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In today’s complex world, broad knowledge and specialized skills are required to build cooperation, defuse tension, and promote peace between and among nations, groups, and other entities. Norwich University’s Master of Arts in Diplomacy program equips students with that essential knowledge and skill set, preparing them for a wide range of meaningful careers in international relations and related fields.
Our diplomacy program attracts passionate students from diverse professional backgrounds including the military, law enforcement, government, business, journalism, and the non-profit sector. Our curriculum explores international relations from a macro and micro perspective, beginning with a foundational examination of the political, cultural, and geographical complexity of the international environment. Students then apply their holistic understanding of global affairs to develop focused knowledge in one of three concentrations in international terrorism, international conflict management, or international commerce.
Our students benefit from the expertise of our stellar faculty members, among whom are two renowned counterterrorism experts, regional experts, and several retired military officers, as well as the varied work experiences and perspectives of their fellow classmates.
Last but not least, a master’s degree in diplomacy from Norwich University carries weight. Our proud history as the nation’s first private military college and a long standing, unparalleled commitment to public service set our diplomacy program apart in academia and our graduates apart in the professional world.
Whether you want to advance your diplomacy career or acquire the theoretical background and skills necessary for advancement within private industry, the military, or the non-profit sector, Norwich University’s Master of Arts in Diplomacy program can help you achieve your career goals. Our alumni work for a wide variety of organizations including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The Associated Press, the FBI, General Motors, Varian Medical Systems, and the U.S. Navy. Three of our recent graduates were selected by the Presidential Management Fellows Program, a competitive federal internship program designed to draw outstanding students to federal service. Learn more »
We are here to help you achieve your goals. From information on how to apply to the Master of Arts in Diplomacy program to tips on how to manage your time, we will guide and support you throughout your Norwich experience.
Norwich’s Master of Arts in Diplomacy program is a 36-credit degree program comprising six courses, each of which is approximately 11 weeks in length. The first three courses constitute the core curriculum; the remaining three courses are focused on the concentration area of your choice: international terrorism, international conflict management, or international commerce. Students master one course at a time, so as to create a strong foundation of knowledge and context for future topics. The program culminates in a one-week residency and a graduation ceremony at Norwich University in June.
More information about program requirements is available in our course catalog.
For the first course of the program, students have the option of choosing from either Theory and the International System or The History of Diplomacy in the International System. Click on the links for a description of the individual course topics.
You will review the basic theories that govern international relations and political science. The course also traces the historical evolution of diplomacy within the international system, providing a sense of its progression and an awareness of the milestones of diplomatic interaction within that system.
This course provides a comprehensive overview of diplomacy, international relations, and world order in the context of the modern state system from 1648 to the present. The international political environment is introduced through studies in foreign policy decision making, combining history and political science in an analytical framework of historiography and international relations methodology.
You will explore the structure of the international system as defined by its rules and guidelines. The course presents an introduction to international law terminology and its history and theory. Laws surrounding conflict, war, war crimes, and the rising areas of international law, environmental law, and laws concerning humanitarian intervention will be explored. Of special interest will be laws pertaining to human rights.
You will explore the international economic system, examine the impact of modernization within the system, and investigate the controversy over the concept of globalization and the debate of free trade versus protectionism. You will become familiar with the international financial network and its institutions. Special attention will be given to Third World development issues and the concept of economics as a tool of diplomacy and military power.
To complete the international commerce concentration within the diplomacy program, students take the following courses:
This course focuses on internal and external environmental conditions affecting commerce in a global environment. You will evaluate the role of private-sector commerce in the international system and explore the impact of economics, law, politics, and culture on multinational commerce endeavors. You will also analyze country-specific data and internal organizational factors that influence managerial decision making in multinational organizations. You will gain an understanding of the global commerce environment and enhance your ability to function effectively across borders.
This course focuses on fundamental topics in human resources management as they pertain to globally active corporate, nonprofit, and governmental organizations. You will build skills in managing intercultural human resources differences; selecting, evaluating, and compensating employees in international assignments; training and developing expatriate employees; dealing with culture shock; and the effects of repatriation. You will be asked to apply the concepts of conflict management, resolution, and avoidance to specific work situations.
