Absolutely incredible course in diplomacy that gives you a perfect glimpse of understanding how diplomacy works in practice and what achievements you need to posses in order to become a good diplomat.
Great course. I had a general interest in diplomacy and wanted a little taste of what it was, this course has provided me just that. It has amazing resources to help enhance our knowledge of diplomacy
By BIRUCHAN C P•
An innovative way of engaging students
By Yathy S S•
Provide new knowledge about diplomacy
By Andre S•
Good course, but very introductory.
By Mohammed T ( M•
A very open ended course.
By Phumlani M•
Great course! Thank you.
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By PerinAnn K•
Depending on what you're looking for, you might find this course very insightful or a complete waste of time.
For someone new to the concept of diplomacy, using this to get a base level understanding and come to your own opinions of what composes diplomacy, it's a good course. The material is pretty straightforward, gives a multi-faceted purview, and basically facilitates the learner to draw their own meanings.
However, if you want anything beyond this, you might be disappointed. The instructor (Dr Simon Rofe) contributes virtually nothing beyond asking 3 questions to a number of different people. There are no insights from his side, and no attempt to synthesise the varying opinions. The peer-review assignments are a mixed bag, as I did read many insightful answers, but received very minimal feedback on my own answers.
I also found the Discussion Forums completely useless - not a single student seemed to be here to talk about the subject or learn more. Everyone just wants reviews on their assignments to pass on to the next week. If the course could be tweaked to encourage more healthy discussion, or students could even take initiative to respond on these forums, this might have led to a more purposeful learning experience.
To conclude, for someone who had never learned about diplomacy before, I got an introduction that was useful and enabled me to draw my own understanding on the topic. If I was paying for a certificate, however, I would have been disappointed. (Also, each week's content is very brief and this takes no time at all to complete - again good for if you want to rush through it, not great if you were looking for more detailed insight.)
By Fred V•
We have a lot of respect for SOAS (actually, we studied there long ago). We have a lot of respect for the diplomacy profession. We think we could learn a lot from this course. Our expectations were high. In this review, we benchmark the course to what how good it may have been.
By professional habit or not, the course does not always steer away from a self-serving representation of diplomacy as the work of heroes who can save the world from conflicts and others. The course keeps to general presentations of out-of-action diplomats. We regret not to have seen more and deeper analysis on case studies of diplomatic negotiations: the national and personal dilemma, the planning and execution of negotiations, the gate-keeping of politicians and journalists, interactions with intelligence, etc. This may be a matter for another course?
By Erica L•
I felt the course was a comprehensive 'introduction' to diplomacy. The texts were relevant and some of the video interviews were interesting if at times a little repetitive. I felt that the course instructor had more of a 'facilitator' role than a teaching role and this was a disappointment.
My other critique has to do with the gender and diversity balance of those interviewed as part of the course - while it maybe be reflective of departments of international relations or foreign service demographics, I found it very pale and male. I would recommend this course to those with little to no background in international affairs or diplomatic studies.
By Jemima D•
I found the course extremely informative and I enjoyed learning more about the meaning of Diplomacy. I was disappointed, however with the lack of women's input in the videos or academic articles. This lead to people writing 'he' when addressing a diplomat (implying that all diplomats are men) in the responses, which is offensive and blatantly untrue. The course would benefit by providing reading materials that refer to diplomats in a gender-inclusive manner, as well as being influenced and written by women.
By Francis M M•
I believe it is too easy to pass. There were some "peers" who I reviewed who have no right to pass this course as their answers show that they have no idea what they are talking about. I wish the course was crafted better in the sense that I really have to earn the certificate. I am an actual diplomat so to me this was a bit disappointing.
If interested, I can help craft a better course than this. I'm happy to get a Certificate but I don't think I really learned or earned anything.
By Paulina H•
The course is a good introduction and has spike in me further interest in the topics explored here. I will be taking its sister course on diplomacy and the UN. I would give it 4 stars but there was no attempt at gender balancing the speakers. I got tired of the opinions of white, British/Anglo-American males. Only 2 female speakers out of 12! Unacceptable. The readings were rather good, especially that by Harry Rudin.
By Leonardo d R R•
Very good material and lectures but its more like a first approach. Reflections on qualities diplomats must have...I seemed a bit flat. I feel it could have gone more in depth, and explored what are the more practical aspects like how many regions and languages they nowadays need to master and also new trends in Diplomacy, like diplomats no mot analysing and shaping policies but more like running programmes.
By Weill S•
Interesting reading materials and relevant interventions of professionals. I also appreciated the fact that we had to grade and be graded by other students in a "diplomatic" way. Nonetheless, the programme was a little too general to be really demanding and challenging I think, and I would have appreciated more actual reading materials and/or references from the presetn time in the videos.