Table of Contents

Competitive Expertise and Future



Ulric Shannon


Executive Summary…………………………………………………. 4

Introduction……………………………………………………………… 6

Canada: “Honourable Men of Varied Abilities”…… 8

United States………………………………………………………….. 22

United Kingdom……………………………………………………… 33

France……………………………………………………………………… 42

Australia………………………………………………………………….. 49

China……………………………………………………………………….. 55

Russia………………………………………………………………………. 60

Conclusion………………………………………………………………. 64

Acknowledgements……………………………………………….. 81

About the author……………………………………………………. 81

References………………………………………………………………. 82

Endnotes…………………………………………………………………. 89

According to a number of my sources, when Kovrig and Spavor were arrested… senior officials held meetings that looked like collective panic attacks. The government was in uncharted waters with Beijing, and it seemed they didn’t feel they had the expertise on staff to handle the crisis. At a meeting of the Privy Council Office, the committee that advises the prime minister and cabinet, a frustrated senior official asked, “Where the f— are the China people?”

–Joanna Chiu, China Unbound: A New World Disorder

Immediately after 9/11, in terms of military action we should have done nothing initially. I now believe we should have taken the first year after 9/11 and sent 10,000 young Americans—military, civilians, diplomats—to language school; Pashtu, Dari, Arabic. We should have started to build up the capacity we didn’t have.

–Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former commander, US Joint Special Operations Command, 2003-2008

Executive Summary

  • Foreign ministries face a risk of marginalization as the international agenda is increasingly dominated by global issues such as climate change, global public health, migration, and cyber-security, as opposed to traditional matters of state-to-state relations. Domestic ministries with expertise on these issues are becoming more active internationally and developing their own networks, challenging foreign ministries to demonstrate what specific value-added they bring to the table.
  • In parallel, the growing pressure on the rules-based international order – of which Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is but the most recent and violent example – as well as the more transactional approach to international relations occasioned by the rising tide of populism in the West, have weakened the capacity for collective action and multilateral diplomacy. This suggests an increasingly competitive global environment (even among allies) where states will require the specialized knowledge and networks to pursue their interests unilaterally.
  • Faced with this reality, foreign ministries are re-examining the talent that they will need to be high-performing organizations in the 21st This has prompted several of the foreign ministries examined in this study to question whether the traditional ‘generalist’ model of the diplomat is adequate to current and future needs.
  • Although most foreign ministries intend to preserve a ‘generalist’ core of rotational personnel, the research reveals a strong trend toward encouraging the development of deeper subject-matter expertise and creating specialist cadres within foreign ministries, whether on specific regions or on themes such as multilateral relations. The diplomatic services examined in this report either already prioritize excellence in foreign-language proficiency, or are taking steps in that direction.
  • In sticking to a ‘generalist’ model that has deep roots in its founding ethos, Canada’s foreign ministry risks becoming an outlier among its peers and competitors. Although there are certainly pockets of expertise within the Canadian foreign service, the organizational culture of Global Affairs Canada often discourages specialization by treating it as incompatible with advancement into senior leadership. This phenomenon is not unique to Global Affairs and reflects a broader trend toward ‘managerialism’ within the Canadian Public Service in the last two decades which has devalued the role of subject-matter knowledge as an attribute of leadership.
  • The February 2022 announcement by Canada’s Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of a year-long study into whether the Canadian foreign service is ‘fit for purpose’, and the May 2022 announcement by Foreign Minister Joly of a parallel Future of Diplomacy review, represent opportunities to reconsider current assumptions and approaches to the diplomatic talent Canada needs.
  • If it expects to remain competitive with both its peers and its adversaries in the fight for global influence, Canada will need a foreign service that is credible. This means being represented around the world by people who can speak authoritatively by exhibiting ‘causal literacy’ on a range of global issues, as well as deep subject-matter knowledge of their assigned region or thematic focus.
  • Canada’s foreign service is struggling to integrate expertise because it lacks a clear talent-management doctrine and has not sufficiently emphasized diplomatic competencies and knowledge in the promotion of senior managers. It should examine the ‘career anchors’ model developed in the UK (and under development in Australia), as well as the ‘Core Precepts’ used by the US Foreign Service to guide career development and promotion, as best practices that could be adapted to Canadian needs.
  • Like other foreign ministries, the Canadian foreign service would benefit from more frequent exchange opportunities into other ministries, multilateral organizations, think- tanks and academia, and the private This will require dispelling the perception of a ‘career penalty’ around assignments outside the organization by adapting performance and talent management tools that currently only assess service within Global Affairs.
  • Similarly, the permeability of talent into the organization – through mid-career lateral entry into the diplomatic service – is a means that other foreign ministries have used successfully to address specific skills shortages. While Canadian foreign service officers are understandably leery of the implications of lateral entry on their already narrow opportunities for promotion, Global Affairs should consider this approach on a limited basis to address specific talent deficits. With a view to the long term, however, it should also take steps to incentivise foreign service officers to acquire the necessary expert skills and specialize in those areas where knowledge is at a premium.
  • To its credit, Global Affairs has identified China as one priority area where more subject- matter expertise and career concentration is needed, both in the foreign ministry and more broadly across government, and where, by implication, a ‘generalist’ model is no longer adequate. This is also true of other areas, such as trade policy, where the value of specialists is readily acknowledged. As it seeks to deliver a global foreign policy in an increasingly complex world, Global Affairs should aspire to build at least a small cadre of experts on most, if not all, regions and themes, including in anticipation of crises and opportunities not yet visible.
  • Given its unique advantage of having one of the world’s most diverse populations as its talent pool, there is no excuse for the Canadian foreign service not to grow into one of the world’s most interculturally savvy, knowledgeable, and networked diplomatic services. This level of ambition is a choice, and it will not happen by mere dint of immutable demographics. Rather, it will require purposeful human resource policies and workforce strategic planning, and, more importantly, a shift in corporate culture that acknowledges the unique competencies needed in the diplomatic profession.


The profession of diplomacy exists in a perpetual state of anxiety about its future. In an era when world leaders can communicate with each other instantly by WhatsApp, or with a global audience via Twitter, the messenger function provided for centuries by brick-and- mortar embassies has been usurped. Meanwhile, international relations continue to grow more complex, with state-to-state relations giving way in importance to global threats and issues such as climate change, energy security, migration, terrorism, and transnational organized crime – issues increasingly led or shaped by non-state actors who fall outside the traditional ambit, and comfort zone, of foreign ministries.

There is a rich literature of analysis which responds to this professional identity crisis by advocating a ‘new diplomacy’ that is more nimble, creative, and risk-tolerant, more adept at conducting real-time advocacy through social media, and more skilled at using big data. Diplomats of the future, according to these visionaries, will earn their keep as tech-savvy networking polyglots operating in flexible hierarchies that can quickly mobilize different skill sets in response to threats or opportunities.* They will benefit from greater permeability between foreign ministries, other government departments, the private sector, academia and think-tanks.1 A frequent assumption of ‘new diplomacy’ proponents is that, inevitably, the traditional model of ‘generalist’ diplomats – well-rounded and adaptable officers who can bring good judgement to an array of problems but lack expertise in any one field – will cede some ground to specialist colleagues – those diplomats with deeper subject-matter expertise, built on years of experience on specific issues or regions, including proficiency in foreign languages and a strong existing network of contacts on the ground.

Over the last two decades, there have been a raft of inquiries and reports in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, and the Netherlands, questioning the skills profiles of their respective diplomatic services. There has been no such public effort in Canada; indeed, the last official study of its foreign service, the Royal Commission on Conditions of Foreign Service (or McDougall Commission), reported its findings in 1981. And although critical appraisals of the effectiveness of contemporary Canadian diplomacy abound in the popular press, there has been little attention paid to the professional skills of Canada’s foreign service and whether they are well adapted to the needs of a nimbler, and at times more expert, diplomacy of the future. On February 24, 2022, however, the Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs of Canada’s Senate announced the launch of a major year-long review of Canada’s diplomatic service. The brainchild of Sens. Peter Boehm and Peter Harder – former deputy ministers of International Development and Foreign Affairs, respectively – the study will examine whether the Canadian foreign service is “fit for purpose” and has the necessary skills for future success.  Insofar as the McDougall


* The concept of a foreign ministry operating as a horizontal network of hybrid, task-specific units was outlined in a major Dutch review in 2013. (See: Advisory Committee, op. cit., p.24.)

Commission of 1980-1 was preoccupied largely with issues of pay and benefits and not the core mission of the profession, the Senate’s study may truly be the first of its kind in the history of the Canadian foreign service.

Three months later, on May 30, Foreign Minister Joly announced the launch of a review exercise of her own, titled The Future of Diplomacy, which will map ways to “modernize and strengthen Canada’s capacity to engage globally”. One of four pillars of work, ‘Our People’, will be tasked with “ensuring we are able to recruit, retain and develop a diverse workforce with the right leadership qualities and skill sets to meet the global challenges of today and tomorrow, putting in place effective mechanisms and systems to build expertise and knowledge, as well as deploy and reallocate strategically our human resources, especially in times of crises.”2 A preliminary report and recommendations are expected by the end of this year.

It is timely, therefore, to take stock of how Canada has traditionally addressed the talent- management of its diplomatic corps, and to compare it critically to the approach of our major allies as well as some of our competitors and adversaries. While the perennial ‘generalist versus specialist’ debate within Global Affairs Canada continues to languish inconclusively, it is clear that other states are taking deliberate steps to incubate greater subject-matter expertise among their diplomats, including through the development of cadres of regional and thematic specialists. The purpose of this CIPS report is to highlight the best practices that other foreign ministries have developed, and which could be adapted to the needs of the Canadian diplomatic service as part of a future reform agenda, perhaps in response to the findings of the Senate or of Minister Joly’s Future of Diplomacy initiative.

This report does not purport to be a vision of what Canada’s foreign policy priorities should be, nor does it prescribe specific recommendations beyond those implied by the comparative analysis. It is mute on the issue of budgets, mandates, and organizational design. It is principally interested in the skills required in ‘traditional’ diplomacy, and thus dwells mainly on the work of the political stream of the various ministries examined as well as ambassadors. The comparative literature available on the seven countries examined does not afford this author the ability to intelligently assess the more technical fields of specialization required in trade promotion, development assistance programming, or consular case management or policy. However, this report does endorse the view that all of these streams stand to benefit from deeper area expertise and language skills, both as force-multiplying capabilities in themselves and as a means of breaking down organizational silos within ministries.

Canada: “Honourable Men of Varied Abilities”

The generalist roots of Canada’s diplomatic service run deep, and consequently have proven resistant to change. O.D. Skelton, the transformative undersecretary of External Affairs from 1925 to 1941 who essentially built the Canadian foreign service from nothing, described the ideal foreign service officer as “someone of all-around ability, capable of performing in widely different assignments at short notice, rather than a highly skilled specialist paying little attention to matters lying outside his field”.3 A political economist with limited international experience prior to his ascension, Skelton was describing a first generation of Canadian diplomats, selected by him, who likewise boasted sterling academic credentials and strong traits of personal industry and judgement but limited exposure to the world outside the narrow Euro-Atlantic sphere. Constrained by the unambitious interwar vision of Prime Minister Mackenzie King and the miniscule scale of the foreign ministry (only 30 foreign service officers were on the payroll by 1930, with only six overseas missions to staff until as late as 1939), the Department of External Affairs* had no need – and indeed no capacity – to build more than a small, generalist corps of rotational diplomats.

As Canada emerged from World War II and began a significant expansion of its diplomatic footprint amid the proliferation of newly decolonized states – growing from a network of 26 embassies in 1946 to 93 in 1967– the staffing ethos of the service remained unchanged. The legendary Marcel Cadieux, undersecretary of External Affairs from 1964 to 1970, who was hired into the department (as a generalist lawyer) in O.D. Skelton’s final year as undersecretary, explained the continuing preference for generalists this way:

By refusing to get involved in a mania for specialization which would have been as useless for the Department as prejudicial to the essential quality of the profession, the Department has avoided distorting the good management of the service and endangering the nice balance of its officer cadre. Fundamentally, therefore, the rather sparse complement of the Canadian diplomatic service is an obstacle to excessive specialization on the part of its officers. And this is all to the good; our officers thus remain faithful to the spirit of the profession, to the ideal of the honourable man of varied abilities and interests who makes it his duty to apply himself to all aspects of Canadian life that he may represent it abroad with the diversity of resources which is the very essence of his profession.4

Early critics agreed that Cadieux’s fear of ‘excessive specialization’ was unfounded: on the contrary, “there seems to be a pride in the non-expert,” York University professor Thomas


* The Canadian foreign ministry has been called the Department of External Affairs (1909-1982), External Affairs and International Trade (1982-1993), the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (1993-2003), Foreign Affairs Canada (2003-2006), Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (2006- 2013), the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (2013-2015), and since 2015, Global Affairs Canada. This paper uses the terminology corresponding to the era discussed.

