Part I (00:00 — 12:40)

Carne Ross is the founder of Independent Diplomat, a nonprofit that offers freelance diplomatic representation to small, developing and yet-unrecognized nations in the complex world of international negotiations.


  1. Search for the following:

Yasser Arafat

War in Iraq and WMD

the 2004 unrest in Kosovo

  • Study the following words and expressions:

a proxy war — a war instigated by a major power which does not itself become involved

to induct – to admit someone formally to a post or organization

to revel in – to get great pleasure from a situation or experience

a pinnacle — the most successful point; the culmination

a sabbatical — a period of paid leave granted to a university teacher or other worker for study or travel, traditionally one year for every seven years worked

secondment — the temporary transfer of an official or worker to another position or employment

to be steeped in – to be surrounded or filled with a quality or influence

to disenfranchise  — not having the right to vote, or a similar right, or having had that right taken away


Carne Ross begins his talk with a statement that he doesn’t believe in a life or history written as decision A led to consequence B. He believes in randomness in life. Name the reasons he puts forward to support this belief. To give an extended answer, you may want to put down some key words.

Reason 1:

Reason 2:

Reason 3:


  1. Give an extended answer to the question:

How did the riots in Kosovo affect Ross’s decision to establish Independent Diplomat?

In you talk, use the following expressions:

  • to see anarchy
  • not to be able to stop the rampaging mob
  • to be disenfranchised from one’s own future
  • manifestation of frustration
  • to advise sb’s government on diplomacy
  • not to be allowed a diplomatic service
  • to advise three successive Kosovo prime ministers

Discuss in pairs:

Carne says he was disillusioned with his job. What do you think may cause disillusionment with the Foreign Service? What compensates for the problems and challenges of a diplomatic career?

Part II (12:41- 19:31)

Pre-viewing Tasks
Before you watch the 2nd part of the talk, try to predict the answers to the following questions:

  1. Does Independent Diplomat have many clients?
  2. Why does the UN fail to deal with the problems Independent
    Diplomat is trying to tackle?

Viewing Task
Watch the talk to find out as much information as possible about
Independent Diplomat. The chart below may help you organize it.

Innovative strategies

Discuss in pairs:
What are the prospects of Independent Diplomat? Do you think such
companies may displace traditional participants of diplomacy such as state governments, foreign ministries and international organizations? Why?

While watching, pay attention to the following words and expressions in context. Use them in your answers to the questions below and discussion

to inject new thinking into the problems

the world is fragmenting

to embrace reality

interstate conflicts / conflicts within states

to institutionalize a system

to incorporate one’s views into one’s decisions


to deliver political change

to embody fragmentation