Inter-professional Communication in Multistakehodler Diplomacy


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  • Course leader starts with identifying a communicational gap between professional cultures referring to the gap between theory (academics, scientists) and practice (policy-makers, lawyers, diplomats, corporate sector, civil society) in global governance. Course leader focuses at the uneasy relations and collaboration between academics and scientists, policy-makers and diplomats, business and civil society representatives. Their relations have often been characterized as mutual aversion and misunderstanding culminating in ignoring and labeling the professional culture of the Other. Academics and practitioners do not look at the same issue from the same perspective; they are using different lenses while talking on the same issue. While academics are looking to ‘explain’ the issue, practitioners ‘deal’ with the issue focusing to achieve the best possible outcome. Though the communicational gap between professional cultures cannot be abolished, it can be ‘bridged’ with mutual understanding of each other professional culture.
  • When they talk about same issues, diplomats and lawyers tend to frame their discussion while preferring the legal corpus which suits them best … Diplomats are likely to take their argument and expressions from the filed of international public law Lawyers prefer taking their argument from domestic law, criminal law and legal procedure
  • While identifying free levels of distinct cultures -- national, organizational and professional -- course leader may analyze each of them while stressing how they may unite and / or divide negotiators. A negotiator who is well aware of such an interplay between distinct cultures, may exploit cultures compatible with negotiator’s cultures in order to open a chanel of communication and reach an agreement with other side.
  • Course leader assesses the inter-professional communication on tree possible levels with its distinct culture: National culture shapes all individuals socialized in a give country and culture, its dominant values and language. National identity frames all other identities; Due to socialization, it comes in life before “organizational” and “professional” cultures. Individuals -- as citizens -- pay loyalty respectively to their “nation-state”. 2. Organizational culture shapes individuals with identity and values proper to institution or corporation in which professionals are working. Employer requires individuals to comply and identify with corporate values and promote them while working for corporation. Individuals -- as employees -- pay their loyalty respectively to their “institution” or “corporation”, being their employer. 3. Professional culture shapes individuals with identity and values proper to the vocation in which they have been trained. Individuals have a symbolical attachment to their vocation their exercising and give it a credit often for lifetime. Individuals -- as professionals -- pay their loyalty to their “vocation” for which they have been trained.
  • IG field represents an emerging field in international relations. It is a shift from traditional to post-modern diplomatic environment characterized through the change from multilateralism to multistakeholderism. Different actors included in IG process have distinct professional cultures, dress codes, codes of conduct, language, ideas. What they have all in common is their interest in IG - to manage information revolution and participate in information society. Being representatives of states, corporate sector and civil society, all stakeholders are interested to be a part of the negotiation process as well as to have another two global representatives involved. Why STATE ACTORS? - Presence of state representatives / diplomats gives to the process legitimacy and weight. The states may considerably influence any policy, while promoting or bring it to failure any project. Why NON-STATE ACTORS? Corporate sector is a global manufacturer, retailer and standard setting institution; no process can succeed or have a meaning without participation of the actor who is producing and selling ICT infrastructure and devices, tools and services. Civil society representatives (engineers) have conceived the ICT and represent the most important global user of the ICT as well as market for its sales. States have legal responsibility towards the citizens’ welfare, as private sector has a corporate responsibility towards the society, which is not only a market but also a moral entity.
  • IG specialist should edit this slide
  • ACADEMICS assume an explanatory function; they are concerned with series of issues such as legal, policy or technical context, causal and functional relationships. They tend to edit long massages, which maybe extensive, in-depth insights, or combination of both. They writing style is descriptive and analytical; it expresses their desire to explain, clarify and anticipate… IG specialist should complete this slide!
  • Engineers have a problem-solving function. They approach the ICT with the desire to fix what does not work, and to redesign what can be improved. Their comments are inspired with technical issues and problems to be solved. Thereafter, their massages tend to be short, well structured through use of bullet points; they often use real cases from their experience and causal relationships in their explanations. Use of technical terms is abundant, in form of nouns and verbs. If engineers write in a language other than English, it is likely that they will borrow technical terms from English; they may also write in English, which is a foreign tongue for them, with the desire to get clarity. IG specialist should complete this slide
  • Diplomats assume a role of representing their respective country. Being trained to represent the interests of the most powerful actor in IR -- namely the nation state -- diplomats tend to reproduce the same mindset in their communication with professionals from non-state actors (corporate sector, civil society). - Diplomats are still hesitating to use email communication as other professionals from non-state actors are increasingly doing; however, when diplomats use email, they use it in a very formal way simulating an official letter. Thus, they stay within the diplomatic context - they use legal terms, passive voice and subtle distinctions between “should / would” IG specialist should complete this slide
  • Course leader identifies distinct social environments in which diplomats are operating: Visual 1950s / Cold War period: it is a traditional setting in which diplomats have worked ever since. Visual 2010s / Post-Cold War period: it is a modern setting shaped by the Internet driven revolution and emerging information society in which diplomats have new issues to negotiate and etools to deal with. International issues - previously treated mainly between states - became global issues - currently treated between state, private sector and civil society representatives. New communication tools have emerged: e-tools (internet, mobile phone, Ipad) and e-applications (e-mail, facebook, twitter); Global issues as well as e-tools and e-applications are opening traditional diplomatic meetings to non-state actors (corporate sector, civil society); what used to be an exclusive and closed diplomatic circle of state representatives negotiating among themselves is about to become an inclusive and open multistakeholder environment with open and public discussions about key issues of how to manage information society of the day.
