Starting Sept. 4, Ambassador Wilfried Bolewski, former chief of protocol to German Chancellors Angela Merkel and Gerhard Schröder, will conduct a graduate study module in foreign policy making for young diplomats and international relations students. This will be offered at the American Graduate School in Paris and is to be taken either as part of the school’s master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy, or as a Certificate program for professionals.
Drawing from Bolewski’s lifelong experience in global diplomacy, this new module will equip students and professionals with innovative approaches and skills in foreign policy formulation and practice, in order to help them to better address, in their career or future career, the most pressing issues in today’s international affairs.
The curriculum will feature courses in Foreign Policy Formulation and International Law and Diplomacy, as well as, for those pursuing the master’s degree, a monitored internship in a Paris-based organization or diplomatic mission. Additionally, a novelty of this program will be an original Foreign Policy tutorial, which will culminate in the production of a foreign policy paper. This paper will analyze a specific current international conflict or problem, and propose actionable policy recommendations.
“This program is the first of its kind in Europe, as it not only examines topical Foreign Policy issues, but also leads to the suggestion of concrete policy solutions,” said Bolewski. “It is designed to respond to the need for innovative orientation and renewed analytical thinking to meet the thrust for change that the field of international relations has been increasingly showing in the recent years. Old recipes no longer work in what has become a multipolar, or even a-polar world: States are failing, borders are falling, and conflicts turn into religious wars. As Albert Einstein taught us, ‘you cannot solve problems with the same mindset that created them.’ As actors in the international community, whether through government, international organizations, or the corporate or civil society, we absolutely need to adapt our policies to the changing realities—we cannot expect the reverse to happen.”
This new program is designed to respond to the need for “orientation knowledge.” It will provide in-depth analysis of the root causes of international conflicts, differentiating between incidental disruptions and fundamental movements or expectations; and through the production of policy recommendations, it will promote innovative and sustainable solutions that will not be linked to any particular national or political interest, but rather will rely on the understanding of, and engagement with ‘the Other’ across civilizational diversity of interests and cultures.
“This new module is designed to bridge academia with policy-making. It is in line with our institution’s long mission of supporting peaceful conflict-solving, as it promotes an informed and creative use of the tools of diplomacy,” explained Eileen Servidio, who heads the International Relations programs at AGS, and initiated this project. “It will give our students at the American Graduate School in Paris greater flexibility to tailor their master’s program around their particular interests and career objectives, with the opportunity to obtain their degree through either the Research Thesis track or this new Foreign Policy Paper track.”