The capstone course addresses the dependence of international commerce upon public goodwill, the development of which is the function of corporate diplomacy. You will develop the knowledge, competencies, and tools for implementing strategic communications in order to deal effectively with international constituencies, including the government, the news media, the Internet, and NGOs. Special emphasis will be given to developing and applying analytical skills to shape public opinion, build corporate reputation, and deal with crisis in a cross-cultural environment.
To complete the international terrorism concentration within the diplomacy program, students take the following courses:
This course examines how states have used terrorism as a tool in managing their international relations and evaluates actions that the international community has taken to deter state-sponsored terrorism. Case studies will complement theory and allow for comparative analyses of various actions taken by the international community and the results achieved to date.
This course examines the phenomenon of transnational terrorism by non-state actors. Ideology, psychology, and strategies of major transnational groups are addressed to provide an understanding of their long-term goals and operations. You will examine the relationship of terrorist groups, WMD proliferation, and organized crime, as well as possible future trends in terrorist operations. Case studies of key groups will provide comparative analysis.
This course surveys the strategies and policies that have been deployed by states to combat transnational terrorism. You will examine the development of international law as a tool against terrorism, diplomatic and multilateral approaches in dealing with cross-border issues, and government policies designed to improve internal and multinational coordination and cooperation. Differences and commonalities among states in their approaches to terrorism are highlighted in order to examine best practices.
To complete the international conflict management concentration within the diplomacy program, students take the following courses. For the last course of the concentration, students have the option of choosing from either Military Intervention and Conflict Management in the International System or Human Rights and Conflict in the International System.
This course addresses the multiple schools of debate concerning the causes of conflict and war. You will investigate the increasingly controversial area of peacekeeping and peacemaking, and examine transnational forces, including NGOs, that use diplomacy as a tool to avoid conflict in the international system. The concept of multilateral peace enforcement will be reviewed in order to examine best practices.
You will examine the do’s and don’ts of negotiating peace, its hazards, unexpected consequences, and lessons learned. Topics include the increasingly important area of recovery from atrocities through trials, truth commissions, and amnesty. You will also explore post-conflict governing, reestablishing the rule of law, the dominance of civil society, and the institutions of governance, as well as the politics and cultural impact of rebuilding, including the economic and financial costs.
You will examine conflict in all its forms, including aspects of covert operations, psychological warfare, special operations, and limited warfare. The course also explores multinational coalitions and conflicts and the renewed emphasis on terrorism, including the use of chemical, biological, and nuclear agents. You will review special cases of civil war and collapsed state conflicts. You will also investigate the impacts of modern warfare, most notably on the environment.
In this course, you will probe the complicated connections between the protection and enforcement of human rights norms and the roots, unfolding, and termination of armed conflict. Borrowing from the fields of peace building, conflict resolution, diplomacy, and law, the course builds upon the themes of conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction developed in previous courses. You will explore how human rights abuses increase the likelihood of violent conflict and how a respect for the political, civil, economic, and social claims of individuals may repair and restore affected societies.
The thesis track is available for students who wish to have the traditional thesis experience with faculty mentorship and a culminating research paper, which is often the basis for a future publication. Outside of the degree completion requirements, students can choose to add this thesis after all six courses are completed. Pending program director approval for candidacy acceptance, your thesis will have a formal board of examination, supervision, and research process.
The final academic requirement for the diplomacy program is a week-long residency at the beautiful and historic Norwich University campus in Vermont. Students have the opportunity to meet with fellow students, faculty, and program staff in both formal classroom and informal settings. Norwich covers the cost of all meals and accommodation on campus. Academic recognition ceremonies and commencement cap off the week, and family and friends are encouraged to attend.
Dr. Lasha Tchantouridzé earned his PhD in international relations from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada (2001). He also holds a master’s degree in politics (Queen's University), undergraduate degrees in philosophy and film studies (both from Tbilisi State University in Georgia), and a certificate in theology (St Arseny Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada).
Dr. Tchantouridzé’s academic publications are in the areas of geopolitics, Russian foreign policy, globalization, international politics in the Caucasus, NATO-Russia relations, politics of oil and gas in Central Asia and the Caucasus, and conflicts in the Caucasus.
From 1984 to 1986, Dr. Tchantouridzé served in the Red Army Regiment #90. His military education includes two years of preparatory training, and a term at the Soviet Navy Military Political Institute, Kiev (summer term, 1984).