Hockin wrote. “Once a member of the Department, an officer is neither encouraged to develop specialties, not does the Department systematically allow for detailed or sophisticated training.”5 The 1960-62 Royal Commission on Government Organization (known as the Glassco Commission) found this to be a deficiency, concluding that “an increasing degree of specialization has become necessary to meet the complex responsibilities of the day with the skills of economists, scientists, international lawyers and other specialists more and more in demand.”6 The commission recommended that External Affairs adopt staffing policies that allowed for specialization “within the framework of ‘generalist’ development and experience”, including by slowing down the pace of employee rotations to ensure a more sustained development and deployment of specialist skills.7 Commenting on the findings of the commission, Hockin wrote:

Involvement in certain areas of the world now calls for special linguistic skills or esoteric knowledge of some remote country; complex international negotiation requires the presence of specialists in particular disciplines or fields of professional knowledge. In such cases, the ‘generalist’ concept when coupled with rotation, tends at worst to break down and at the very least, to be too thin for the needs of effective policy-making and administration.8

Others also gave the generalist model a failing grade. Canadian academic R. Barry Farrell, on the basis of multiple visits to Europe between 1954 and 1969, observed that “the most common impression gained of Canadian Foreign Service officers in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union was that the majority of them were not as specialized on the affairs of the host country as their British and American counterparts, nor as well versed in the local languages as were the Americans.”9 Farrell argued that “the development of a more specialized diplomatic corps might, indeed, be a prerequisite for Canada’s pursuing a foreign policy which is not reliant on either Great Britain or the United States, and which is responsive to specifically Canadian interests.”10

Even as External Affairs grew in leaps and bounds, the perception, by its own leadership, that the foreign ministry was too small to indulge in subject-matter specialization remained scriptural well into the 1970s: “Some specialties such as legal, commercial, scientific, or linguistic training are obviously desirable, but no smaller country would be able to afford to maintain diplomatic specialists in each of the ever-increasing areas of international concern.”11 Writing in 1979, T.A Keenleyside found that the ideal Canadian diplomat had hardly evolved since the days of O.D. Skelton, with External Affairs continuing to prefer the generalist officer, who “has been trained for… a variety of different types of positions both in Ottawa and abroad over the course of his career. His value purportedly rests in his broad perspective as a result of his well-rounded experience and understanding of the multivarious activities of the department. He is supposed to have ‘the advantages of a global view of world politics and none of the disadvantages of restricted political vision that come from specialization’”.12

The cost of these ‘advantages’, however, included troubling blind spots in areas of the world where Canada’s diplomatic presence was growing most rapidly as a consequence of decolonization. In his pioneering 1973 survey of Canada’s foreign service officers, Keenleyside found only six diplomats who considered themselves specialists on the Middle East or Africa, and only 16 who reported being specialists on Asia, a region where University of British Columbia professor Barrie Morrison found “Canadian analysis and background reporting were distinctly inferior to that of the Australians and the Americans.” Keenleyside concluded that “the department must at least to some extent adjust to the changed nature of its global operations by increased area specialization.”13 Interestingly, 40 percent of the foreign service officers surveyed by Keenleyside felt that more specialists were needed at External Affairs (versus six percent who preferred more generalists). Self-identified generalists also reported a significantly lower rate of job satisfaction. Keenleyside concluded that “there appears to be a case for the recruitment of more pre-trained functional and area specialists, for enabling more officers to develop at least partial specialization on the job, and for attaching specialists to the department from outside its ranks.”14

The next several decades, however, saw little progress toward realizing this vision. In the late 1960s Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau famously disparaged the foreign service, telling an interviewer: “I feel the whole concept of diplomacy today is a little bit outmoded. I believe much of it goes back to the early days of the telegraph, when you needed a dispatch to know what was happening in Country A, whereas now you can read it in a good newspaper.”15 Trudeau would slash External Affairs’ budget while gradually moving most key foreign policy files into the Prime Minister’s office, turning the 1970s into a period of marginalization and low morale for Canada’s diplomats. According to departmental historian Greg Donaghy, this era of lowered ambition coincided with an increased focus on internal administration: “To the disgust of romantics, ‘management skills’ were to become one of the signal characteristics of the contemporary Canadian diplomat. “[T]he buck stops at the head of mission’s desk when it comes to financial responsibility and accountability,” declared ambassador Dilys Buckley-Jones, emphasizing the shift in the diplomat’s priorities.”16 (Whereas the US, UK, and France place mission-management responsibilities on the deputy head of mission, freeing up the ambassador to focus on networking and high- level diplomacy, Canada does not have DHOMs outside of a small number of large embassies; a routine complaint of ambassadors is the burden of management controls imposed by headquarters which cuts into their focus on high-value activity on the ground.) The McDougall Commission at the end of that decade found that “there appears to be no adequate system for career planning, for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of individual foreign service employees, […] or for providing the training and rational pattern of assignments to ensure that the Service has at its disposal the human resources of the variety and calibre essential to the achievement of its goals as an organization.”17

The 1982 merger of the Trade Commissioner Service into External Affairs produced a

culture shock that “reverberated for a generation”.18 Nonetheless, the merger is credited

with prompting “an infusion of talent with specialist skills from other areas of government” including a number of trade policy experts who have maintained a rich tradition of excellence and of group identity.19 The following year, an examination led by the Policy Planning group of the department resulted in a scathing internal report titled A Crisis of Quality, which diagnosed a department adrift managerially and incapable of creating a culture of excellence: “We seem to be drained of fresh ideas or imaginative responses to new situations, at a time when we are most in need of intellectual rejuvenation.”20 Although little concerned with the matter of subject-matter expertise, the report nonetheless advocated “the additional recruitment of specialized talent”, including the “selection of non-rotational expertise for research and intelligence units”. It called for university leave and secondments to private industry and international institutions to cultivate knowledge “in those fields where the Department requires on-the-ground expertise”, as well as a mechanism to mine the accumulated expertise of retired officers.21

The decade beginning in 1988 saw ten rounds of budget cuts to the renamed External Affairs and International Trade, resulting in sporadic recruitment of new officers and a loss of institutional knowledge. More than half of all officers joining the diplomatic service after 1990 had left the department by 2001.22 Financial bonuses offered to diplomats who acquired and retained foreign-language skills were eliminated, making Canada the only G7 country without such an incentive scheme.23 By the time the Paul Martin government sought to articulate its foreign policy vision in the 2005 International Policy Statement – the first foreign policy White Paper since 1995, and the last since – the Department of Foreign Affairs had grown headquarters-heavy due to steady cuts to overseas positions. Vowing to rebalance the footprint and strengthen Canada’s field presence in areas of growing interest such as Asia, the Statement also promised more investment in training for languages such as Mandarin and Arabic, noting that, by comparison, the Australian foreign service spent three times what Canada did per officer on language training, and New Zealand nine times.24

By May 2007, however, the Auditor General of Canada, Sheila Fraser, found that the department was nowhere near meeting the aspirations of the International Policy Statement. Only 16 percent of diplomats in foreign language-designated positions abroad actually met the proficiency requirements of the position. More damningly, Fraser found that “the Department has no strategic human resources plan. It does not have a complete picture of the people, competencies, and experience it will need in the future, and it lacks basic information needed to plan for and manage its workforce.”25 Two years later Treasury Board approved funding for a surge of investment in foreign-language training and this helped push the compliance rate up to 45 percent in 2012. However, according to the department’s training centre, the Canadian Foreign Service Institute, “ever since, we have been observing an erosion of Global Affairs Canada’s foreign language compliance rate,” to 23 percent currently. The compliance rate for executive-level positions is even lower, at 18 percent. Canada badly trails its counterparts from Australia, the Netherlands,

New Zealand, Sweden, the US, and the UK, all of which, as of 2018, could boast a compliance rate above 50 precent (with the Dutch reaching 100 percent).26

Canada’s fledgling track record at producing diplomats fluent in foreign languages is an unfortunate distinction among its peers. The principal cause appears to be the chronic shortage of junior and mid-level officers at headquarters following years of insufficient recruitment, which results in a reluctance by managers to release officers for their full allotment of training. On average over the last four years, only 55 percent of employees assigned to language-designated positions have had the benefit of their full training entitlement. High-performing language students who meet their designated levels ahead of schedule are routinely pulled back to headquarters to fill urgent gaps despite having training time theoretically still available to them, resulting in atrophy of language skills in the months immediately prior to posting.

Other explanations are more tangible: as stated previously, Canada is alone among G7 countries and many international organizations in offering its diplomats no financial incentives to the acquisition and retention of foreign language skills. A detailed business case proposing the creation of such incentives, prepared in 2018 by the Canadian Foreign Service Institute, was not supported by the senior management of the department, ostensibly on cost grounds.27 A language bonus scheme does exist elsewhere in the Canadian government: the Communications Security Establishment pays eligible employees a foreign-language fluency bonus that can equate to as much as 5 percent of their salary.28

Further reasons for the department’s record of under-performance were illuminated in a 2017 survey of 58 Global Affairs employees who had taken difficult-language training in Middle East languages (Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, and Hebrew).* The survey found a high number of ‘dropouts’, namely officers who had achieved a high level of language proficiency but then declined to serve a second posting in the region, leaving the department to fill subsequent vacancies in the field with officers with no background in the region nor the requisite language skills.… The poor retention of specialist officers, the survey found, was largely due to a perception that the department did not value foreign- language skills in career management and promotion. (One minor but telling example cited by respondents: the assistant deputy minister-level position of Foreign Languages Champion at Global Affairs has been vacant since 2013.) The Canadian Foreign Service Institute likewise concluded that “there are disincentives for applying to language-

* This unpublished survey was conducted by the author with the support of the then-Assistant Deputy Minister for Europe and the Middle East, Alex Bugailiskis, for the purpose of identifying paths to improve specialized talent retention in the Middle East bureaus.

… Until two decades ago, Foreign Affairs required as a condition of employment that foreign service officers receiving foreign language training commit to serving twice the duration of any training offered, in that target language. For 24-month language training programs for the most difficult languages, this was tantamount to committing to a minimum of two postings. The practice appears to have disappeared.

designated positions because officers dedicate up to 2 years to acquire one competency to the detriment of many other, more transferable, competencies.”29 Without clear signals from senior management about the value of specialist skills, officers are left to ponder the costs and benefits of a major life commitment – up to two years – to foreign-language training without any assurance that the department will make an equal commitment to valuing this personal and corporate asset in their career development.

The fact that only 18 percent of language-designated EX-level (i.e., senior management) positions abroad are filled with qualified speakers is further evidence of the perceived irrelevance of language skills to advancement in the organization. The Canadian Foreign Service Institute found in 2020 that “Since foreign language competency is not a requirement for accessing more senior rotational positions, as is the case in other MFAs, foreign language training may impede the career prospects of rotational employees.”30 Interestingly, a third-party evaluation of Foreign Affairs’ language program in 2014 recommended that “a high level of proficiency in at least one foreign language be a requisite for any executive position in the department”.31 This would be a direct parallel to the US State Department requirements for entry into the Senior Foreign Service. The recommendation was ignored, perhaps in recognition that all employees historically have not enjoyed equal access to foreign-language training opportunities – in particular, those from the Consular and Development streams.* Around 2019 foreign language proficiency began to appear among ‘asset qualifications’ for promotion into the executive cadre, but whether this has been of any consequence for individual candidates is a matter of conjecture.

At the level of ambassadors, the unique and complex process for head of mission nominations, which require the assent of the Foreign Minister and Prime Minister, is subject to frequent delays and uncertainty, meaning that ambassadors rarely have the opportunity to take significant language training prior to posting. This is in marked contrast with the UK system, for example, which staffs head of mission positions one to two years in advance – sufficient lead time to ensure that most British ambassadors – 74 percent of them, in fact – possess the expected level of fluency in advance of their posting.

Other human resources practices have amounted to structural disincentives. A number of promotion processes in recent years at the working and mid-management levels have required recent financial or human resources management experience which full-time language students by definition cannot accrue while on training, making many ineligible. To its credit, the department in 2019 began to exempt language training time from the period in which management experience must be demonstrated. But for diplomats expected to spend as much as two years on full-time training to acquire fluency in a difficult

* It would also make it more difficult to attract executive-level lateral hires from other government departments or from outside the Public Service. (Although these are infrequent, they are part of the department’s strategy for addressing specific needs at the EX level.)

language like Mandarin, Korean or Arabic, perceptions of a career penalty associated with

being off the senior management’s radar for such a long period remain widespread.

Although still wedded to a ‘generalist’ philosophy, one area where Global Affairs has clearly identified a need for greater depth of subject-matter expertise is China. Reputedly the brainchild of then-Ambassador to China Dominic Barton, who had argued that “Canada should have the strongest China desk in the G7”, the ‘China Capacity Project’ launched in 2021 found that the department’s expertise on China, including its Mandarin-language talent, was skewed toward the Trade stream and deficient in the area of political and regional analysis. It also found that other government departments were increasingly preoccupied with the China dimension of their work and soliciting Global Affairs’ expert advice, adding to the aggregate demand. The project advocated creating a Centre of China Excellence within the department, a renewed focus on language skills, the targeted recruitment of experts within Global Affairs and in other government departments for assignments in (or on) China, knowledge partnerships with the private sector and academia, and more sophisticated training on China issues for assistant deputy minister- level officials across government. Acknowledging perceptions of a ‘career penalty’ around difficult-language learning (with a compliance rate of only 14 percent for Mandarin- designated positions), the project advocated adding fluency in Mandarin to the asset qualifications for future recruitment and promotion processes, and it recommended creating incentives to persuade employees with Chinese language skills to commit to at least a second posting in China.*

The department has a mixed track record in developing thematic as well as area expertise. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Foreign Affairs secured funding to create the Global Security Reporting Program (GSRP). This program, unique to Canada, deploys three dozen officers to embassies in hot spots around the world where they focus exclusively on generating analysis and reporting on international security issues of strategic interest to Canada. Their reports – about 1,800 per year in pre-COVID days – are given a wide audience within the ministry and are shared with partner departments and, selectively, with our allies, yielding valuable inter-service currency. National security scholar Thomas

* One challenge unique to Canada is its official-language requirements. All foreign service officers must meet a high level of proficiency (level CCC) in both English and French. Historically, unilingual officers who were recruited at the entry level were hired on a probationary basis (known as ab initio) and given up to one year of full-time training in order to reach CCC level in their second official language. However, due to budget constraints, Foreign Affairs suspended its official language training program in 2012 and began to limit recruitment to candidates with existing level-CCC fluency in both official languages. This practice was noticeably detrimental to the department’s efforts to attract more Mandarin speakers, in particular from the Chinese-Canadian community in areas of Canada where all school districts do not provide French instruction. One targeted recruitment effort in 2016 ended up turning away many qualified candidates who were told that they would only be hired if they were already fluent in both official languages. Fortunately, Global Affairs restored official language training in 2021.

Juneau writes: “GSRP reporting is one of the greatest assets for Canada within the Five Eyes community and with other intelligence partners. According to one interviewee, it is ‘hard to overstate how unique GSRP is, how much Five Eyes partners love it . . . it is a crown jewel.’”32 The GSRP program is particularly noted for investing in foreign-language training for its officers (29 of its 36 positions abroad carry an ‘imperative’ language designation)* and as a result has contributed disproportionately to the department’s stock of linguists and subject-matter specialists. However, since GSRP officers manage neither budgets nor staff, the program suffers from a perception of offering poor career prospects because the department’s eligibility criteria for promotion weigh management experience so heavily.

