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. The divisive nature of IR theory, as evidenced in clear demarcations between schools of theory, highlights the utility of negotiation aiming towards a compromised theoretical outlook. Quite simply stated, the persistent division 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