Working in the Foreign Office: Meet the Diplomats

Listening 1

John Cason: Digital Diplomacy

Listening 2

China’s Policy of Panda Diplomacy

Listening 3

Conversations on Diplomacy

Listening 4

What Diplomats Really Do | Alexander Karagiannis | TEDxIndianaUniversity

Before you watch:

1. Alexander Karagiannis is a former diplomat, National security expert, specializing in NATO, European, Russian and Mediterranean affairs, as analyst, practitioner, and advocate advancing U.S values and goals.

Sir Henry Wotton (/ˈwʊtən/; 1568 –1639) was an English author, diplomat and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1614 and 1625.

Sir Christopher Meyer (22 February 1944 – 27 July 2022) was a British diplomat who served as the Ambassador to the United States (1997–2003), Ambassador to Germany (1997), and the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission (2003–2009).

2. Study the following words and expressions:

to blurt sth out — to say something suddenly and without thinking, usually because you are excited or nervous.

advocacy—  public support for an ideaplan, or way of doing something

3. Can you guess what the following expressions mean?

— male, pale, Yale

— sports diplomacy

— to craft an oath of office

— a frontline diplomat

— adaptive capacity

— to be deployed overseas

— to influence people irrespective of their field

— transnational, transregional issues

While you watch:

  1. While watching, pay attention to the following words and expressions in context. Use them in your answers to the questions below and discussion.
  2. to take an oath of office
  3. to cherish traditions
  4. to empower capable, talented and diverse workforce
  5. to be equipped for the challenges of 2025 and beyond
  6.  to recruit American diversity
  7. to put emphasis on inclusion and diversity
  8. to hold fast to your position
  9. to leave space for a dialogue
  10. to rest upon trust, confidence, credibility
  11. to preempt, prevent, contain, manage and solve a problem
  • Answer the following questions:
  • What is the traditional view of a diplomat? What tasks do diplomats today engage in?
  • Is the Foreign Office still an exclusive institution?
  • How big is the Foreign Office staff?
  • Who or what diplomats are loyal to?
  • Do diplomats lie? What are the three rules diplomats live by?
  • Explain the activities diplomats engage in to achieve their goals: information gathering, networking, advocacy.
  • Where and under what conditions do diplomats do their duty?
  • How is the modern world of diplomacy different from the past?
  • Do you agree with the following statements mentioned in the video? Express your opinion.
  • An ambassador is an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.

            (Sir Henry Wotton)

  • American diversity is a fact, inclusion is a choice.
  • Effective diplomacy rests upon trust, confidence and credibility
  • A diplomat has a quick mind, a hard head, a strong stomach, a warm smile, and a cold eye. (Sir Christopher Meyer)
  • Diplomacy is a means by which we preempt, prevent and solve problems.
  • Advocacy is convincing people to do things with and for us in such a fashion that they believe it was their idea.
  • Foreign policy is open and public, diplomacy is confidential.