On Friday, 26 January, the Centre for Global Challenges and Conflict Studies and Human Rights (MA) organised a masterclass with Pieter Feith, senior diplomat and former International Civilian Representative for Kosovo. He shared his personal experiences and reflected on how his work as a diplomat has changed in recent years.
It was rather interesting to find out that the rise of social media had a profound impact on diplomacy as a field; in his earlier years diplomacy was an affair largely taking place behind closed doors and was marked by secrecy, whereas now the work of diplomats has become much more visible to the public. But social media have also become an important tool to monitor the early stages of conflict. Together with satellite imagery and good contacts with civil society, social media play a pivotal role in identifying the indicators of a potential conflict. Morover, Feith emphasised the importance of prevention and (re)establishing the rule of law to maintain stability and ensure reconciliation in states prone to secessions. After the lecture, the students were invited to ask questions and engaged in an interesting discussion with Feith.
The Centre for Global Challenges wishes to thank Pieter Feith for sharing his insights, and the participants for their active participation.