Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and Mortara Center for International Studies Receive Carnegie Grant

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Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy (ISD), along with the Mortara Center for International Studies, received a nearly $840,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York under its “Bridging the Gap” initiative. This honor highlights the School’s century-old mission to connect academia and the global policy world. The grant – “From Scholar’s Theory to Practitioner’s Work, and Back” – will focus on expanding the understanding and application of diplomacy as a critical tool of national policy. The grant empowers students, scholars, policymakers and the broader public through its emphasis on innovative learning, support for original research, and infrastructure for real-time publication of policy relevant work. Specifically, the grant will fund:

  • Education. The grant will expand and update the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy’s online case study library, which immerses students around the world in real-world diplomatic issues and the dynamics that drive effective resolution.
  • Policy and Research. A series of scholar-practitioner working groups hosted by the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy will explore over-the-horizon diplomatic challenges and make viable recommendations to policy-makers; a Mortara Center post-doctoral fellows program will be created to fund junior scholars exploring global challenges and communicating findings to the broader public;
  • Public Outreach. The grant will enhance the highly visible Monkey Cage blog, published by the Washington Post and co-edited by Georgetown professor Erik Voeten, and its mission to bring social science research on foreign policy questions to the public; it will also support the online journal, Research & Politics, which publishes short academically-rigorous articles for both the scholar and practitioner audience.

“Georgetown University and the School of Foreign Service have as part of their very DNA the mission to connect the best scholarship with the practicalities of the policy-making world. We are uniquely positioned, and located, to continue to play this role. The Carnegie grant will allow both ISD and the Mortara Center to expand their work on campus and their outreach to a broader community of students, academics and practitioners,” said SFS Dean Joel Hellman.

ISD’s case studies library was established in the early 1990’s and now includes over 200 cases on a broad range of topics and events related to the practice of diplomacy. Designed as a teaching tool for advanced placement high school through graduate study, and used by instructors globally, the library recently underwent a major overhaul. As described by ISD director Ambassador (ret.) Barbara Bodine, the Carnegie grant provides critical support for new director of Programs and Research at ISD to oversee a major expansion and update of the library, commission new cases on themes such as public diplomacy, development, intelligence and diplomacy, and the role of special envoys in high-stakes conflicts, as well as diplomatic developments over the past 10 years. These case studies provide an avenue by which the experience and expertise of those most directly involved in major diplomatic events – successful and less than successful – can be made available to scholars and students beyond the Washington Beltway. The new director will also develop a targeted and sophisticated marketing strategy for the case study library.

Drawing on the considerable resources available on campus and in the Washington DC/New York area, the Carnegie grant-supported director will also manage a series of working groups made up of noted academics, senior practitioners and other policy makers, members of the think tank community as well as the private sector and the media. Drawing on the example of the 10-year Schlesinger series on Strategic Surprises, each working group will examine emerging and over-the-horizon strategic diplomatic challenges, drawing on the respective perspectives and strengths of the academic and the practitioner participants to craft innovative diplomatic approaches. The findings of these working groups will be made available to policy makers and online to a broad audience.

The Carnegie grant will provide post-doctoral fellowship opportunities to exceptional junior scholars to ensure that their academic research enlightens policymakers, NGOs and citizens working on global challenges. As Mortara Center Director Kathleen McNamara states, “There is a new wave of excellent young scholars examining diplomacy in the twenty-first century, whether traditional diplomats, networked national actors working with NGOS in the field, or new emergent powers transforming global institutions. With this post-doc, we will create incentives for these young academics to pursue real world questions with cutting edge scholarly tools.”

At the same time, the grant will support the work of Research & Politics and The Monkey Cage, two innovative outlets that disseminate the work of scholars of international affairs beyond the narrow confines of academia. Research & Politics is a new academic journal that ensures quality through peer-review, speed through quick on-line publication, and openness by publishing articles that are freely accessible to anyone with an internet connection. The goal is to make the work of academics more accessible and to give scholars of international affairs incentives to write on topics of broad public interest. The Monkey Cage is a popular blog carried by the Washington Post that publishes posts by academics on topics of interest to policymakers and the larger public. The blog was recently highlighted by The Chronicle of Higher Education as a successful political science blog by academics.

For more information on the work of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and the Mortara Center for International Studies at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, please visit their websites: