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Public Diplomacy & Soft Power

On 25 June 2020, Prof Natalia Chaban from the University of Canterbury (NZ) invited me to share my thoughts for her course on public diplomacy. In 20 minutes I reflect on the questions by Prof Chaban and talk about the relevance of researching diplomacy, how the concept of “soft power” relates to public diplomacy, and what is “new” (or not) in public diplomacy.

Encompass opinion: The EU’s Political and Security Committee: still in the shadows but no longer governing?

In this Encompass opinion piece Nick Wright and I synthesize our research findings about the impact about the institutional Lisbon Treaty changes on the involvment of member states in European foreign policy-making.

see https://encompass-europe.com/comment/the-eus-political-and-security-committee-still-in-the-shadows-but-no-longer-governing

New Paradigm for EU Diplomacy? EU Council Negotiations in a Time of Physical Restrictions

Now online in OPEN ACCESS:

Maurer, H., & Wright, N. (2020). A New Paradigm for EU Diplomacy? EU Council Negotiations in a Time of Physical Restrictions. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 15(4), 556-568. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/1871191X-BJA10039

Summary

Can diplomacy work without physical presence? International relations scholars consider the European Union (EU) the most institutionalised case of international co-operation amongst sovereign states, with the highest density of repeated diplomatic exchange. In a year, the Council of Ministers hosts on average 143 ministerial and 200 ambassadorial meetings, along with hundreds of working group meetings. These intense diplomatic interactions came to an abrupt halt in mid-March 2020, when the spread of COVID-19 forced the Council to approve — in a manner unprecedented in European integration history — the temporary derogation from its rules of procedures to allow votes in written form, preceded by informal videoconferences between ministers or ambassadors. This argumentative essay reflects on how we can use these extraordinary months of intra-European diplomacy to assess the viability of virtual diplomacy in the EU context and what lessons it provides as we seek more sustainable means of international engagement.

Keywords: European Union (EU) diplomacy; Council of the European Union; COVID-19; e-diplomacy; virtual diplomacy; technology; communication; governance

How to teach comfortably in an online world: the core principles of learning

A Loop blogpost, with the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR): https://theloop.ecpr.eu/how-to-teach-comfortably-in-an-online-world-the-core-principles-of-learning/

  1. Keep it simple and purposeful
  2. Listen and learn, but – most importantly – adapt to what you feel comfortable with
  3. Learning is a social interaction, allow yourself and your students to remember that