Fianna Verret has worked at Norwich University for several years. In addition to serving as the associate program director for the Master of Arts in Diplomacy program and being an alumna of the diplomacy program herself, she has taught undergraduate international relations courses online and a world economy class on the Norwich University campus. She previously taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, working with a diverse population of students from the global community. She has a BA in English Literature with a Russian Language and Literature Minor from Saint Michael's College, and an MA in diplomacy with a concentration in conflict management and resolution from Norwich University.
Charles Lerche is the associate program director (academics) for the Master of Arts in Diplomacy program. He holds a BA in history, an MA in international studies and a PhD in political science. He has taught at several universities around the world, including three in Nigeria; the Free University of Brussels; the University of Maastricht (the Netherlands); and Boston University in the Overseas Program. Besides Norwich University, he currently teaches adjunct courses for the Troy University (Alabama) eCampus. His research interests include Third World politics and international relations with an emphasis on Africa, and peace and conflict studies. He co-authored Concepts of International Politics in Global Perspective and edited two volumes of essays on world order studies. He has published articles in a variety of scholarly journals including inter alia, The Journal of African and Asian Studies, The Journal of African Studies, The International Journal of Peace Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies and International Politics. He is also a contributor to the The International Encyclopedia of Peace.
Dan Alcorn is a native Vermonter and a proud Norwich alumnus. Having completed the master’s in public administration program, the certificate in teaching and learning program, and the certificate in continuity of governmental operations program, he knows what it takes to be a successful online student at Norwich University. Before coming to Norwich he earned a BA from Kent State University and worked in the financial services industry. Dan now teaches undergraduate courses on both the Norwich University campus and on online in the Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis program. He is currently the chapter representative for Sigma Iota Rho Society, the honor society of international studies, and for Pi Alpha Alpha, the national honor society for public affairs and administration. He is also a father to two young daughters.
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When applying for the Master of Arts in Diplomacy program at Norwich University, there are two essential factors to consider: What does it cost, and how can you pay for it? There are many ways to get financial assistance and several financial strategies that can help you achieve your academic and professional goals. We are here to help you identify and pursue the options that are best for you.
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Two professors in the diplomacy program have written a provocative book about a trend that will profoundly affect the future of international relations: the inability of key countries to manage their largest population centers.
In The Real Population Bomb: Megacities, Global Security & the Map of the Future Professors P.H. Liotta and James F. Miskel argue that specific megacities - cities with populations exceeding 10 million or more - have become ungovernable and conditions there will deteriorate over time as their populations continue to mushroom. Megacities such as Lagos, Nigeria, and Karachi, Pakistan, will become impenetrable havens for terror and criminal organizations as well as religious and ethnic militias. Others such as Dhaka, Bangladesh, are already teetering on the brink of unimaginable environmental catastrophe. Similar conditions exist in megacities in Africa, Asia, and South America where millions upon millions of urban-dwellers suffer daily with no support from municipal or national authorities. Eventually citizens may well organize around militias, mafias, or extremist groups because the cities by then will be so large there will be little that the national government can or will do about it. Liotta and Miskel note:
The friction between the thesis of traditional beliefs and the antithesis of Western modernity (better hospitals, longer life spans, healthier children, and more comfortable homes, among other things) has yet to yield a synthesis in many parts of the 10/40 Window [the area in Africa and Asia between 10 and 40 degrees north latitude]. Until it does, chaos and carnage will persevere. Some of this violence will be internationalized; it already has been, as the 2008 terrorist attacked in Mumbai in India, repeated attacks on the World Trade Center, and the bombings of European mass transit systems demonstrate (p. 3).
By 2025, 27 cities will have populations greater than 10 million and over 600 cities will have populations greater than 1 million. Specific megacities, intimately connected to globalization, are posing huge security challenges - now. Liotta and Miskel focus intensely on effects these massive, underserved, and undergoverned cities have on international stability, human security, and environmental degradation, and offer strategies and solutions for mitigating those effects. Their stark, often stunning portraits of major urban centers in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America illuminate how megacity Leviathans are redrawing the map of the future - in ways that affect us all.
The book has been available since February 2012 in both hardcover and electronic format. In August 2012, Professor Liotta tragically lost his life in a car accident. Peter Liotta was a member of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. The Real Population Bomb was Professor Liotta’s final major research project.
- Lasha Tchantouridzé, PhD is the Program Director for the Master of Arts in Diplomacy program.