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A comprehensive training program in commercial diplomacy calls for courses in many different disciplines- economics, business, politics, law, media and public relations, international relations, negotiation and dispute settlement, area studies, foreign languages and culture. The ICDP web site offers a blueprint for such a program.

The model program is structured as a sequence of four distinct stages of instruction - (i) theory, (ii) institutions, (iii) techniques and skills, and (iv) integration- which are described in more detail below. The sequence of the program reflects the natural progression in the learning process. Students' knowledge of trade becomes deeper, and not just broader as they progress through the program. The courses that make up the model curriculum are described briefly and most course descriptions are supported by sample course outlines and reading lists.

Theory. The first stage provides the intellectual and conceptual foundation for the field of commercial diplomacy. While it should not be surprising that stage one involves a heavy dose of economics, the theory stage also includes courses on politics and on policy analysis.

Institutions. The second stage introduces the institutional context of trade and trade policy. Courses cover international and national trade organizations, regional trading arrangements, and international trade law. Other courses cover the history of thought on trade, the history and evolution of trade policy, in-depth analyses of case law and international institutions.

Skills and Techniques In the third stage, students are in a position to combine their knowledge of economics, politics, law, institutions, media and culture into a coherent analysis of any international commercial issue, and to develop an integrated strategy for advancing - policy prescriptions desired by any stakeholder. Students also learn how to implement the resulting strategy through the development of operational documents and the effective use of advocacy tools such as hearings, press conferences, coalition building efforts and negotiations. Students learn to combine the disparate subjects previously covered in ways that will enable them to function effectively in the private and public practice of commercial diplomacy. Courses include: (i) the framing of trade issues; (ii) the art of politics; (iii) the rhetoric of economics; (iv) relations with press, public and legislative bodies; and (v) negotiation tactics and skills. These are skills that trade professionals typically develop on the job. The purpose of this stage of the program is to give students a head start in their conversion from graduate students to professional practitioners.

Integration.  Integration combines three types of courses: (i) courses in which students participate in simulated trade negotiations, both in English and in multilingual settings; (ii) an individual project in which a specific issue is studied in depth, allowing students to demonstrate their expertise on the multiple facets that go into becoming a trade professional; (iii) courses which deal with important current trade issues.

The courses that make up this model curriculum are described briefly in the next section. Most course descriptions are supported by sample course outlines and reading lists.




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