  • Course leader should identify key problems of inter-professional communication in his specific area. He / she should explain what can be done to improve communication between diplomats and other professionals as a two way exchange process. Course leader should emphasize necessity of : 1. Paying attention and respecting the difference between the other professional group and his own 2. Identifying, analyzing and rejecting of professional stereotypes as a prerequisite to improve inter-professional communication. 3. Understanding and learning of verbal and non-verbal communication –- professional language and vocabulary, visual codes and protocols -- and core knowledge and thinking path, of another professional group. 4. Bridging the gap between theory and practice while promoting inter-professional dialogue between academics and analysts on one hand, policy makers and diplomats on the other hand.
  • Inter-professional Communication in Multistakehodler Diplomacy

    1. 1. Inter-Professional Communication by Jovan Kurbalija Course on Multistakeholder Diplomacy EU Commission - RELEX, Brussels 30 June – 1 July 2010 Jovan Kurbalija, DiploFoundation 2010
    2. 2. Challenges in Inter-Professional Communication Uneasy communication between: Academics, Scientists & Policy-makers, Lawyers, Diplomats & Corporate sector representatives & Civil society activists
    3. 3. Example …. <ul><li>Diplomats </li></ul><ul><li>who refer to political categories -- sovereignty, reciprocity, nonintervention, equality of states, enforcement of law through individual states, neutrality </li></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><li>Lawyers </li></ul><ul><li>who refer to legal categories borrowed from criminal and extradition law -- sanction, punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation, restitution, legal aid </li></ul>
    4. 4. National vs. Professional Culture in Negotiations “ On each side of the table, national culture and organisational culture unite while professional cultures divide. Across the table, the situation is the opposite: national culture and organizational culture divide whereas professional culture may facilitate communication and agreement .” (Faure 1999)
    5. 5. Different Cultures National Culture Organisational Culture Professional Culture
    6. 6. Layers of Professional Culture Uniforms, visual codes, protocol and etiquette Language: Vocabulary & Jargon Referential framework, thinking paths, methodologies and approaches
    7. 7. CASE STUDY Use of e-mail in Internet Governance Negotiations
    8. 8. Various Actors in Internet Governance <ul><li>STATE ACTORS </li></ul><ul><li>DIPLOMATS – process / national interest </li></ul><ul><li>NON-STATE ACTORS </li></ul><ul><li>CORPORATE sector –manufacturer / commercial interests </li></ul><ul><li>CIVIL SOCIETY – flexible, expertise, lack of understanding of multilateral communication context </li></ul><ul><li>- IT PEOPLE – respect facts, difference between assumption and knowledge, solution-oriented, </li></ul><ul><li>- ACADEMICS – comprehensive, explaining </li></ul>
    9. 9. Use of E-mail in Internet Governance Negotiations <ul><li>There were three main professional groups involved in the WGIG: academics, engineers and diplomats. </li></ul><ul><li>Their e-mail exchanges demonstrated  distinct communication styles. </li></ul>
    10. 10. ACADEMICS – “Let me Explain” <ul><li>Main Characteristics of E-mail Communication of Academics: </li></ul><ul><li>Long Messages </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive and Analytical Style </li></ul><ul><li>Need to Provide General Context </li></ul><ul><li>Loose Points of Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Very Frequent Self-referencing </li></ul>
    11. 11. ENGINEERS – “Let us Solve the Problem” <ul><li>Main Characteristics of E-mail Communication of Engineers: </li></ul><ul><li>Short Messages </li></ul><ul><li>Use of Bullet Points </li></ul><ul><li>Linking Causes with Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Use of Technical Language </li></ul>
    12. 12. DIPLOMATS: “Let me Present the Position of my Country” <ul><li>Main Characteristics of E-mail Communication of Diplomats: </li></ul><ul><li>Very rare use of e-mail communication (only 3% of total messages were sent by diplomats although they constituted 25% of the WGIG members) </li></ul><ul><li>Formal communication (looks like official letter) </li></ul><ul><li>Use of “should/would” </li></ul><ul><li>Referencing to official documents/previous decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Excessive use of passive voice by author </li></ul><ul><li>Will not limit themselves to short and succinct points </li></ul>
    13. 13. Challenge for Diplomatic Professional Culture <ul><li>The exclusive approach worked well when diplomatic activities were conducted within traditional closed diplomatic circles on both national and international levels. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a need for inclusive approach which reflects changes in the open multistakeholder environment in which diplomats increasingly operate along with corporate sector and civil society representatives. </li></ul>1950s 2010s
    14. 14. A Few Tips …. <ul><li>1. Identify the difference and pay attention at difference among professional cultures </li></ul><ul><li>2. Assess language and knowledge, professional identity and common values of the other group </li></ul><ul><li>3. Appreciate differences but reject stereotypes of other professional cultures </li></ul><ul><li>4. Communicate, communicate, communicate ….. </li></ul>