As well, from 2009 to 2011, the department’s Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START) experimented with a comprehensive talent-management program that aimed to develop deeper expertise on conflict management, peacebuilding, and humanitarian response in crisis contexts through dedicated training and managed career progression up to the director level. The initiative proposed a deliberate sequencing of assignments at headquarters, in conflict zones, in multilateral posts such as the UN and NATO, and appropriate strategic bilateral posts in the G7, bolstered by deployment opportunities at the Canadian Forces staff college and in UN senior leaders programs.33 However this drive does not appear to have survived subsequent changes in leadership.

As part of START’s efforts, University of Ottawa professor Peter Jones was commissioned to write a paper in 2010 taking stock of Canada’s history of involvement of international mediation efforts. He found that a number of Foreign Affairs officials had developed varying levels of expertise on mediation over the years but that this had happened in an ad hoc fashion. The department did not maintain a roster of employees with these skills nor offer training to deepen their knowledge of this technical field. Diplomats interviewed by Jones shared their view that, if the department wished to create a small cadre of mediation specialists, it would need to offer better training, career development, and mentoring support. “Good people will not devote career-development time to [mediation] if the Department does not demonstrate that it values it and will reward them.” Jones concluded that, if it wished to excel in this sub-field, “DFAIT’s Personnel system will have to accept the idea that there will be a cadre of officers who will have rather unusual career streams – including periods of time on mediation training and periods of time seconded outside DFAIT for work on mediation processes run by the UN, regional organizations and NGOs.”34

The Canadian foreign service has faced a number of human resources challenges that have impeded efforts to develop subject-matter specialization and reinforced the default model of generalism. Recruitment of foreign service officers has been sporadic since 1997 due to budget pressures and was essentially paused for much of the period from 2009 to 2019, causing dire shortages of entry-level officers and forcing managers to prioritize short-term

* A ‘language imperative’ position is one where the selected employee, theoretically, is not allowed to proceed to post until they have reached the target proficiency level of the position. Only Canada applies this concept.

staffing fixes at the expense of career and workforce planning. When recruitment did take place, it was on the basis of a generic Public Service-wide entrance exam where international-knowledge questions had been eliminated since 1999 in favour of weighing generic behavioural competencies. One fluent Mandarin-speaking applicant weeded out by the multiple-choice Public Service test wrote of her frustration with the “outdated” foreign service recruitment system: “A multiple choice exam does not give any insight into a person’s ability to navigate living, working and representing Canada in a foreign country far from home.”35

Numerous senior officials involved in human resource management over the last two decades offered a variety of other theories to explain the department’s drift toward generalism. Some believed that the Public Service Modernization Act of 2003, or corporate practices adopted in its wake, had fostered a mind-set of conformity with government-wide human resource regulations, diluting the unique requirements of an internationally oriented workforce. Another contentious change during this era was the decentralization of positions and salary budgets to geographic branches, which some believe weakened the practice of individualized career management and assignment planning and the ability of the corporate HR function at Foreign Affairs to defend the longer-term talent management needs of the organization.

Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Morris Rosenberg testified to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs in June 2022 that “human resources policies need to promote the development of deep geographic and language expertise and provide incentives to diplomats who do multiple tours using these skills”.36 One such attempt was the launch, in 2016, of a competency-based approach (CBA) to talent-management, which was expected to provide each foreign service officer with a ‘competency passport’ that would reflect their accumulated skills and experiences, and the credentials needed for onward assignments and promotion. According to then-Executive Director of Assignments Mark Fletcher, the CBA was meant to ensure a higher return on investment in specialized skills, including foreign-language abilities, through a pattern of planned assignments. A key function of this system was to track the assignment promises made to officers willing to commit themselves to years of language training to ensure that they had ‘career guarantees’.37 As of 2022, the ‘competency passport’ and related career-planning elements of the CBA appear to have been abandoned.

Another attempt to recognize the value of specialists came in 2004, when management and the foreign service union agreed to split the two-level Foreign Service classification into four grades, with the senior-most (FS-04) overlapping the salary band of the junior executive cadre (EX-01). The idea was to create an advancement path for subject-matter experts who did not wish to become managers. This experiment has proven largely unsuccessful, as the FS-04 grade is now routinely attached to middle-management positions to make them more appealing, diluting the intended focus on incentivizing specialization. The FS reclassification attempt also further propagated the unhelpful view that specialists require a career off-ramp from the management track, and that expertise

and leadership are somehow incompatible. (One could argue the former is essential to the credibility of the latter.)

The 2013 merger of the Canadian International Development Agency with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, as with Australia’s experience later that same year, is believed to have resulted in a loss of development expertise. The 2018 OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Peer Review of Canada’s development program warned that the churn of pool-managed development staff amid the restructuring of the department “runs the risk of further diluting development expertise and undermining the quality of partnerships with partner governments and implementing partners.”38 It found that the merger had perpetuated the trend – first identified in the 2012 DAC Peer Review – of “a shift towards greater use of generalists and outside advisors by CIDA,” due to “the lack of a management model which uses and values CIDA’s professional and specialist resources effectively”.39 Conversely, some foreign service officers believe that the amalgamation of CIDA has contributed to diminishing career prospects and loss of expertise in the foreign policy stream of the foreign service because promotion into the executive cadre rewards experience in managing people and budgets (which development officers typically have) as opposed to subject-matter expertise.40

Specific human resource practices aside, the most pernicious obstacles to restoring the place of Global Affairs Canada as a centre of policy excellence based on subject-matter expertise relate to corporate culture. Unlike other foreign ministries (most notably the US State Department) that have articulated precepts around talent management, the Canadian foreign service has, instead, developed a tradition of word-of-mouth career guidance which consistently stresses the virtues of a generalist trajectory as the surest way to get ahead – and conversely, the risks associated with being “pigeon-holed” as a specialist. This advice typically goes on to advocate spending the bulk of one’s career at headquarters in Ottawa where promotion is perceived to be easier (“careers are made in Ottawa”, says one former senior ambassador),41 ideally with stints at central agencies, or else posted to major Euro- Atlantic capitals that enjoy high visibility from senior management. Postings to more expeditionary locales that are off the management radar – or, worse, that require time- consuming language training – are not seen as professionally advantageous.

While some are tempted to dismiss such advice as folklore, a senior executive who served in human resources at Foreign Affairs in the mid-2000s reported that he had commissioned a study of ‘urban legends’ surrounding promotion in the department (such as the bias in favour of headquarters-based staff, or those posted to large embassies such as Washington), and was dismayed to find that “it was all true”.42 Former ambassador Abbie Dann, in her testimony to the Senate, pointed to an even more subtle shift, arguing that the government’s Ottawa-centric emphasis on program delivery over the last 15 years had caused Global Affairs to short-change its policy development capacity, including geographic

expertise.43 (This trend has likely been exacerbated by the merger with CIDA, which significantly increased the program responsibilities of Global Affairs.)

These findings are consistent with broader trends in the last few decades in the Canadian Public Service generally, which have elevated the perceived career benefits of a generalist profile at the expense of subject-matter specialization. Public-administration scholar Donald Savoie describes an ethos of careerism elsewhere in the Public Service, where “mid- career officials now see the road to the top is through brief stays in departments, joining a central agency, gaining visibility, and learning to fight or manage political fires rather than staying with one department to gain a deep understanding of its policies and programs to promote systematic change.”44

One key manifestation of this drift toward generalism is the growing permeability of senior executives, such as deputy ministers and assistant deputy ministers. Whereas undersecretaries traditionally were expected to manage departments as both leaders and substantive experts, they now operate in a public-administration culture that seeks ‘diversity of experience’ in senior managers in an “environment where issues are increasingly horizontal”. Consequently, according to Savoie, deputy ministers are now “selected for their knowledge of how the system works rather than for their sectoral expertise or for their knowledge of a department, its policy, and history.”45 This is reflected in the much higher frequency of turnover: while before 1967 the average term of a deputy minister was 12 years, today it is closer to 2-3 years.

This presumption of inter-changeability of deputy ministers has gradually been replicated with assistant deputy ministers as well. One member of that cadre reminisced that “you used to become an ADM because you had policy smarts or you had subject-matter expertise. Management and leadership skills were not sought, were not even asked about. At most there was a presumption that you could manage, at worst a view that it wasn’t important.”46 However in 1998 ADMs were formally moved into a collectively managed pool, which meant that they no longer ‘owned’ a specific position but were considered deployable anywhere in government at that level. According to a landmark 2013 study of ADM talent management, this accelerated the trend toward “ADMs being more generalists, ‘generic’ managers rather than subject-matter experts. Decision-making is being pushed up and centralized, and knowledge pushed down.”47 As with deputy ministers, the authors found that ADMs were subject to increasingly short rotations and that amid this churn they were struggling to master their files. They concluded that the Public Service is “increasingly at risk of creating a generic managerial class, focusing too much or almost exclusively on management skills and competencies, with a view that a manager-is-a- manager-is-a-manager, and under-valuing knowledge and expertise in subject-matter”.48 The study concluded that the Public Service has moved too far in recent years toward ‘generic’ managers and that greater emphasis and value should be placed in the future on ADMs having strong knowledge and expertise in the content of their area of responsibility.49

Global Affairs Canada has not been immune to the broader, government-wide shift toward ‘managerialist’ leadership skills, including the high degree of permeability of senior management positions to non-career diplomats. Since 2003, only one career diplomat – Len Edwards, from 2007 to 2010 – was asked to serve as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; the others serving in this role over the last two decades have been accomplished civil servants but with varying, at times modest, degrees of international experience. Interestingly, in his April 2022 testimony before the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Edwards proposed that one of the full deputies of Global Affairs be given an additional new role as ‘Head of the Foreign Service’ and lead the rebuilding of Canada’s diplomatic service to being one of the best in the world. Acknowledging the recent permeability of the top position, Edwards added: “Ideally, it should be the deputy minister of foreign affairs, but it should always be someone who has been in the foreign service and understands its role and unique characteristics.”50

Michael Small, a career diplomat who occupied the position of ADM for human resources following the 2007 Auditor General’s report, confirmed his view, in testimony before the Senate, that “the department has undervalued diplomatic knowledge and skills in its executives in recent decades in favour of other management competencies”.51 Former NATO ambassador Kerry Buck concurs, stating: “Too many key jobs at Global Affairs are filled with temporary staff, and promotion and retention don’t sufficiently value diplomats’ international knowledge or their international networks.”52

Part of the explanation lies in the consequences that naturally accrue from managing Global Affairs’ talent in the same manner as the rest of the Public Service. In 2005, Key Leadership Competencies were unveiled across the Canadian government and have guided the selection of future leaders at Foreign Affairs ever since. These competencies describe generic managerial behaviours and do not include a knowledge component. It was only in 2017 that the department developed a separate set of International Competencies (including foreign-language proficiency as a core competency), as well as specific Head of Mission competencies. These have been added to the criteria for selection processes among both foreign service officers and executives, but the relative balance between international and managerial competencies in individual promotion processes can only be guessed at. What is clear is that, more fundamentally, diplomatic experience is not even a requirement for advancement at Global Affairs. One ADM involved in a 2016 promotion board for the EX-02 and EX-03 levels recalls insisting on experience at a senior-level post abroad as a basic eligibility criterion, and being overruled on the grounds that it was “unfair to candidates from other departments”.53 In contrast with the UK, which has moved toward applying learning criteria to assignments and promotion, there are no knowledge criteria or professional qualifications for either in the Canadian system.* Finally, the performance of senior managers at Global Affairs is assessed through a Public Service-wide

* While the Canadian Foreign Service Institute offers training on a range of topics and has developed learning roadmaps for most categories of employees, uptake is ad hoc and self-directed, and training must be taken alongside usual duties.

Executive Talent Management System where the vast majority of objectives being evaluated are automatically pre-set corporate or management priorities, with very little space afforded to assess actual foreign policy goals and the diplomatic skills or knowledge needed to achieve them. Collectively, these features of talent management at Global Affairs provide at least a partial answer to Morris Rosenberg’s rhetorical question to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee: “Are we doing enough in our incentive structures to actually reward people that bring deep expertise?”

The Public Service’s use of generic leadership competencies that do not include subject- matter expertise is itself hotly debated. As one assistant deputy minister has stated, “Knowledge competency among senior managers seems to have dropped dramatically. This is wrong. The Public Service should consider itself one of the learned professions, with senior managers bringing deep and strategic thinking leadership capacity to the area they are leading.”54 However, applying such generic competencies to a foreign ministry, with its need to grasp unfamiliar issues in a unique, globally competitive intercultural environment, seems especially short-sighted. As scholars of Canadian public administration have pointed out, the principle that senior civil servants are stronger for having a knowledge base that is ‘broad, not deep’ is also riddled with inconsistent application. For example, most agree that it would be unthinkable for a deputy minister or ADM at the Department of Finance not to have a background in economics. The notion that foreign policy is any less complex or risky, or deserving of a professional approach, seems at odds with the pace of global fragmentation, which the veteran British ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock has suggested is increasing the premium on diplomatic expertise:

The world is becoming more à la carte, complex and ad hoc, and on any issue you could have a different set of partners or opponents from the previous issue you were dealing with. Nowadays you must have an ad hoc response to such issues, which may need a small country here, a region there, or a collection of states across the globe that only your diplomats can bring together for you. That is going to increase, not decrease. We are not globalising in politics and identity, we are polarising. Diplomacy has to interpret that, and the government needs instruments to understand how to get the most out of the next meeting on a given issue from the most important governments at the table, which could be almost anyone.55

In contemplating the merging of the two senior ranks of the French diplomatic service into the general public administration (discussed in a later section), a columnist in Le Figaro recalled Canada’s move toward greater permeability of senior officials and asserted that “countries applying this kind of reform have seen their diplomatic effectiveness deteriorate quickly”.56 While this characterization is debatable if not unfair, it is nonetheless sobering to see Canada cited as a cautionary tale by other countries.

Within the context of Global Affairs, however, it is worth noting that one of the singular successes of Canadian diplomacy in recent decades – the re-negotiation of NAFTA amid growing US protectionism – was accomplished by one of the department’s recognised

‘priesthoods’, its specialist cadre of trade policy and law experts. As one senior official put it, “We didn’t send a team of generalists to negotiate with Bob Lighthizer” [the US Trade Representative].57 This raises a vital question for the organization: Are trade policy and China the only areas important enough to warrant the deployment of expertise? Is the generalist approach good enough, except when it really matters?

