Posted on 29/04/2012
Royal Holloway Diplomatic Society: Talk on ‘Guerrilla Diplomacy’ with Daryl Copeland
On Thursday 22nd of March, the Diplomatic Society had the pleasure of hosting Mr. Daryl Copeland.
As an analyst, author, educator and consultant specializing in diplomacy, international policy, global issues and public management, Mr. Copeland is a frequent public speaker, who also regularly comments for the national media, and whose work has appeared in various different academic journals. Mr. Copeland served as a diplomat from 1981 to 2009, with postings in Thailand, Ethiopia, New Zealand and Malaysia. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of East Anglia’s London Academy of Diplomacy and a Research Associate at the University of Ottawa’s Centre for International Policy Studies.
Mr. Copeland came to Royal Holloway to discuss his first book, Guerrilla Diplomacy: Rethinking International Relations. He spoke about diplomacy in the age of globalisation, and especially emphasized three main themes: diplomacy, development and security. Interestingly, he explained that he views the complexity of global issues as a ‘jungle’, and drew attention to the fact that no matter where we look, what we read, or what we hear; we are faced with the harsh reality of major problems on the global stage. He pointed out that we must be critical towards the media, for often it tends to withhold some stories, while excessively focussing on others.
Mr. Copeland argued that globalisation is posing more problems for diplomats. Therefore, if diplomacy by definition means that problems should be solved non-violently, then diplomats need to do just that. Nowadays, more and more challenges are addressed by military means. Mr. Copeland thus proposed redefining diplomats as ‘globalisation managers,’ which may make their work more effective. Overall, Mr. Copeland perceives Guerrilla Diplomacy as an alternative approach to human challenges in the 21st century.
Daryl Copeland’s speech was definitely interesting, engaging and, in parts, controversial. For the third year students in the audience, and for the founding members of the Diplomatic Society in particular, this event was a nice way to end their last-ever second term at Royal Holloway. Students also had the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the talk. Several students were so interested in what Mr. Copeland had to say, that they have decided to purchase his book since the event.
The Royal Holloway Diplomatic Society would like to thank Mr. Copeland for kindly taking the time to come and discuss his book and to address the questions of our members. We wish him a lot of success with his new book and all the best for the future.
By Ozlem Bas