140 Characters Diplomacy

7 May 2020

Even Prof Vincent Ligorio, who is all for face to face, people to people diplomacy had to resort to a webinar platform for his Human and Digital Diplomacy seminar. The webinar hosted in conjunction with the Diplomatic World Institute co founder Dieter Brockmeyer, Director Innovation and TIME for the Institute and CPO, discussed the changing face of human interaction at a time when social isolation due the corona virus pandemic, which has infected millions of people around the world and left over 250 000 dead, has become a norm.

Prof Ligorio, who is the current Vice-Rector for the International Relations/Head of the international Department, Tenured Professor, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow Russian Federation, Team Leader European Commission co-financed project: “EU in the World” and Associate Professor at Presidential Academy for National Economy and Public Administration  -  RANEPA, Moscow, was aptly positioned to lead the discussions.

Describing what he terms “140 Characters Diplomacy” and its disastrous consequences. Ligorio says Diplomacy has been affected by the hyper technological world we live in as several sectors are moving into virtual reality.

He noticed how government officials and heads of state, when discussing conflicts, took to the virtual stage to attack counterparts in an instant messaging discourse. This shift poses many risks as diplomats depart from their original roles leading to unprecedented consequences, both at bilateral as well as multilateral levels.

I believe that we have to bring back the classical diplomacy to its original role. This of course includes face-to-face diplomacy. It has a fundamental role to play because it does not only involve skills and knowledge, but also includes cognitive emotions. The cognitive process may influence positively or negatively the results of any negotiation.

As a student of political science and international relations, I have been fascinated by the influence of psychology, not only in the negotiation process, but also in diplomacy. Moving from the theory to the practice I discovered that mere psychology is not enough to fully understand diplomacy as a whole. This led me to study neuroscience and its application in politics (what we call neuropolitics) and in parallel the influence that digitisation has on emotions and politics too.

I believe that to provide diplomacy in its original role we have to pro-actively examine the current status quo of geo-polotics in the world today. For this reason I developed a short course called “Human and digital diplomacy” where together with colleagues of the Diplomatic World Institute, we are going to provide new trajectories and orientation in diplomacy (digital, face to face and emotional diplomacy). This course, of course, may be useful for both public and private sector.

Prof Ligorio has a PhD in international relations, he is a Professor of international relations and Neurpolitcs in Moscow, Visiting Fellow in Italy, UK, Turkey and CIS countries, Cooperates with the EU in several projects related to post war and democratic transition,  and in 2018 specialised in neuroscience applied to social science.