The experience of other foreign ministries suggests that it is possible to operate a diplomatic service with a generalist core, while nonetheless incubating cadres of rotational specialists at all levels of seniority across a range of regions and thematic issues. Global Affairs is a complex organization that currently delivers 56 different programs; as Morris Rosenberg told the Senate, “We need people with deep expertise in all areas. […] You need people who understand the whole of government and how to relate to other departments, but you also need people who really understand nuclear disarmament, for example, or how to work in sub-Saharan Africa.”58

But, like other foreign ministries examined in this study, Global Affairs is not the lead agency on a growing array of emerging global issues such as climate change, global public health, migration, or cyber-security. Two thirds of the priorities identified in Minister Joly’s mandate letter require close collaboration with departments outside the Global Affairs portfolio, many of which have built significant international relations divisions with deep expertise on the substance of their issues and robust networks of domestic and foreign contacts. If it is to preserve its credibility ‘downtown’, Global Affairs will be compelled to demonstrate that it has expertise to contribute as well, not just on program delivery or client services delivered through its global platform, but on the high-value mission of foreign policy development.

The next sections of this report review the practices and approaches of other foreign ministries, with a view to identifying best practices and possible models for Canada.

United States

An American Foreign Service officer starts his career with some high school Spanish. The State Department, for whatever reason, decides not to build on that existing foundation. Instead, it teaches him Italian for six months and sends him to the Vatican for two years.

Years later State gives him a year of Hungarian and assigns him to Budapest for three years. He stays an extra year, giving the department an extra 12 months on its language investment. After Budapest, it gives him a year of Russian and assigns him to Moscow for two years. Staying for four, he doubles their investment return.

Now, after six years in English-speaking America, this officer is not conversant in any of the four languages he learned at great expense to taxpayers.

In the recent assignment cycle he bid on an Italian job and a Hungarian job, but received neither. Instead, the State Department assigned him to Shanghai via (you guessed it) one year of Chinese-language training. I am this officer.59

–Phil Skotte, US Foreign Service

America’s diplomatic service is the largest in the world, with nearly 7,950 Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) responsible for staffing 277 diplomatic posts abroad.60 Its scale has allowed it to develop tremendous depth of subject-matter expertise, fulfilling the objective set out in the Foreign Service Act of 1980 which envisioned a Service “characterized by strong policy formulation capabilities, outstanding leadership qualities, and highly developed functional, foreign language, and area expertise”.61 However, other features unique to the US continue to undermine the effectiveness of the Foreign Service, leaving the State Department, in the unsparing words of former Director of Policy Planning Anne-Marie Slaughter, “tackling twenty-first century global problems with a twentieth century diplomatic corps trained for a nineteenth century world”.62 The debate between the merits of a ‘specialist’ vs. ‘generalist’ foreign service is nowhere as vigorous as in the United States, where discussion about the needs and future direction of the State Department has spawned dozens of think-tank reports in the last two decades. But there is broad consensus that subject-matter expertise is central to the value-added of American diplomats, and a reform initiative announced by Secretary Blinken in October 2021 promises further efforts by the State Department to develop deeper specialization in “areas that will be critical to our national security in the years ahead”.63

Although the US Foreign Service Officer selection process is theoretically one of the least exclusive (it does not even require a college degree), its competitiveness – with up to

20,000 Americans taking the Foreign Service Officer Test annually and a pass rate of less than 3 percent – ensures a quality crop of new recruits. Up to three-quarters have postgraduate degrees, many in politics, foreign cultures, languages, and international affairs64 and at least 80 percent of entering officers have spent time working or studying abroad, including in military service or the Peace Corps.65 More than a quarter already speak two or more foreign languages, due in part to the hiring process itself, which offers bonus points for applicants who have passed the Foreign Service Officer exam and demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language, with emphasis on critical languages like Arabic, Mandarin, Farsi, Dari, Pashto and Urdu.66

Unlike other diplomatic services (most notably the French) which seek subject-matter expertise at the hiring stage, the FSO test is largely cognitive, and has been criticized for “not test[ing] for specific knowledge about the history and functions of diplomacy… or an understanding of the requirements, special knowledge and skills needed to perform successfully as an American diplomacy professional”.67 This is reflective of the State Department’s prevailing ethos, which views diplomacy as a craft mastered largely through years of on-the-job learning, as opposed to through education or purposeful professional development: “The service expects its officers to acquire the knowledge they need assignment by assignment, without regard to a larger picture, and to enhance their skills on the job and through haphazard in-service training. Longer-term professional education, such as that provided to our military officer corps, is scarce to nonexistent. ”68 New recruits are typically afforded only a few weeks of orientation training before being assigned to an overseas post or placed into foreign-language training. According to one major report, “American diplomacy functions on a highly amateur basis compared to the entry-level training and professional-level development of the diplomats of every other major power”.69 Another compared the US Foreign Service unfavourably to global peers: “In virtually every service surveyed, aspiring officers are expected to be highly and purposefully educated for diplomatic service before they apply, with fluency in one foreign language (and in some cases two or three) as either a formal or practical requirement. Most services require new officers to pass through substantial initial professional formation and training programs, lasting as long as two or three years, before their first assignment abroad.”70

Multiple studies have recommended a stronger focus on professionalization of US diplomats, for example through an expanded career-long program of professional education that focuses on mastery of substantive foreign policy issues, diplomatic expertise, and leadership.71 Although annually over 100 slots are available at Princeton, the National Defense University, the Army War College, the National Intelligence University, and elsewhere for FSOs to take courses and earn a master’s degree,72 officers complain that the State Department does a poor job of mobilizing the expertise acquired outside the service back into the organization through sensible assignment planning.73 Overall, the academic opportunities for FSOs pale in comparison to other services: the Harvard Kennedy School currently has over 50 military and intelligence officers enrolled and just

two Foreign Service Officers.74 Then-Secretary Colin Powell famously advocated increasing hiring into the State Department above the number of needed positions in order to create a permanent ‘training float’ (as exists in the leadership cadre of the US military), to “deepen officers’ command of the fundamentals of diplomatic tradecraft, including policy development and doctrine, case studies, negotiation, crisis management, program management, and specialized knowledge throughout their career path”.75 Secretary Blinken pledged funding to make the training float a reality at the launch of the latest State Department reform initiative in October 2021.


There are two components to the foundational skills of the Foreign Service — the value added that US diplomatic professionals bring to the policy table. The first is area expertise, i.e., a profound knowledge of the political, economic, and social realities of other countries, societies, and groups. The second is a solid command of foreign languages, a necessary skill if one is to develop true area expertise.76

–American Academy of Diplomacy

The State Department invests heavily in language training, and consequently the US foreign service has long been noted for its excellence in recruiting and developing foreign-language speakers. However, State has often struggled to match its capabilities with needs in the field, which grew exponentially following the large civil-military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 2006 Iraq Study Group report mandated by Congress found that, of the 1,000 officers working at the US embassy in Iraq, only 33 possessed any Arabic skills, of which six could speak it fluently.77 By 2009 this number had scarcely improved, to fewer than 20.78 Although the Foreign Service attracts many foreign-language speakers, they are not always the languages most critically needed: to this day, the State Department still has more Portuguese speakers than Arabic and Chinese combined, and more Albanian speakers than Urdu, Dari, or Farsi. Language-designated positions overseas are 15 percent vacant, and 24 percent of those staffed are filled by officers who do not meet the minimum language requirement.79

Reasons for this mismatch are many. One report noted a “widely held perception among FSOs that State’s promotion system does not consider time spent in language training when evaluating officers for promotion, which may discourage officers from investing the time required to achieve proficiency in certain languages.”80 Performance evaluations are an important factor in promotions in the US Foreign Service, and therefore a gap of up to two years for officers taking full-time difficult language training is widely perceived as a career penalty, in contrast with the “tried-and-true route to professional advancement… through

repeated staff jobs in Washington, handling paper flow and logistics for the Department’s most senior officials who will make sure you will get the next career-advancing assignment”.81 In addition, security policies prevent some heritage speakers from serving in their country of family origin.…82

Undeterred, the State Department has experimented with pilot projects that aim to bring a select cadre of diplomats to a more advanced level of fluency than is typically required, for service in positions overseas that would benefit from a higher level of language competency.83 One example of flexibility not found in most other diplomatic services is that the State Department supports foreign-language training ‘off-cycle’ – meaning not tied to a specific upcoming assignment abroad – in the interest of promoting advanced levels of fluency, especially for Public Diplomacy officers. Another pilot project aims to build a cadre of advanced linguists in Mandarin Chinese specifically, through a managed pattern of assignments. After one year of full-time language training at the Foreign Service Institute, officers are assigned to China, followed by another year of language training in Beijing or Taipei, followed by another assignment to China, for a total of about seven years. According to the then-dean of the FSI language school, this approach represents a change to the traditional Foreign Service career: “In the past, we’d be bouncing around from one part of the world to another. Now we’re looking for much more sustained commitments.”84 The Foreign Service Institute is also currently developing a concept for an intensive, one-year regional studies program overseas that would combine language training and subject- matter scholarship, which would aim to bring graduating diplomats to the level of “a true regional expert” prior to posting. China is the principal focus of this effort, but other priority regions will be included as well.85

Not unlike the Canadian foreign service,* American Foreign Service Officers work in one of five career tracks, or ‘cones’: Consular Affairs, Economic Affairs, Management Affairs, Political Affairs, and Public Diplomacy. Indeed, they are required to select their cone at the moment of applying for the FSO exam, and once hired, movement between streams is rare. A US Institute of Peace report argued that the ‘cones’ were developed “in an era when it was possible to think that politics and economics were separable and that the flow of information fundamental to ‘public diplomacy’ could be managed in such a way that it could not and would not be accessible to people in the United States – that is, before the Internet”.86 According to one Foreign Service Officer critical of this career-track approach, “While some may argue that most Foreign Service Officers are already well-rounded ‘generalists’, the data suggests most diplomats stick narrowly within their specialty, and

… Security vetting policies have been a stubborn impediment to recruiting difficult language speakers who were born or have lived in certain countries. This was especially noted in the post-9/11 surge in need for Arabic speakers. (Dan Ephron, “Smart, Skilled, and Shut Out”, Newsweek, June 26, 2006.)

* The five career tracks of the Canadian foreign service (called ‘streams’) are: Foreign Policy and Diplomacy, Trade, Development, Management and Consular, and Immigration (the only stream outside the remit of Global Affairs Canada).

indeed, are frequently penalized with slower promotions when they stray into adjacent

functions (an economic track officer moving into public diplomacy, for example).”87

Promotion through the ranks of the US diplomatic service into the Senior Foreign Service is predicated on developing exposure to diplomatic practice along with depth in specific areas, culminating in a balance of “broad management and deep specialization”.88 This approach is articulated in the ‘core precepts’, the set of competencies required for promotion which are negotiated jointly every three years by the State Department and the American Foreign Service Association (the union representing FSOs). The 2022-25 precepts require five core competencies for promotion into the Senior Foreign Service including ‘substantive and technical expertise’. A qualified candidate, according to the precepts, “uses sophisticated knowledge of foreign cultures and other US G[overnment] agencies to advance U.S. goals and solve complex problems… Maintains and further develops proficiency in foreign language(s), and uses language skills to promote U.S. interests with a wide range of audiences.”89 Foreign-language proficiency is one tie- breaker in case of candidates for promotion who achieve the same score.

Such sophisticated knowledge of foreign cultures is unlikely to develop without deliberate career focus, and here as well the State Department’s promotion process sets out clear expectations about subject-matter specialization. Since 2005, the Career Development Program (now known as the Professional Development Program) has laid out a ‘major/minor’ career plan as essential to promotion into the Senior Foreign Service. Candidates must have accumulated three tours of duty in one region (the ‘major’) and two tours in a second region or in a thematic bureau (the ‘minor’), ensuring at least some degree of subject-matter specialization.* Officers will not be considered for entry into senior management unless they speak and read two foreign languages (or one very difficult language) at a level of General Professional Proficiency or higher.90 Long-term training at FSI’s overseas facilities for languages like Arabic or Chinese counts as a regional tour.91

One admirable trait of the US Foreign Service, which partially explains its success at developing subject-matter expertise, is that it deliberately seeks to maximize time in the field by diplomats. While most other foreign ministries – including Canada’s – limit consecutive assignments abroad and require periodic assignments to headquarters (ostensibly to reacquaint the officer with headquarters perspectives and cure any incipient ‘localitis’), the State Department requires its FSOs to serve in the United States only “once during each period of 15 years”. By contrast, it enforces rotationality abroad and does not allow its officers to stay in the US for longer than six years, whereas most fellow foreign ministries (including Canada’s) have no such requirement.

* The precepts were amended in 2017 to incentivize service by FSOs in thematic rather than geographic bureaus of the State Department. However, officers who joined the service prior to 2017 have the option of choosing the set of precepts they wish to follow.

The US is virtually alone in delegating some of its most important and sensitive diplomatic posts to those with little or no diplomatic experience.92

–American Academy of Diplomacy

One unique – and notorious – feature of American diplomacy is the high number of senior positions, including ambassadorships, that are entrusted to non-diplomats. According to one study, from 1975 to 2013 the number of career diplomats in senior positions (Assistant Secretary and above) declined from over 60 percent to between 25-30 percent,93 a trend that reached its nadir under the Trump administration when not one of the 23 Assistant Secretary positions at the State Department was filled by a career diplomat.94 By the end of the Trump Administration, the proportion of political appointee ambassadors stood at a modern-day high of 43 percent, relative to the historic average of about 30 percent from the Kennedy through Obama administrations.

In some respects, the permeability of senior positions with academia or the private sector ensures access to a global talent pool and therefore a diversity of views and experiences in the State Department. Non-career ambassadors “can bring fresh ideas, leadership acumen, and political cachet to a bilateral relationship”.95 However, this comes at the cost of a loss of field perspective (the “knowledge essential for melding the desirable with the possible”)96 and while some non-career appointees no doubt bring expertise to the organization, they take it with them when they leave. Political appointees “do not notably contribute to the institution’s longer-term vitality, and their ascension creates a system inherently incapable of providing expert, nonpartisan foreign policy advice”.97

The use of ambassadorship as rewards for top campaign donors – a particularly egregious bipartisan practice in the US – “undercuts U.S. national security as well as career officer advancement and sets the United States apart from most of its allies, China, and Russia.”98 It also would appear to violate section 304 (a) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, which states that “An individual appointed or assigned to be a chief of mission should possess clearly demonstrated competence to perform the duties of a chief of mission, including, to the maximum extent practicable, a useful knowledge of the principal language or dialect of the country in which the individual is to serve, and knowledge and understanding of the history, the culture, the economic and political institutions, and the interests of that country and its people.”99 In April 2022, Senators Tim Kaine and Cory Booker introduced the Ambassador Oversight and Transparency Act, which “would require the President to detail how a nominee’s language skills, foreign policy expertise, and experience have prepared that nominee to effectively lead U.S. diplomatic efforts in the specific country in which they are nominated to serve”.100

Another unique feature of American diplomacy is the extent to which subject-matter expertise is provided not by the rotational corps of Foreign Service Officers but rather by the permanent, headquarters-based personnel of the non-rotational Civil Service.101 These staff, who represent 43 percent of State Department personnel, actually outnumber their Foreign Service colleagues, who represent only one-third of the department.102 While Foreign Service Officers form a majority in the six regional bureaus dealing with specific geographic areas, Civil Service staff provide specific expertise in ten major categories and fill most positions in the State Department’s 25 or so functional bureaus, which deal with thematic issues such as migration, arms control, climate change, and communications policy.103

While all foreign ministries have some strength of permanent headquarters-based staff who can accumulate years of experience on highly technical files, the US State Department is unique in the sheer scale of the expertise it possesses by virtue of its massive, non- rotational Civil Service workforce. One Foreign Service Officer commented “We live and die by Civil Service personnel.”104 Although one report suggested that the Civil Service “encourages narrow, technical expertise and assumes no overseas experience or knowledge, nor does it make it easy to acquire such”,105 a representative of the American Foreign Service Association indicated that the Civil Service provides policy expertise and continuity not found elsewhere, including on esoteric issues such as sanctions, aviation law and telecommunications, through personnel recruited from agencies such as the Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Treasury Department.106 The State Department has made modest attempts at creating opportunities for Civil Service officers to serve abroad but this program remains embryonic.

The State Department has also made use of retired Foreign Service Officers as a reserve pool of expertise (including foreign language abilities) that can be deployed to meet critical staffing needs both in Washington and overseas.107 Known as While Actually Employed (WAE), this particular employment status has filled as many as 700 positions (about 5 percent of the workforce) at the State Department at any given time,108 aiding in the retention of aggregate knowledge and skills. The American Foreign Service Association has recommended formalizing this practice through the creation of a Reserve Corps of qualified retirees with 10 years or more of experience.109

This ability to employ retired diplomats at scale is an important factor in attenuating the loss of subject-matter knowledge resulting from another unique feature of the US Foreign Service: its ‘up or out’ approach to career progression. Modeled on the American military, this principle requires all employees to have successfully reached a certain level of seniority at progressive thresholds of service time, failing which they are dismissed from the corps. While some loss of experience and expertise is inevitable with such an approach, some affected officers are able to convert into positions in the non-rotational Civil Service, keeping their skills within the organization.

Our vision for the Foreign Service is an organization where all its Officers not only have deep expertise in their areas of specialization, including a deep knowledge of culture, religion, and languages. They should also be skilled leaders, thoughtful and persuasive analysts of contemporary foreign policy issues, policy leaders within the

U.S. government, effective advocates for U.S. business, and even if they are not experts, conversant with science and new technologies. They should be able to speak knowledgeably and proudly about their own country’s diplomatic history and argue persuasively for its values. And they should be the finest group of language experts in government.110

–American Diplomacy Project, Harvard Kennedy School

Whether the US foreign service is on track to meet the ambitious vision expressed above is hotly debated. Nearly all observers agree, however, that more subject-matter expertise, rather than less, will be expected from American diplomats if they are to remain effective. According to the US Institute for Peace, “The future calls for multidimensional officers at home and abroad, officers expected to develop and command a mix of substantive knowledge; geographical expertise; interpersonal, functional, and operational skills; and know-how,” as well as “experience in interagency coordination, constructive relations with NGOs, the private sector, and Congress”.111 However, another report, taking note of the growing list of global issues now competing for urgent attention, warned of “a twenty-first- century policy environment that has, in some priority areas, evolved beyond the core competencies of most Foreign and Civil Service officers”.112 In the wake of the COVID pandemic, one report noted that “Most American diplomats do not have the background to judge the scope or significance of transnational challenges emanating from disease vectors, climate change, or new technologies. Nor is our diplomatic establishment structured to evaluate the potential of new scientific discoveries to make the world a safer, healthier, and more peaceful place.”113 It went on to advocate the creation of a new Foreign Service career track for diplomats with substantial prior background in the hard sciences, adding that field diplomacy “must involve expertise in the STEM disciplines meaning the need for career professionals with sufficient scientific background and direct diplomatic authority”.114 Another report expanded on this point, saying that “An aim should be to integrate science and technology into diplomacy, to recruit people with expertise in cyber, artificial intelligence, data analytics, and financial technologies.”115

In October 2021, Secretary Blinken responded to these calls, announcing a reform initiative at the State Department that would aim to “build our capacity and expertise in the areas that will be critical to our national security in the years ahead, particularly climate, global health, cyber security and emerging technologies, economics, and multilateral diplomacy.” Most observers agree, however, that a foreign service with deeper specialization in

traditional skills (such as regional and language expertise) and more cutting-edge fields (such as climate, energy, and public health) will not happen without an overhaul of the State Department’s talent management approach. One American diplomat, Christopher Smith, writing in the journal of the American Foreign Service Association, advocated a greater focus on professional doctrine describing diplomats as experts, rejecting the ‘generalist’ school which prioritizes broad knowledge of multiple countries and themes over the development of true expertise on a particular region or functional issue:

In its generalist approach, the U.S. Foreign Service is an outlier in the world of diplomacy, particularly when compared to our great power competitors. Chinese and Russian diplomats can expect to spend their entire careers working on a single country, or a small group of related countries united by language or shared regional history, with the specific objective of gaining unique knowledge and expertise. […] Without professional, regional and linguistic mastery and a network of long-term foreign contacts, a “generalist” misses out on what should be an FSO’s singular comparative advantage in the policy debate.116

Whether the US actually is, as Smith suggests, an ‘outlier’ is debatable. As noted thus far, the State Department actually leads most other Western foreign ministries in its focus on specialization through the development of foreign-language speakers and through the incentives, created by its promotion system, toward regional expertise. Geographic bureaus at the State Department have strong group identities and traditionally have developed informal mechanisms for keeping people in the same bureau over the course of multiple assignments, contributing further to specialization.117 Nonetheless, one recurring suggestion made by advocates of the specialist school is to replace the current competitive bidding process for assignments with a “more directed, portfolio approach to Foreign Service assignments that builds skills, develops talent and expertise”.118 “Do we see a future world where deep regional expertise will be highly prized? Then we should incentivize long stretches in the field and use the assignments system to encourage the development of language, contextual knowledge, and cultural acumen,” argued one FSO.119 Another, Phil Skotte, wrote: “My modest proposal is to move us around less, and incentivize us or force us to concentrate on fewer areas and languages. Instead of the current helter-skelter approach to assignments, develop a system that truly enables the State Department to bring cultural and linguistic expertise to the table.”120

Two unique features of the US foreign service pose challenges in this regard. First, State Department policies since 2004 have limited individual postings to three years regardless of the hardship level (a much shorter rotation than is found in other foreign ministries around the world, where a typical non-hardship assignment usually lasts 4-5 years).*

* Postings were shortened in the early 2000s in order to create more turnover in low-hardship posts (such as in Europe), given the need to create more plentiful ‘reward’ posting opportunities for the large number of diplomats deployed to unaccompanied posts such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to AFSA, on tour lengths the State Department is an outlier even compared to other US government agencies that are part of the Foreign Service occupational group, such as USAID and the Foreign Commercial Service.121 Reform advocates have called on extending overseas tours of duty to 3-5 years, to “deliver a greater return on investment and anchor greater continuity and expertise on the ground”.122 Second, all US diplomats are required to serve their first posting as consular officers, due to a post-9/11 regulation which mandates that all visa applicants must be interviewed by an American official, and not by local embassy staff as is the case for most other countries.123 (Many FSOs actually serve their first two postings in consular affairs.) This tour of clerical duty arguably denies US diplomats the benefit of several formative years developing subject-matter expertise in their chosen stream. The State Department is currently experimenting with alternate ways to satisfy this vetting requirement.

Another frequent suggestion is to open up the US Foreign Service to mid-level entry – similar to direct commissions in the U.S. military – in order to recruit Americans with critical or unique skills in areas such as technology, science, business, and engineering.124 A related proposal would involve increasing limited noncareer appointments, aimed at “bringing on board top outside practitioners” with specialized expertise for shorter-term public service options.125


America’s diplomatic ability to lead globally is declining. American diplomacy is increasingly politicized, reversing a century-long effort to create a merit-based system of high professionalism. Despite recent improvements, State is neither educating its staff to the professional level of our allies and competitors nor systematically preparing its future “bench” to assume senior roles.126

–American Academy of Diplomacy

Regardless of what steps the State Department takes toward bolstering its expertise and policy capacity, it may face an inexorable decline of influence in Washington as foreign policy is increasingly controlled by the White House and the National Security Council, whose staff comprises many outside experts from academia and think tanks along with officers seconded from the Pentagon and the intelligence community.127 Many agencies of the US government now interact directly with their foreign counterparts, bypassing the State Department.128 According to Robert Hutchings, “The policy role of the diplomat is increasingly constrained by political appointees, outside experts, and the expanding interagency process… The State Department still has a comparative advantage in providing the “inputs” to foreign policy decision making, but its advantage is shrinking.”129 A 2014

report further contrasted the State Department’s “American embassy brand” of operational effectiveness abroad with its “Foggy Bottom brand” of relative ineffectiveness in the Washington interagency process: “Overseas, State often performs above its weight, using its unrivaled presence and skills to help integrate political, military, economic, and cultural affairs into coordinated “whole-of-government” U.S. policies that cut across national and regional borders. In contrast, State is now often perceived as underperforming in Washington,” its effectiveness in the complex interagency process undermined by, among other things, “lack of expertise”.130 One scholar notes that “the Foreign Service has been slow to acquire sufficient specialized skills within the service to compete with other agencies for influence.”131 The fact that political appointees – and not career diplomats – tend to represent the State Department in the interagency policy process may explain this perception.

The US approach to diplomacy is sui generis, its strengths, weaknesses, and sheer scale mostly without parallel. Nonetheless the US Foreign Service, in pursuing greater depth of expertise among its diplomats especially through its laudably transparent Core Precepts, has developed tools and principles that have broad applicability in other foreign ministries, including Canada’s. As the State Department adapts its needs to newly emerging thematic priorities, the American model will be deserving of continued study.

United Kingdom

We need more skilled diplomats on the ground in the places that matter, who are able to get under the skin of those countries, who are immersed in their language, culture, politics and history and who have access to decision-makers and can tap into informal networks of influence.132

–Foreign Secretary William Hague, 2012

One of the most accomplished and respected diplomatic services in the world, the British foreign service has made a clear commitment in recent years toward greater subject- matter specialization. Multiple reform initiatives have emphasized the need to adapt the traditional generalist approach of the British foreign service in order to deepen regional and foreign languages expertise (particularly on China and Russia), trade expertise, and knowledge of Europe post-Brexit. However, the 2020 merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for International Development (DFID) has disrupted many of these efforts as the new foreign ministry (the FCDO) focuses on integrating two departments with distinct organizational cultures and differing approaches to subject-matter expertise.

Prior to the merger, several parliamentary inquiries and internal studies within the then- Foreign and Commonwealth Office over the last decade had found that the quality of British core foreign policy work had declined in recent years, particularly “the FCO’s specialist geographical expertise, including knowledge of foreign languages”.133 In the words of one retired British ambassador, a “startling loss of quality” in the FCO’s work had been “noted by many foreign diplomats”.134 This decline had accompanied a period of budgetary cuts which had seen the number of British diplomats abroad slashed by 30 percent between 2004 and 2010,135 with many of those positions filled by locally-hired staff instead. The reorganization of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office along functional rather than geographic lines during this period was another factor cited as contributing to the decline in the FCO’s regional expertise,136 as was the heightened focus on trade promotion assigned to British embassies at the expense of traditional diplomatic work.

In December 2010, concluding that the FCO had become “devalued and sidelined in British government”,137 the new Conservative government launched the Diplomatic Excellence initiative, a five-year programme of internal reform aimed at ensuring British diplomats had “an unrivalled knowledge among diplomats of the history, culture, geography and politics of the countries they are posted to, and [ability] to speak the local languages”.138 An Expertise Fund was created to deepen thematic and geographical policy expertise across the Foreign Office, such as the establishment of an India cadre enabling diplomats to study Indian culture, politics and history in India prior to posting there.139 In addition, the FCO’s in-house foreign language school was reopened in 2013 after a period of six years

when language training had been outsourced, providing renewed focus and investment in language ability as a core diplomatic skill.

In 2015, the Foreign Office commissioned Tom Fletcher, a former British ambassador to Lebanon, to lead a review of the future needs of British diplomacy. With input from two thirds of FCO staff surveyed, the resulting report, Future FCO, was a cri de coeur for deeper expertise in both policy and professional skills: “We must shift from a culture that prioritises competences, hierarchy and process to one based on skills, networks and real world outcomes… We should place greater value on our experts and put them at the heart of policymaking.”140 Future FCO suggested a need to recalibrate the traditional human resources instincts of the Foreign Office:

We continue to put a premium on the notion of ‘widely deployable’ staff but we crave deeper knowledge of countries, institutions and ideas. In the past, we resolved these tensions by recruiting and developing a mixture of generalists and specialists. We will continue to need both, but the current balance favours the generalist while not sufficiently recognising the advantages that specialisation can bring.141

The report called for a human resources system that incentivises individuals to focus on career strengths: “The FCO has a history of mapping out career paths for UK-based generalists, but has avoided doing so for specialists… the FCO should either offer a better career path for that specialism, increase allowances for specialist expertise, or restructure the way that it uses that specialism.” In addition to arguing that more senior roles should be reserved for specialists including the FCO’s strong bench of research analysts, Future FCO proposed that greater specialization – whether in traditional areas such as geographical and multilateral expertise, foreign languages, and negotiation, or more novel ones such as stabilization, mediation, and digital diplomacy – should be expected from all foreign service members: “Not every diplomat will need to master each of these skills. But all non-specialists should understand the basics and develop expertise in a few.” The report suggested that all diplomats should develop one ‘professional’ and at least one ‘geographic/thematic’ strength over the course of their careers.

