Dates:15-16 February 2013

Location: University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is one of the oldest sites of higher education in the world, dating to circa 1209 A.D. Since then, the University has maintained a strong commitment to the study of politics and diplomacy. With a beautiful setting and only an hour’s train ride from London, Cambridge will be an excellent workshop site.

Theme: Translating diplomatic culture

Exploring the broad themes of this research network, the first workshop will focus on questions of how diplomacy is imagined and practiced differently across a range of times and spaces and how normative practices of diplomacy emphasised in the UN system are echoed, rearticulated and re-worked in other cultural contexts. Extending beyond the ideas of cultural diplomacy and public diplomacy whereby attention focuses primarily on communication with foreign publics, this workshop will examine the modes of translation of diplomatic discourses and practices in relation to a range of governmental, inter-governmental, NGO and public audiences. Bringing together leading scholars and a range of practitioners of diplomacy, this workshop will engage with the following questions: To what extent does a common diplomatic culture exist and facilitate international understanding? What problems can emerge from mistranslation and miscommunication of diplomatic norms and expectations? How can the UK foster dialogue across diplomatic cultures? To what extent can an elite ‘diplomatic cosmopolitanism’ be traced? How does the disclosure of private diplomatic exchanges (e.g. through WikiLeaks) alter diplomatic culture? What role do inter-personal relations, experiential dimensions and practices of gift exchange play in the translation of diplomatic cultures?

Keynote speakers:
Prof. Costas Constantinou: Costas M. Constantinou is Professor of International Relations at the University of Cyprus. He has taught academic courses on diplomacy, trained professional diplomats, and published extensively on the subject, including On the Way to Diplomacy (Minnesota University Press, 1996) and the co-edited Sustainable Diplomacies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). [Abstract of keynote]

Prof. Naoko Shimazu: Naoko Shimazu is Professor of History in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London. Her major publications include Imagining Japan in Postwar East Asia (editor, Routledge, forthcoming 2013), Japanese Society at War: Death, Memory and the Russo-Japanese War (Cambridge University Press, 2009), Nationalisms in Japan (editor, Routledge, 2006), and Japan, Race and Equality: Racial Equality Proposal of 1919 (Routledge, 1998). She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Associate of Modern East Asia Research Centre at Leiden University, Associate of the Pears Institute of Antisemitism (Birkbeck), and a Japan Foundation Fellow. [Abstract of keynote]

Prof. Merje Kuus: Merje Kuus is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia. Her research program focuses on the geopolitics of transnational policy processes and her current work examines the production of expert knowledge in European Union institutions in Brussels. Dr. Kuus is the author of Geopolitics Reframed: Security and Identity in Europe’s Eastern Enlargement (Palgrave, 2007) and the co-editor with Klaus Dodds and Joanne Sharp of the Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics (Ashgate, 2013). [Abstract of keynote]

Workshop participants:
Mr Robert Adelson [Bio and interests]
Dr Corneliu Bjola
[Bio and interests]
Dr Joanna Craigwood
[Bio and interests]
Ms Emma Davies
[Bio and interests]
Dr Jason Dittmer
[Bio and interests]
Dr Carla Figueira
[Bio and interests]
Mr Renad Mansour [Bio and interests]
Dr Fiona McConnell
[Bio and interests]
Ms Laura Mills
[Bio and interests]
Mr Pablo de Orellana
[Bio and interests]
Dr Katharina Reitzler
[Bio and interests]
Ms Monika Sumberova
[Bio and interests]
Ms Ursula Stark Urrestarazu
[Bio and interests]

UPDATE: Audio from this workshop has been posted.