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A regional perspective on studying global diplomacy

Understanding diplomacy in the 21st century allows us to comprehend global challenges; be they the pandemic of COVID-19 or climate change; migration or refugees, and the processes and structures that exist to redress them.

Written by Lindsay Alexander |

Man speaking into microphone in a meeting.
Diplomatic practice has existed since humans first conversed with each other.

The University of London has launched a new Master’s in Global Diplomacy programme that provides the opportunity to study one of two regional pathways in either North America or Europe. You’ll gain an understanding of the relationships between concept, policy and practice in global diplomacy with particular focus on diplomacy of a specialised region.

Programme Director, Dr J Simon Rofe, shares some of the benefits of studying global diplomacy and the value of focussing on regional pathways.

Understanding diplomacy, in practice as well as its conceptual underpinnings, allows anyone to engage more effectively as a member of society.

“Diplomatic practice has existed since humans first conversed with each other. Whether known as such or not, communication is one of three core characteristics alongside representation and negotiation.

“Understanding diplomacy, in practice as well as its conceptual underpinnings, allows anyone to engage more effectively as a member of society. More specifically the master’s programme supports those engaged in trinational and subnational public policy, professions such as law and business, and those engaged with international organisations such as the United Nations or the NGO sector.”

Although the study of global diplomacy can benefit those working within international organisations or the NGO sector, it is not limited to these fields. Knowledge and understanding of global diplomacy are applicable to a number of areas including medicine, education and professional sports. These programmes offer a grounding in theoretical and empirical approaches to debates in global diplomacy and regional differentiations, providing the competencies and skills to analyse global events using a mixture of conceptual and practical tools.

The study of diplomacy is core to our existence in a global society whether we like it or not: the challenges of the 21st century – the ‘wicked problems’ of global inequalities, of climate change and global pandemics are those that require an understanding of global diplomacy.

Our regional pathways provide expert understanding of two key areas of the world in Europe and North America. Importantly, the pathways place the regions in both their local and global contexts. By joining one of the two pathways, you’ll focus on diplomatic practices and policies within a specific region to gain a historical understanding and contemporary awareness. The programme is available to study fully online, giving you the flexibility to study at your own pace and around your schedule.

The global diplomacy programmes provide a wide range of intellectual and practical skills, to address issues facing humanity globally which are useful for analysing and designing solutions to many of today’s global problems.

“We want to share our understanding of diplomacy as communication, representation and negotiation, and importantly, its applicability to our daily lives,” says Dr Rofe.

“The study of diplomacy is core to our existence in a global society whether we like it or not: the challenges of the 21st century – the ‘wicked problems’ of global inequalities, of climate change and global pandemics are those that require an understanding of global diplomacy. If you are keen to understand these issues, challenge them – and yourself – we look forward to welcoming you to the programme.”

Learn more about the MA Global Diplomacy: Europe and North America.