I greatly enjoy the international esprit of the Vienna School of International Studies and its proximity to the city’s large diplomatic community. Once my friend Corneliu Bjola from Oxford University had convinced me to write a textbook on diplomacy with him, I got more and more interested in bridging the divide between academic and practical understandings of knowledge. The book, entitled Understanding International Diplomacy, came out with Routledge in 2013, a second edition was published in 2018, and a Chinese translation (Beijing University Press) followed in 2021. Around the same time, the Vienna School of International Studies, in co-operation with the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), started to offer executive training seminars in Africa. I conducted such seminars in Southern Africa (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa), East Africa (Kenya, Uganda), West Africa (Ghana) and North Africa (Libya).
Tailoring the textbook to the needs and requests of my trainees and often venturing well beyond it, I covered a range of topics, including fields of diplomacy, traditional and non-traditional diplomatic actors, diplomatic law, diplomatic channels of communication, negotiation and mediation, and diplomatic decision-making.
More recently, I have started teaching diplomatic skills, including negotiation and mediation, for the European Security and Defence College (ESDC) as well.