A new undergraduate program in Public Diplomacy is opened this year for advanced students in the Politics and Communication Department at Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem, following accreditation by the Council of Higher Education. The program premises are that there is much to improve in Israel’s worldwide image and legitimacy at present and probably in years to come; that rapid and intense changes in the international arena impose complex challenges for the adaptation of Israeli diplomacy to twenty-first century needs; and that expertise is needed on newer uses of national and global communications. The head of the program is Prof. Dov Shinar who has vast media experience in Israel and abroad.
The program aims at training aspiring foreign policy makers, diplomats, analysts and planning experts in the older arsenal and newer repertoire of diplomacy in state and private affairs. Departing from learning and analyzing prevailing patterns of foreign and media relations, the program emphasizes emerging trends such as ‘soft and smart power’, person to person contacts (PTP), social networks, branding and other means of communication. Like the entire faculty at the Politics and Communication Department, the program features ‘handpicked’ academic researchers, career diplomats, media professionals, PR and campaign specialists.
In many ways the program fits the demands from candidates for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Cadet Course. Applicants to the Cadet Course must have a BA degree (Program graduates will have one in Politics and Communication), and are required to have prior instruction (provided by the program) in national politics and international relations, communication techniques and information technology, foreign languages, campaign planning, media presentations, public speaking, and written communication. Thus program graduates will have considerable advantages over others.
The program includes an intensive academic part about Israeli and foreign diplomacy, through classroom and independent work; individual and group R&D projects; and field learning both in Israel and foreign countries. Study tours in foreign countries are a major component of the program, to enhance the expansion of professional horizons and the understanding the 21st century global environment as well as providing practical experience.