Diplomacy: Theory and Practice

Subject POLS90047 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 contact hours: A 2-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

170 Hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

International history, international relations, political science, political theory

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Daniel Mccarthy



Subject Overview:

Diplomacy: Theory and Practice is an elective subject that will introduce students to theoretical and conceptual analyses of diplomacy, and investigates how these understandings shape diplomatic practice, and vice versa. We will examine how, if at all, diplomacy is currently changing within the context of new forms of global governance. Diplomacy is one of the core institutions of international society. The practice of diplomacy mediates relations between distinct political communities in the context of an anarchical international system. This course will thereby ask students to consider the following questions: what are the practices that comprise diplomacy? Are these practices historically variable, or do they represent an essence of relations between states? How do the different sites of diplomacy affect how diplomatic practice is conducted? With these central questions in mind, students will examine the interrelationship between spatio-temporal forms of diplomacy and distinctive aspects of diplomacy practice, from the sharp-end of coercive diplomacy and the organization of warfare to cultural exchanges and study programmes. Specific diplomatic practices covered will include public diplomacy, coercive diplomacy, track-two and track-three negotiations, cultural diplomacy, and classic bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • understand theories of the reason for and purpose of diplomacy; and
  • posses a broad grasp of the history of diplomacy; and
  • have general understanding of the different places that diplomacy takes place; and
  • gain different facets of diplomatic practice, from the sharp end of coercive diplomacy to the soft end of cultural diplomacy; and
  • understand how analytical frameworks can be applied to specific issue areas of diplomatic practice.
  • Essay - 3,000 words (60%), due in Week 6 of Semester.
  • Take home exam - 2,000 words (40%), due in the examination period.

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Regular participation in class is required.

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Student who successfully complete this subject should:

• Demonstrate strong written and oral communication skills

• Demonstrate the ability to craft a logical, well-structured, and empirically support argument

• Demonstrate the ability to critically examine theoretical concepts and how concepts are employed in concrete analysis

Links to further information: http://ssps.unimelb.edu.au/
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of International Relations
200 Point Master of International Relations

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