global challenges of the 21st century,( such as enviromment,and climate changes,terrorism,nuclear safety,energy,mass migrations,sustainable development...),

In addition to the theory of diplomacy, appropriate time  will be devoted to the practice of diplomacy. In each class the teacher will comment with the students, with the filter of his personal experience  the current  events in International diplomacy,  and discuss them with the students .

The students will be also requested,in this context,to discuss in class case studies and  to presentations related to the global issues.


A)Diplomacy as a method  for resolutions of conflicts through negotiation and dialogue

1)Definition of diplomacy. The role of diplomacy in a globalized world

2) Diplomacy and International law

3)Traditional (or bilateral diplomacy)

4)Modern(or multilateral )diplomacy

5)Global diplomacy

6)Diplomacy in the United Nations system

7)The reform of the UN System

8)Diplomacy and the civil society: the role of NGO’s

9)The art of negotiation.Diplomatic protocol

10)Tools of diplomacy:mediation

B) Diplomacy as a instrument of foreign policy

11)The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

12)Diplomatic relations:embassies


14)Conferences and summits

15)Public diplomacy

16)Cultural  and sport diplomacy

17)Diplomacy without diplomatic relations.Tools of diplomacy:mediation

C)Diplomacy and global issues

20) Terrorism and organized crime

21)Environment and climate changes

22)The geopolitics of energy and nuclear energy

23)Development,poverty and hunger

24) Human rights

25)Humanitarian interventions and human security

26)Global governance and regionalism

27)The process of European integration


28) Identity and globalization; diplomacy and the new structure of the global society

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
The practice of diplomacyby G.R.Berridge... 

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Multilateral Diplomacy 2nd edition by Muldoon and others... 
Meditations on DiplomacyStephen Chan.978-1-918814-34-5.ISBN 978-1-910814-33-8(paperback)
The globalization of world politicsBaylis,Smith,and Owens , 6th Edition... 
Attendance , participation and contribution to class discussion 20%
Midterm examination one hour and fifteen minutes written exam consisting in multiple essay questions covering the first half of the course20%
Final examination2 and a half hours written exam consisting in multiple essay questions.30%
Final paperten to fifteen pages on a topic related to the class program30%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

Please refer to the University catalogue for the attendance and absence policy
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


A)Diplomacy as a method for resolutions of conflicts through negotiation and dialogue

Week 1  Definition of diplomacy . The role of diplomacy in a globalized world

             Diplomacy and International Law

Week 2 Traditional (or bilateral diplomacy.Modern(or multilateral diplomacy)

Week 3 Global Diplomacy. Diplomacy in the UN system

Week4  The diplomatic attempts to reform the UN system

              Diplomacy ant the civil society.The role of NGO’s

Week5 The art of negotiation. Diplomatic protocol.

B)Diplomacy as an instrument of foreign policy

Week 6 The ministry of foreign Affairs. Diplomatic relations:embassies

Week 7: Consulates.Conferences and summits

Week 8 Public diplomacy. Cultural and sport diplomacy

Week 9 Diplomacy without diplomatic relations,Tools of diplomacy:mediation

C)Diplomacy and global issues : case studies and presentations

Week 10: terrorism and organized crime.

                Environment and climate changes

Week 11:The geopolitics of energy and nuclear energy

                Development,poverty and hunger

Week 12:Human rights

Week 13:Humanitarian interventions and human security

Week 14: Global governance and regionalism. The process of European integration