“… the idea of the future being different from the present is so repugnant to our conventional modes of thought and behavior that we, most of us, offer a great resistance to acting on it in practice.”
John Maynard Keynes, 1937
Today’s world is marked by unprecedented complexity and uncertainty. Globalization, conflict, regional instability, technology, and the changing role of major powers will shape and challenge the world we inhabit. Policymakers are increasingly faced with an infinite range of alternatives and uncertain consequences to choosing each alternative. Diplomacy is the framework through which policymakers communicate, contest and negotiate solutions to govern these tectonic challenges. At the same time, the global balance of power is shifting to the East and South. Liberal institutions are no longer seen as the exclusive diplomatic framework to solve urgent collective action problems such as nuclear non-proliferation, climate change, and global financial stability. In particular, Western liberal order is challenged by what has been widely dubbed as the Asian Century.
The mission of the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy (APCD) is simple but profoundly important: to understand and explain diplomacy in the Asian Century.
As APCD’s Director, I am committed to advancing this mission and our position amongst the world's leading schools of diplomatic research, teaching, and training. We offer our students extraordinary advantages:
- Located in the Australian capital of Canberra, APCD benefits from direct access to key government departments such as the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Defence, and Treasury, amongst others.
- We are part and parcel of the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, which hosts the largest assembly of cutting-edge regional experts in the English-speaking world.
- As the only such institute in the Southern hemisphere, APCD is in a unique position both to highlight differences in, and to advance new approaches to, diplomacy.
The challenges of 21st Century diplomacy are not just intellectual; they affect the well-being of billions of people around the world. Through our work – research, teaching, and training – we offer some solutions that will help to break conventional modes of thought and behavior and shape a future, which will be very different from the present. Please join us in this exciting journey.
Dr Jochen Prantl