Attention, therefore, shall be devoted to the value of negotiation, and the interrelationship between negotiation and intelligence, as learnt throughout the course of this program. Selection of negotiation as the theme was determined by its persistent presence in the greater majority of the themes dealt with and topics covered. Whether explicit or implicit, covert or overt, the importance of negotiation never faded from attention and the imperatives of acquiring a conceptual understanding of this skill for subsequent practical exploitation was an overriding program concern and objective. To illustrate this point, I will use examples from all of the course's theoretical studies, practical experiences and key readings.
The MA in Diplomatic Studies combines between theory and practice, thus, acknowledging diplomacy to be, in part, the practical application of theoretical concepts. As such, academic discussions were consistently grounded in theory, with the aforementioned serving, not only to frame knowledge but, to provide students with interpretive tools as would allow them a more thorough understanding of international affairs and relations.
IR theory emphasised the imperatives of negotiation and the role of intelligence therein. ...
sion of theoretical schools into idealists and realists has culminated in a situation wherein events do not dictate interpretation but theory dictates the manner in which events will be interpreted, with the consequences being less than accurate understandings of the implications of the events in question. Neither the scope nor the complexities of IR withstands such clear, and highly delimiting, demarcations and, their enforcement lends to the loss of meaning. If a diplomat is to fully comprehend the implication of events and, as such, become a source of information/knowledge/intelligence, it is incumbent upon him/her to negotiate a position between the two theoretical camps, as would allow him/her to borrow the interpretative tools and strategies proposed by either and utilize them vis--vis events at hand. Only by negotiating a compromise position between IR schools can the diplomat fully exploit theory to its maximum potential and, in so doing, acquire a clear, and objective, understanding of IR and events within.
Added to the above stated, the study of theory further emphasised the imperatives of negotiation on the strategic level. Even as students were directed towards an appreciation of the importance of negotiation between theoretical camps, theoretical study further functioned to emphasize the value of negotiations as an international relations strategy and, importantly, as a means for conflict avoidance. Drawing upon intelligence/information, negotiations function as the primary means for the maintenance of stability and peace. Accordingly, it is imperative that all diplomatic be well-grounded in its theoretical and practical implications.
3. Practical Experiences
3.1 Debate: Bioterrorism
At the present time, terrorism constitutes a critical threat,