Faculty Book Talk: Hare on Making Diplomacy Work


Amb. Paul Hare, Senior Lecturer at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, discussed his book Making Diplomacy Work: Intelligent Innovation for the Modern World as part of the 2016-2017 Faculty Book Talk Series on October 31, 2016.

The event was attended by Pardee School faculty and students and included a talk by Hare on the book as well as his 30 years of service as a British diplomat and his time as the British ambassador to Cuba from 2001-2004. Hare’s talk was followed by a question and answer session. 

In Making Diplomacy Work: Intelligent Innovation for the Modern World, Hare sets diplomacy in its contemporary context and analyzes the major factors that have changed the nature of the intelligent conduct of diplomacy. He argues that diplomacy must adapt some of its ritualistic and stale procedures to become more effective in the modern world, given the growing number of international actors, the expansion of global non-governmental organizations, and the continuing communications and information revolution.

Hare said he conceived the notion for the book when he first began teaching at Boston University and realized that there wasn’t a comprehensive text on diplomacy from the perspective of a practitioner.

“I felt there wasn’t one text which fulfilled all I wanted to get across to students — a lot of the information was out of date and a lot of it was written by non-practitioners who made an intellectual and academic study of diplomacy,” Hare said. “I felt increasingly I was drawing on a variety of sources for different topics like public diplomacy and international law to try and give the students a complete picture.”

Hare also discussed how modern diplomacy differs from what the practice looked like in decades past, as well as what the future holds in store for the practice of diplomacy. 

I look at what makes diplomacy important in the modern world and how we can try to find ways to highlight it and as I say in the title of the book how we can make it work,” Hare said. “I intended that to have a slight double meaning — making it work because it needs to work and be used more because of the decline of power and the new world order, and secondly to make it function and make it productive and recognize the team playing aspect of it.”

When asked what current Pardee School students interested in pursuing careers in diplomacy can expect after they graduate, Hare said most governments are looking for candidates with diverse backgrounds and skill sets.

“I think increasingly the career is not going to be one for life. People come in and out — they are taken in on contracts,” Hare said. “They’re required to have a certain skill set when they are recruited, but from the human resource point of view they are looking for a diverse range of people who won’t see it as a 30 or 35 year career. They’re taking people in from non-profits, from the military and from science backgrounds.”

Ambassador Hare teaches classes at Boston University on Diplomatic Practice, Arms Control, Intercultural Communication and on Cuba in Transition. In Spring 2016 he will offer a new class on Public Diplomacy. His novel, “Moncada – A Cuban Story”, set in modern Cuba, was published in May 2010. His book “Making Diplomacy Work; Intelligent Innovation for the Modern World.’ was published in early 2015. Learn more about him here.