In response to the Future FCO report, the Foreign Office in 2016 launched Diplomacy 20:20, a four-year program of organizational reform consisting of three pillars, including an Expertise pillar aimed at restoring the FCO’s knowledge leadership. Along with the development of a Languages Strategy, the centrepiece of Diplomacy 20:20 was the creation of a new Diplomatic Academy with twelve faculties led by subject-matter experts from within the department offering training at Awareness, Foundation, Practitioner, and Expert levels.142 Accompanying this was the 2018 launch of the Priority Skills Statement, which identified regions and themes where the FCO would seek to deepen organizational expertise. Under the rubric ‘Diplomatic Skills and Tradecraft’, the statement identified proficiency in Arabic, French, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish, while under ‘Geographical Knowledge and the International System’, it identified Europe, Russia, the Middle East and North Africa, India, China, Japan, and major multilateral institutions. The Statement was

accompanied by a Skills Framework, which listed the full range of skills the FCO needed at the Foundation, Practitioner and Expert levels. 143

Linking, for the first time, expertise and career development, the FCO thus launched a talent management model known as ‘career anchors’: areas of thematic or regional specialization to which officers and senior diplomats should return multiple times over their careers. By suggesting a more deliberate approach to assignment planning, the FCO was departing from a decades-old ‘laissez-faire’ attitude toward staffing which a previous parliamentary committee had found was “one of the factors behind the department’s loss of geographic knowledge”. Relatedly the FCO also increased tour lengths in some overseas postings in order to “deepen expertise, reduce churn, and deliver better value for money”.144

The concept of career anchors was designed to link advancement to more deliberate career management and to learning, by requiring British diplomats to reach Foundation level in two to four areas throughout their career and to identify career anchors with skills relevant to the FCO.145 Staff moving into the Senior Management Structure were to reach Practitioner level in both Diplomatic Practice and International Policy. Performance evaluation would now measure not only what officers had achieved but include an assessment of how they had “used skills and knowledge to build credibility, influence stakeholders and deliver outcomes”. Commenting in 2018, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee urged the FCO to push its career anchors model to even deeper levels of specialization. It noted that the Foreign Office had yet to define expert-level abilities for the majority of its Priority Skills, and urged the FCO to produce a definition of expert-level attainment in core diplomatic skills and add this to the criteria used by the Senior Appointments Board.146

Ever since 1856, when Lord Clarendon insisted on aspiring diplomats having ‘a high qualifying standard in French’, there has been an unshakeable conviction in the Foreign Office that members of the Diplomatic Service cannot represent their country effectively unless they are good linguists.147

–John Dickie, The New Mandarins

The Foreign Office has always prized the ability of its diplomats to be proficient in the language of the country in which they are serving. Over the course of decades, if not centuries, British diplomats have acquired a reputation for speaking foreign languages with a fluency matched by few competitors, with the possible exception of the Russians and Chinese (on which, more later). An archetype of this tradition would be Paul Bergne, an amateur archaeologist who, over the course of a distinguished career that included serving as ambassador to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, mastered all the Central Asian languages along with Arabic, Farsi, Greek, Russian, and Azeri.  Bergne came out of retirement at Prime

Minister Blair’s request to serve as the UK’s special envoy to Afghanistan in the immediate wake of 9/11, using his Uzbek language skills in particular to recruit the Northern Alliance as partners for the international coalition.148

The Foreign Office is unique among foreign ministries in designating the majority of head of mission positions in the non-English speaking world as requiring foreign-language fluency. Despite the complications that are specific to ambassadorships (which require the approval of the Foreign Secretary, Prime Minister, and Buckingham Palace), the Foreign Office has consistently been able to staff these positions one to two years in advance and assign candidates to language training, resulting in a compliance rate of 74 percent (and trending upward) today.149 An equal number of Britain’s ambassadors – 75 percent – are fluent in three or more languages,150 a testament to the FCO’s commitment to training, given that the FCO does not require foreign-language abilities at the hiring stage.

Historically, the Foreign Office has relied on recruiting highly educated candidates from elite academic institutions rather than diplomatic training in producing skilled diplomats. Entrance testing consists of interviews, exercises, and written tests, with a focus less on subject-matter knowledge than on generic reasoning and problem-solving ability.151 For years, the FCO’s principal training program “has focused on developing strong managerial skillsets in an effort to produce agile policy generalists”.152 The FCDO is a rarity among foreign ministries in requiring neither a second language nor a language aptitude test as part of the recruitment process. In the words of a 2013 report, “The language skills of its intake, by its own admission, are below those of other comparable foreign ministries.”153 In the past, the FCO has debated adding a post-entry language requirement, wherein staff would be expected to reach a level of foreign language proficiency within five years of joining the Foreign Office. This is seen as a reasonable alternative to making language skills a condition of hiring, for fear of “deterring those who have other highly-developed diplomatic skills and would otherwise make excellent diplomats”.154 But the Foreign Office is nonetheless adjusting its recruitment strategy to better target candidates with critical language skills, such as the summer placements it offers in its Future Talent Scheme for a limited number of undergraduates who are studying a difficult language.155

Despite the traditional language proficiency of British ambassadors, the budgetary cutbacks of the last two decades nonetheless resulted, in the words of a 2013 report, in “persistent deficits in foreign language skills that threaten our future capacity for influence”.156 The closing of the FCO Language Centre in 2007 marked the low point of a gradual decline in the language skills of British diplomats. By 2012, only 48 diplomats out of a total number of 1,900 were receiving bonus pay associated with fluency in the language of their host country.* This decline was especially severe for difficult languages

* Like most foreign services (but not Canada’s), the FCO offers financial bonuses for diplomats who maintain a proficiency in a foreign language, ranging from around £200 a year for functional French up to £4,334 a year for mastery of Chinese, Korean or Japanese. Diplomats are tested every four years to confirm they have maintained their skills.  To encourage officers to maintain their language skills, particularly in priority

such as Arabic, Mandarin, and Korean. In 2010, it was reported that of the 161 British diplomats in Afghanistan, only three spoke Dari or Pashto with any degree of fluency. 157 The House of Commons found in a 2012 inquiry that “the impact that FCO staff are having in Afghanistan is severely constrained by a relative lack of language training and skills”.158 Former Minister of State for Africa Mark Malloch Brown suggested that inadequate knowledge of Arabic had led the FCO to fail to anticipate the developments leading to the Arab Spring.159

In 2012 and again in 2018, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee took an interest in these trends. It found that language capabilities were not among the core competencies evaluated by the Foreign Office in assessing personnel for appointment and promotion, a fact it found “somewhat at odds with the tone of speeches by the Foreign Secretary” that spoke of the need to re-prioritize cultural knowledge and language skills.160 In a similar vein, a major 2013 report on the British government’s foreign language assets found that “not only are there insufficient incentives to encourage language learning, but there are also, in some cases, longstanding career disincentives to doing so.”161 The FCO’s ad hoc assignment structures, the report found, meant that those applying for language- designated positions abroad (especially in the more difficult languages) might feel disadvantaged for promotion, due to the singular time commitment required by full-time language training. In addition, “some diplomats expressed concerns about being viewed as too ‘niche’ if they spend long periods in a particular part of the world”. This concern over being ‘pigeonholed’ as a specialist at the expense of one’s promotion prospects affected not just diplomats but the broader public service as well: “The traditional divide between ‘generalists’ and ‘specialists’ within the Civil Service often works to the detriment of specialist roles such as linguists, resulting in restricted opportunities for upward promotion. Those linguists who ‘rebrand’ as generalists in order to move on to managerial levels will often find themselves in positions where their language skills are not utilised.”162

As indicated earlier, the reopening of the FCO Language Centre in 2013, along with the reforms associated with the Diplomacy 20:20 initiative which linked career progression with the development of subject-matter expertise, have shown early success in reversing the slide in Foreign Office’s capabilities. The FCO’s compliance rate in filling language- designated positions now stands at 72 percent, up from 39 percent at the end of 2015, while the priority language of Mandarin has reached a success rate of nearly 70 percent.163 The FCO has now set a more ambitious overall compliance target of 80 percent.164 In October 2018 the Foreign Secretary made a commitment to increase the number of languages taught at the FCO from 50 to 70 in the next five years, and to double the number of language-speakers in the FCO from 500 to 1,000.165 In support of its wider efforts to modernize its diplomatic footprint, the FCO aims to increase the number of language- designated positions in Arabic and Mandarin by 40 percent, and Spanish and Portuguese by 20 percent, from 2010 levels.  The FCO has also implemented longer training times for

languages during their ‘home postings’, language allowances are also paid to officers in the UK who have re- qualified in hard’ languages such as Mandarin, Arabic or Russian. (British Academy, p.25)

those studying hard languages and become stricter in resisting a tendency for training to be curtailed early due to competing operational requirements.166

To address the issue of ad hoc, ‘laissez-faire’ career management, the FCO reasserted corporate imperatives by giving the final word on staffing recommendations made by heads of mission to an appointments board in London. This gives the Foreign Office “the ability to ensure a more strategic allocation of staff with valuable language skills and a stronger ability to plan for future allocation and provision.”167 As well, geographic bureaus covering countries that speak the six core languages of Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, French, German and Spanish encourage staff to join specific ‘cadres’ that promote the use of these languages. These cadres encourage staff to keep their skills up to date and to use them in multiple postings during their career.168 Although membership in cadres does not represent a formal commitment, the FCDO’s intent is to start to build specific career pathways around them.169

The reform efforts of Diplomacy 20:20 have extended beyond critical foreign languages to include fostering deeper subject-matter expertise in key regions identified in the Priority Skills Statement, most notably Russia and China. Spurred by calls by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee to “invest in the analytical capability to understand Russian decision-making, engage with outside sources of expertise, and develop Russian language skills,” the FCO led the creation of ‘EECADRE’, a cross-government network of experts in the region. It extended the duration of Russian-language training for British diplomats from 10 to 14 months, and increased by a third the proportion of staff meeting their designated language level.170 In the case of China, the FCO succeeded in deepening its expertise by placing about 20 officials annually at an LSE summer school on Chinese policy at Peking University, and was considering proposals to create a number of new positions on issues related to China including the Belt and Road initiative.171 Speaking recently about British influence in the Indo-Pacific, Lord Peter Ricketts, former Permanent Secretary of the FCO, stated that “Our expertise is largely in our intelligence relationships and our diplomatic relationships. British ambassadors tend to speak Chinese, Japanese, Korean in a way that most other Western ambassadors don’t. We know these countries, and we can offer the Americans and the wider democratic community genuine expertise and depth.”172

Perhaps an even more urgent need for subject-matter specialization in British diplomacy is rebuilding trade policy expertise to assist post-Brexit trade negotiations after the UK ceased being included in EU trade deals. Acknowledging that “The scale of the UK’s challenge in building trade capability from a very modest base is unparalleled amongst developed economies,” the FCO in 2018 identified a need to train at least 240 staff to Expert level in trade policy and negotiations within a year. More broadly, the House of Commons urged the FCO to create a dedicated cadre of diplomats with a deep understanding of EU institutions and the domestic politics of member states.173 As early as 1999, another large-scale internal FCO review titled Foresight 2010 had advocated “a step change in expertise” in British diplomacy. Alongside greater expertise in difficult languages and broad “EU literacy” across the entire Foreign Office, the study stressed the need for

deeper expertise in technical issues such as climate change, migration, transnational crime, and capital markets.174

Beyond the matter of talent management, a broader cultural point made by both the Future FCO report and parliamentary inquiries in 2012 and 2018 was that geographical expertise and foreign language skills had been de-prioritised within the Foreign Office due to “a reorientation towards managerialism and the development of generic skills” over the last

20 years. Foreign Secretary Hague acknowledged that “Management has been over- emphasised at the FCO at the expense of core diplomatic tasks and capabilities,” while the House of Commons found that “discontent about ‘managerialism’ was one of the strongest themes in our evidence. Specifically, several witnesses said that time and attention was being diverted into managerial activities at the expense of the FCO’s core foreign policy functions and capacities.”175

One of the most notorious critiques of ‘managerialism’ in the FCO was a leaked 2006 cable from the British ambassador to Rome, Sir Ivor Roberts, who wrote that “in wading through the […] excrescences of the management age, we have […] forgotten what diplomacy is all about”.176 Another ambassador, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, charged that the capacity of the Foreign Office to focus on diplomacy had been undermined by central agencies’ insistence that the Foreign Office “conform to objective-setting and explanation of its work against criteria that weren’t fully fitting for diplomacy and overseas work.”177 Former diplomat Rory Stewart, who was later a Member of Parliament and Secretary of State for International Development, argued that incentive structures for promotion in the Foreign Office valued generic managerial skills over subject-matter expertise: “People are rewarded for good corporate approaches. […] They’re not particularly rewarded for getting out of the embassy, spending hours developing contacts with foreign nationals or learning their languages. And that’s been going on now for 30 years.”178

Acknowledging this reality, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee recommended that “the promotion process to the most senior positions in the Foreign Office should reflect the importance of traditional diplomatic skills, including knowledge of foreign languages, and should not over-emphasise the need for purely ‘managerialist’ expertise”.179 In response, the then-Foreign Secretary, William Hague, concurred, stating that he “aimed to accentuate in a diplomat’s career the value of serving in a difficult place, or knowing a region of the world with great intimacy and of the language expertise that comes from that. Those things have to be re-accentuated, so that the people who get to the top of the organisation 20 to 30 years from now have come through that background.”180

However, efforts to impose stricter skills- and knowledge-based requirements on the selection of heads of mission have been resisted by the FCDO Senior Leadership Board, which insists on the flexibility to use the appointments to meet other organizational objectives. While the majority of high-ranking UK diplomats have spent their career working for the foreign service and political appointments of ambassadors are rare,181 in

October 2018, Foreign Secretary Hunt announced that in order to “broaden the pool of talent we tap into for our Ambassadors,” the FCO would open up the process to external candidates, especially those with commercial backgrounds.182 Already, all Senior Foreign Service positions are open to competition across Whitehall, and there is consideration underway to opening them to candidates from outside government.183

Another recurring suggestion in favour of greater permeability of talent in the Foreign Office has been to facilitate greater movement into and out of the organization through secondments and exchanges, as a “vital means of injecting the FCO with new ways of thinking, wider networks and important skills”.184 Asserting that “the FCO is bad at valuing expertise acquired outside the organisation and worse at using it”, Future FCO argued that time spent outside the organization should henceforth be considered an important part of a Foreign Service career path.185 In response, in 2016 the FCO established a Secondments & Interchange Unit, responsible for overseeing 120 FCO staff deployments into other government departments and multilateral organizations and ten new secondments of staff to organizations in the private sector and civil society. However, one FCDO official admitted that staff are reluctant to seek outside placements because of the persistent inability of the department to assess such professional experiences within its own criteria for career advancement.186

Looking ahead, the newly merged Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office faces a number of long-term challenges. In addition to the disruption associated with the integration of two distinct organizational cultures, new fiscal pressures including a hiring freeze beginning in 2023 and a 20 percent reduction of staff by 2025 will likely incapacitate the talent management efforts of the department in the near to medium term. Many of the initiatives associated with the Diplomacy 20:20 reform effort aimed at incentivizing the development of subject-matter specialization have been paused, given the need to accommodate ex-DFID’s own, more technical, definition of expertise.* According to one senior FCDO official:

The debate between ‘specialists’ and ‘generalists’ in the new FCDO ends up leaving both groups feeling diminished. The diplomats think “We are experts,” not on technical issues but on diplomatic practice more broadly. As for ex-DFID, most of whom were hired as technical specialists, they see a new organizational culture where they feel that expertise is being devalued.187

* DFID managed its expert advisory talent through a system of 13 professional cadres on technical issues such as governance, social development, and health. DFID recruits – mainly mid-career professionals with extensive field expertise in the international assistance sector – would be subjected to a strict evaluation process in order to be recognized as ‘qualified’ for membership in a cadre, which would then determine eligibility for specific specialist overseas assignments. Cadre requirements were sufficiently strict that few advisors were qualified in more than one. The future of the cadre system in the merged FCDO is unknown.

In particular, the merger has complicated efforts to move toward stricter skills-based requirements for assignments and for access to the promotion queue using the Diplomatic Academy’s four levels of knowledge proficiency, given the inherent difficulty in measuring and validating such skills. Whereas elsewhere the UK civil service is experimenting with skills-based pay, the FCDO is nowhere near ready to contemplate the recommendation made in the Future FCO report that jobs within a pay band should be rewarded according to expertise level as defined in the Diplomatic Academy categories.188

In addition to sparking a “big exodus of development talent” estimated at 213 ex-DFID staff in just the first year,189 the FCO-DFID merger has further exacerbated what the House of Commons as early as 2011 had described as “a process of change virtually uninterrupted for the last 20 years” in the FCO.190 This constant organizational churn, concluded the Future FCO report, had served as a barrier to the department becoming more expert in its field of responsibilities, and this had diminished FCO’s weight in policy discussions in Whitehall.191 This loss of influence has also accelerated a trend toward centralization of power in the Prime Minister’s office and “presidentialism” in foreign policy making, most notably under Prime Minister Tony Blair in the early 2000s when the FCO “saw its role in foreign policy decision-making severely sidelined.”192 A 2019 report by the think-tank British Foreign Policy Group did not mince words:

The Foreign Office is a pale imitation of its former self. Its monopoly on foreign affairs has been eroded by globalisation, EU integration, and reorganisations that have moved trade and development aid* to separate departments outside of its grasp. A generation ago it would have been unimaginable for a department to even dare to discuss areas of foreign policy without the Foreign Office being present, now it finds itself shut out of the biggest diplomatic crisis and foreign policy issue the UK has arguably faced since Suez: Britain’s exit from the EU.193

Despite the fact that the Foreign Office’s annual budget, in the words of former Foreign Secretary David Miliband, is less that a single day’s spending by the National Health Service,194 the FCDO is facing staff cuts in the coming three years that will test once again the resilience of British diplomatic excellence. Nevertheless, for Canada, the British Foreign Office offers a veritable laboratory of experiments aimed at professionalizing diplomatic skills and expertise, based on a clear commitment to move away from the traditional ‘generalist’ model toward a more specialized approach.

* This report preceded the FCO-DFID merger by 15 months.


France boasts one of the largest and most highly regarded diplomatic services in the world. The Ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires étrangères network of 163 embassies is the third largest in the world after China and the United States. French diplomats form an elite corps with a deep tradition of intellectualism and expertise, with mastery of foreign languages, cultures, and history prized as core values of the profession.

The French foreign service is unique among its peers in seeking expertise at the recruitment stage, through a highly competitive and selective process that attracts some of the best graduates of France’s robust public educational system. Trilingualism (working knowledge of French, English, and a third European language) is an essential requirement, while knowledge of a fourth language is considered an asset for recruitment into the senior cadre. In the French system, “mastery of the culture and history of a foreign language area is also required and considered as important as speaking the language itself.”195

The personnel of the French foreign ministry is divided into three categories or cadres, each of which is selected through separate exam processes. “Catégorie A” is considered the top level, and places employees on tracks to reach the most senior diplomatic positions. “Catégorie B” is made up primarily of consular, management, and administrative officers (including some who may also pass by exam into the A cadre). The final level, “Catégorie C,” consists primarily of support personnel, such as clerks, personal assistants, and security and communications technicians.196

For generations, there have been two main paths of entry into the Catégorie A positions of the French diplomatic service: the so-called grandes écoles – most notably the prestigious École nationale d’administration (ENA) – and the Concours d’Orient, a selection process unique to France and dating back to the Napoleonic era which seeks subject-matter experts in more exotic foreign languages and cultures.

The grandes écoles do not specifically aim to produce future diplomats. Rather, their mission is to incubate a broad class of public-administration generalists who can be deployable across the public service. Upon completion of a two-year degree at either the École Polytechnique or the École nationale d’administration, students are ranked for eligibility to join the French civil service. Those ranked in the top third are eligible for assignment in the foreign ministry at the rank of Foreign Affairs’ General Advisor (conseiller).197 By contrast, the Concours d’Orient is explicitly aimed at recruiting diplomats with existing area specializations and foreign language skills. Most are graduates of Sciences Po or the famed Institut des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO),198 and emerge from their studies with rigorous academic skills and a mastery of at least one difficult language such as Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic, or Farsi.199

While it is tempting to describe the ENA and Concours d’Orient paths as representing

‘generalist’ and ‘specialist’ streams operating in parallel, the reality is more nuanced.

Concours d’Orient recruits do indeed tend to fill most geographic jobs in the ministry requiring regional knowledge and expertise. They are typically more mobile and spend more of their career posted overseas than their colleagues graduating from the ENA. “Their mobility can be explained by the fact that serving abroad is a vocation for the Orient Advisors.”200 Only 20 per cent of them focus on multilateral affairs within the foreign ministry or work in the French permanent representations to the major international organizations.201

ENA graduates are no less inclined to the development of subject-matter specialization, however they typically achieve this in thematic areas such as global issues or multilateral affairs. Within the multilateral path, diplomats recruited from the ENA tend to develop their career around a specific area of expertise, such as EU affairs or disarmament. The complexity of technical and legal issues involved in EU work has resulted in a specialized stream of ENA graduates who alternate between Brussels, Paris, and EU capitals.202 They frequently become appointed as ambassadors in large bilateral and multilateral posts (for example, all French ambassadors to the Permanent Representation to the European Union since 1977 have been graduates of the ENA).203

For decades, the French foreign ministry laboured under an organizational culture that was inclined to view the Concours d’Orient hiring track as less prestigious than the ENA pipeline, long described as “the Royal Way” into French diplomacy.204 The careers of Orient advisors start at a slightly inferior rank compared to their ENA colleagues. They are first appointed abroad as third or second secretaries, contrary to ENA recruits who are usually posted as first secretaries, because the two years spent at ENA are counted toward their seniority. For decades the Concours d’Orient path led to hiring only at the lower grade of Officer (secrétaire), until 1999 when a new Foreign Affairs’ Orient Advisor Examination was created, which like the ENA track created opportunities for hiring at the more senior Advisor (conseiller) level. This very selective examination — with only eight people accepted out of hundreds of applicants every year — features both an external examination for young university graduates, and an internal examination to which current employees of the foreign ministry can apply. In addition to perfect command of English and of one difficult language, the test includes a general knowledge examination, a law or economics assessment, and questions on international and European issues.205

One study of career progression between 1970 and 2010 concluded that ENA entrants had a slightly better rate of advancement than those recruited through the Concours d’Orient. ENA graduates are quicker to reach the rank of Minister Plenipotentiary, which is the most important step toward the position of ambassador.206 They are also more likely to be chosen for coveted positions as political advisors to the Minister of Foreign Affairs or diplomatic advisors to the President of the Republic or to the Prime Minister.207 Since the early 2000s, however, the collective influence of ENA recruits has begun to dwindle as hiring trends started to favour Concours d’Orient recruits. In 2008 the number of positions in the ministry available to ENA graduates was reduced (ostensibly to alleviate overcrowding in the leadership ranks, which had resulted in slow career progression) and

by 2011 their share among Foreign Affairs Advisors had diminished to 20 percent.208 In 2020, the ENA track produced only five new hires while the Concours d’Orient produced 25, including seven at the more senior Advisor (conseiller) level.209

Although the French diplomatic system (unlike the American and Canadian) does not work according to functional ‘streams’ or ‘cones’, officers of Catégorie A self-select into various areas of specialization such as “representation,” “negotiation,” “protection of French interests,” “promotion of bilateral relations,” and “communication on the ground.” According to Robert Hutchings, “They are encouraged to focus their roles in these specific areas and apply to positions that promote the streams.”210 This self-sorting toward functional specialization happens despite the historical weakness of human resources planning within the ministry, which only began to develop individual career management practices in the late 1990s.211

By tradition, career progression in the French service has been largely self-managed, and guided by unwritten (but widely understood) sets of expectations about the seniority levels that a successful officer is expected to reach by different periods of service – for example, “By ENA+ 15 [years], you need to have gotten this far.”212 Aspiring ambassadors are expected to have served as advisors in a ministerial office, and to have accumulated at least two areas of deep but complementary specialization, “such as Europe and culture”, or both a bilateral and a multilateral set of experiences.213

Because of its decades-long record of success in recruiting an elite cadre of diplomats, the French foreign ministry has not tended to prioritize the need for ongoing training. France only belatedly in 2010 established a diplomatic training school, the Institut diplomatique et consulaire, following a critical 1999 report by a national commission of inquiry into the French diplomatic service (the Heisbourg Report) and a White Paper published in 2007.214 The institute is meant to address long-standing complaints about insufficient training for first-posting diplomats.215 Upon admission, all senior (Catégorie A) diplomats are now required to complete a six month curriculum of instruction offered by an internal education institute, the École Diplomatique, which is staffed by retired diplomats, practitioners, journalists, and academics.216 In 2011, the French foreign ministry also introduced formal mid-career training, at the 15 years of service mark, which aims to “strengthen the managerial skills and leadership capacities of diplomats who will exercise upper management roles within the Ministry, as well as to deepen their knowledge in priority areas of international action (including economic diplomacy, soft power, security and defence, European affairs, and climate change).”217

The French diplomatic service enjoys a strong group identity and healthy self-regard, fuelled in part by decades of deference over its prerogatives to lead on matters of foreign

policy. The Secretary-General of the ministry* has, almost without exception, been a career diplomat, as have all of the diplomatic advisors to the Prime Minister and President of the Republic. (Uniquely in the French system, chiefs of staff to the Foreign Minister also have tended to be career diplomats as opposed to political staffers.) Between 1981 and 2016, no fewer than three of 13 foreign ministers were themselves former diplomats.218 They were joined in June 2022 by the latest foreign minister, Catherine Colonna, another career diplomat. According to Christian Lequesne, author of a pioneering ethnographical study of the French foreign ministry, French diplomats expect their ministers to rise to the same level of technical mastery of files as they themselves demonstrate: “Diplomats, who are the experts, have a high regard for this.”219

However, this elite group identity, further fuelled by the French tradition of corporatism and union solidarity, has also contributed to perceptions of a guild mentality within the service that has rankled France’s political leaders. Until 2019, union representatives enjoyed a right of consultation on lists for upward promotion.220 Whether recruited through the ENA stream or the Concours d’Orient, French diplomats have fought to keep outsiders away from the upper echelons of their ministry. They opposed a 1984 decree allowing the appointment of a limited number of senior public servants from other ministries to the rank of Minister Plenipotentiary, the traditional step before an ambassadorship.221 In 2012, a powerful union representing many French diplomats took administrative legal action – ultimately successfully – to block President Sarkozy’s appointment of two ambassadors from elsewhere in the French public service,222 and in 2018 did the same to thwart President Macron’s nomination of a prominent writer as Consul General in Los Angeles.

Not surprisingly, the French diplomatic service has been characterized by limited lateral movement into and out of the organization. Following the foreign ministry’s acquisition of the mandate for trade promotion, from the Ministry of Economy, in 2012, and the resulting new focus on economic diplomacy, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius directed the creation of an alternative path of entry for individuals with five to ten years of experience in the private sector, such as former company managers and experts, in hopes that they would bring private-sector contacts and institutional knowledge of non-governmental entities to the table.223 The experiment was largely unsuccessful. A 2016 internal review of France’s diplomatic future called for the promotion of greater mobility outside the diplomatic service by encouraging all staff to take posts outside the foreign ministry, including in civil society, the private sector, and international organizations. It called for a specific career management strategy for staff specializing in European issues, enabling them to acquire and diversify their experience in this field and form a talent pool for positions in the European External Action Service. The review also called for compulsory mobility for staff aspiring to senior management roles; this goal, too, remains unmet.224 As of 2021, only 180 diplomats out of a total of 1,600 were serving outside the foreign ministry, most in other

* The senior bureaucrat in charge of the ministry; in Canadian parlance the Undersecretary or Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

parts of the public service and only 25 in the private sector, far below the aspirations of the leadership.225 One notable change, however, has been the ministry’s increasing reliance on contract employees to fill skills gap. It now recruits approximately 100 temporary staff per year, most on contracts of 5 years or less, to address staffing shortfalls in areas such as international development and cultural promotion. But the practice increasingly includes more senior-level experts in the directorate-general for global affairs and the policy- planning staff, including in management positions. As a result, some 10 percent of senior managers in the ministry are no longer career diplomats.

In 2019, in reaction to the populist gilets jaunes protests of the previous year, the French parliament passed a major reform of the public service, ostensibly to break down its elitist modes of recruitment and make it more representative and diverse. Anticipating the effect of these reforms on the diplomatic service, in the fall of 2020 Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian commissioned an internal review of the ministry’s human capital by senior diplomat Jérôme Bonnafont. In his report, Bonnafont urged the foreign ministry to quickly adopt a new approach to talent management including mandatory assignments outside the ministry in order to “permeate the state and society with high-level practitioners of international relations,” while equally “receiving and training civil servants from other parts of the state to sensitize them to European and international affairs”. He called for expanding the hiring of contracted staff, including as a means to quickly improve the ministry’s gender balance. However, Bonnafont also stressed the importance of a career diplomatic service and urged further emphasis on professionalization through a more deliberate model of career management. Diplomats, he wrote, should develop 2-3 areas of career specialization and follow a more rigorous pattern of assignment progression, including a mandatory first assignment in one’s region of foreign language proficiency. He also called for a more predictable schedule for head of mission nominations so that ambassadors could be given weeks or months of language training prior to assignment.226

Perhaps seeking more radical change than proposed in the Bonnafont report, President Macron in 2021 announced a major overhaul of the French diplomatic service, essentially disbanding the senior ranks of the Foreign Affairs Advisor (conseiller) and Minister Plenipotentiary cadres and merging them into the senior administrative service of the French government. The move followed Macron’s earlier decision to dissolve the ENA and other grandes écoles into a new National Institute of Public Service, whose graduates will form a new, generic class of ‘state administrators’ who will no longer be attached to a specific department; instead, state administrators will be expected to rotate regularly between ministries throughout their careers.

The stated goal of these reforms is to ensure greater diversity in hiring, increase mobility and adaptability of senior bureaucrats, and break down the traditional, elitist group identity of the different grandes écoles. For the foreign ministry specifically, the elimination of the two most senior grades is aimed at achieving greater permeability of personnel, by opening up diplomatic service overseas to staff from domestic agencies, while “providing diplomats with greater flexibility to take positions in other ministries”.227  Although it

appears the famed Concours d’Orient will be preserved as a means of recruiting subject- matter experts on foreign cultures and languages, those recruits now face uncertain prospects of career progression toward senior positions abroad, including ambassadorships.

The Macron reforms met with vociferous protests by French diplomats and even strike action in June 2022 (for only the second time in the history of the foreign ministry). A group of 500 employees wrote an open letter, published in Le Monde, arguing that the diplomatic profession risked simply disappearing into a larger pool of generic managers trained mainly for domestic departments: “This decision will permit nominations motivated by indulging people rather than favoring competence and will lead to the destruction of careers, a loss of expertise and a vocational crisis.”228 Another diplomat wrote:

Diplomacy involves specific skills — on a country, a region, a language, even dialects

— which require long and difficult studies. Is there not a risk of losing credibility and influence, at the very moment when the balance of power is being replayed on the international scene, if France now finds itself without career diplomacy? How will prefectural officials or people specializing in agricultural issues deal with these issues during their mobility at post?229

Feeding this outrage was suspicion at Macron’s motives. “It is common knowledge that President Macron does not like the diplomatic corps,” wrote one commentator, recalling accusations leveled by Macron against his country’s diplomats in 2019 that they were working to undermine his efforts at rapprochement with Russian president Putin.230 Animated by visions of a “deep state” thwarting his bold initiatives, Macron, say his critics, appears to be marshalling his talent for creative disruption to settle scores and gain tighter political control over foreign policy. Fuelled by Macron’s own top-down and highly personal style of governing, these reforms are likely to accelerate the trend toward ‘presidentialization’ of foreign policy – and further marginalization of the foreign ministry – begun under President Sarkozy, including, it is feared, by expanding the president’s prerogative to appoint ambassadors at his discretion.

These reforms are seen as exacerbating a number of other structural challenges, most critically the budget cuts of 20 percent between 1990 and 2010 that have seen reductions of 53 percent of diplomatic staff in the last three decades, at a time when more is expected from the French foreign ministry in the wake of its amalgamation with the international development ministry in 1998 and its absorption of responsibilities for trade, from the Ministry of Economy, in 2012.231 These budget cuts also prompted a much-decried rise of managerialism in the work of the French foreign ministry: “As in most administrations, staff are devoting more and more time to managing bureaucratic tasks to the detriment of the core business.” 232 The Bonnafont report of 2021 warned that some of France’s traditional areas of diplomatic excellence and expertise, in particular European affairs, Africa, and development cooperation, were witnessing symptoms of decline.

The French model of diplomatic talent management is unparalleled given the country’s unique colonial, revolutionary, and corporatist traditions. In the words of former diplomat Michel Duclos, the recognized effectiveness of the French diplomatic service “comes from the amalgamation of polyglot adventurers and senior technocrats, cemented by a common vocation and a shared passion, which creates an esprit de corps”.233 Its roots in elite recruitment are at odds, however, with the pressing need for greater diversity and equity of opportunity, and the place of expertise in that winning formula may yet be transformed by reforms still to come.


Among the case studies examined in this report, Australia is unique in terms of the challenges posed by geography. Excepting New Zealand, it inhabits a region populated mostly by developing countries with entirely different cultures, languages, and social systems. In the words of one senior Australian diplomat, “While Western countries may not need a deep understanding of these societies, Australia needs to be able to analyze in depth their processes of cultural and social change and of nation building,” particularly given Australia’s growing economic interdependence with this region.234 This would appear to suggest a compelling interest in creating a diplomatic service strongly specialized in the Asia-Pacific region. Yet decades of budget constraints and understaffing have impeded the efforts of the foreign ministry to incubate specialist knowledge, leading it to be overshadowed in foreign policy making by Australia’s better funded defence and security establishments. Since 2019, however, the foreign ministry has chosen to make a renewed effort to break with the traditional generalist model and move more deliberately toward greater specialization.

When established in 1935, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs was “perceived as a small elitist institution, primarily focusing on overseas representation and negotiation, and reflecting British norms and styles of diplomatic practice.”235 In its early years, the department recruited for the diplomatic stream at university graduate level while the rest of the public service recruited from high school graduates, contributing to this elite identity. From the mid-1950s until the 1970s, however, the department lost some of its standing and “was not highly ranked in the informal Canberra public service pecking order”, as the Department of Trade rose in importance amid the complex shift in emphasis in trading relationships over those decades, from Britain to Japan and the USA, and then more widely across Asia.236

In 1987 the Department of Trade was merged with Foreign Affairs, rescuing the latter from “becoming increasingly marginalized in the management of Australia’s international affairs”. According to the then-secretary of the new Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Stuart Harris, “As a result of the amalgamation, DFAT became an important department of state. It lost much of its exclusivity, and its own sense of being an elite department derived from its mission as a diplomatic service and the way it recruited its diplomatic staff. It has become like other departments within the public service. It has gained in professional credibility among other departments, however, and improved its effectiveness in interdepartmental discussions and negotiations.”237

DFAT’s core talent-management model has traditionally been that of “an organisation of generalists reinforced by specialists”, balancing a core of “flexible generalists who give the department agility and responsiveness” with other colleagues with deeper specialization

and expertise.238 A 2013 capacity review of DFAT likened the approach to “a series of guilds, with staff focusing on certain areas of specialisation such as trade negotiations or China in the policy areas and ICT and security in corporate areas”.239 Australia is unique among the countries examined in this study, in the extent to which its diplomatic service has relied on mid-career lateral recruitment from elsewhere in the Australian Public Service as a complement to career-long service. Begun in the early 1980s and expanded in the last two decades, lateral entry has become a key tool for addressing specific skills shortages. A 2013 report found that fewer than 50 percent of DFAT’s Senior Executive Services (SES) had started in the department’s entry-level program, while half of the department’s SES Band 3 staff (the most senior grade) had joined the department as lateral recruits.240 A 2009 blue-ribbon panel nonetheless urged DFAT to promote even greater mobility, by providing incentives for managers to undertake secondments to other agencies.241 The department has resisted, however, the recommendations made in a 2019 review of the Australian Public Service which advocated opening up overseas diplomatic assignments to “high-performing and high-potential staff from across the [public] service, regardless of agency”.242

For decades, commentators have warned that Australia’s diplomatic service is “overstretched and increasingly ill-equipped to deal with the foreign policy agenda of Australia as an active middle power”.243 Australia has one of the smallest diplomatic networks of all developed nations, ranked 25th out of 34 nations in the OECD and smaller than those of Chile, Portugal, Hungary and Greece.244 Australia’s diplomatic presence abroad dwindled from 862 diplomats in 1989 to a low of 494 in 2005, a contraction of nearly 43 percent.245 Modest growth in the 17 years since has still left Australia with roughly as many diplomats posted overseas today as it had in 1989, a period in which the country’s GDP quadrupled.246 Parliament’s joint foreign affairs committee concluded in 2012 that DFAT had suffered from chronic underfunding for the previous three decades at the hands of successive governments, leaving it with a ‘seriously deficient’ diplomatic network, concluding: “Australia clearly is punching below its weight.”247 The underfunding of DFAT is even more striking when compared with the boom years experienced by Australia’s defence and intelligence establishments. Between 2000 and 2010, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, the Office of National Assessments and the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation experienced budget growth of 437 per cent, 471 per cent and 562 per cent respectively, while DFAT’s resourcing stagnated.248 In 2020, expenditure on defence was projected to cross the threshold of 2 percent of GDP while funding for diplomacy, having fallen to just 0.63 percent of GDP by 2013, was expected to decrease to as little as 0.08 percent of GDP by 2024.249

DFAT’s budget woes have resulted in low levels of recruitment, and therefore actual workforce numbers “considerably less than the level of approved Full Time Equivalent staff”.250 According to one scholar, “Australia has not kept up its human skills or capacity to handle economic, social, environmental, security, and development issues sufficiently. With flat-lining staffing levels and chronic underfunding, it is no wonder there is little

capacity for DFAT staff to specialise.”251 Only 23 percent of DFAT staff are based overseas, forcing deployed officers to spread themselves too thin and diluting any expertise they may be inclined to build. The department has also had to lean heavily on the hiring of contractors to provide specialized knowledge, because of the Public Service-wide staffing cap known as the Average Staffing Level.

Despite this dire financial and human resource situation, the mandate of DFAT was expanded suddenly in 2013, with the snap announcement that it would be merged with Australia’s development agency, AusAID. Characterised by some as a raid to fund DFAT on the back of AusAID using the A$397 million saved,252 the merger prompted a reassessment of development priorities that led to an immediate loss of subject-matter expertise, as Head of Aid positions at embassies abroad were abolished, locally-engaged development staff were cut, and specialist development positions at headquarters became fewer.253 The former head of AusAID’s human resources estimated that almost 1,000 years of expertise were lost in the merger, and another 1,000 years since,254 in what one analyst described as a “deliberate reduction of expertise arising from lack of experience of what is needed to plan, design, implement and manage successful development cooperation”.255 One former senior government official stated that the merger was “predicated on the idea that ‘anyone can do anything’, and that public servants are interchangeable”.256 In his detailed audit of the impact of the merger, Richard Moore wrote of the new foreign and development ministry:

DFAT runs on smart generalists – people who can get across the fundamentals of issues quickly and communicate them succinctly. That is a very valuable skillset many development people might usefully acquire, but its not enough to shape and manage complex programs. It can also be an impediment to assembling and effectively managing the depth of specialist expertise needed to deliver the cutting edge assistance critical to accelerating development and forging deep relationships. Having this expertise is also essential to develop the profile, credibility and authority needed for policy influencing.257

The erosion of DFAT’s skills and knowledge in development came at a significant cost to Australia’s reputation. According to Moore, in Asia and the Pacific, reports abounded of first and second secretaries being sent to conduct complex policy dialogue with ministers and directors general. “Increasingly, doors that had been open are reported to be closing. A senior former minister of a major Asian country recently reflected on reduced policy engagement, asking one interlocutor, “What happened to Australia?” Others have asked similar questions.”258 The UK downgraded Australia to third tier status for knowledge- based staff exchanges in the wake of the merger, wrote Moore, and “a major regional partner wrote to Australia recently saying it had gone from being its top partner of choice to one that is difficult to work with. Another told us that we are not currently bringing enough ideas to the table.”259

Even prior to the merger, one recurring criticism of the Australian diplomatic service has been its lack of diversity and “stubbornly anglophone character”. A blue-ribbon panel in 2009 found “indications that language skills of DFAT staff have been in decline over the last two decades”, with only about 26 percent of Australian diplomats being proficient in a language besides English.260 Despite the significant role Asian and Pacific languages play in Australia’s international policy objectives, the panel found that only 227 diplomats in the Australian service possessed working proficiency in any Asian language, as compared with 107 fluent in French. Numbers for other languages such as Arabic and Hindi/Urdu were worse. The panel found that the DFAT budget for language training in 2006 (A$2.19 million) was virtually unchanged from 1996 (A$2.16 million), representing a significant cut due to inflation. It recommended a major reinvestment in language skills (particularly East Asian and Pacific languages, Arabic and Hindi/Urdu) and expansion in the number of language-designated positions and funding for other specialist skills. The panel noted that the need for language and other specialist training extends beyond DFAT, however, to the many other agencies with staff overseas performing diplomatic functions: “A more strategic approach is required across the Australian international policy community, not only to language training, but also other specialised skills that will be essential to rebuilding Australia’s diplomatic muscle.”261

Following a burst of new funding for language training, by 2011 the number of diplomats with a working-level proficiency in an Asian language increased from 227 to 266, a number still corresponding with only around 10 percent of DFAT’s staff.262 DFAT explained to a Parliamentary committee in 2012 that its difficulties in filling foreign-language designated positions were due in part to attrition: “Firstly, you lose some because they do not want to continue on with the speciality in that country. Secondly, you lose some because the private sector grab them. They have been well trained up and the private sector pay them more. We regularly lose people from that. Thirdly, you lose people sometimes because, while they have the language skills, they do not have the judgement you want with a policy job.”263 A former secretary of DFAT, Stuart Harris, suggested that a corporate culture that valued “managerialism, rather than area or subject specialization, has also been a factor”.264

However fledgling DFAT’s overall performance on foreign language proficiency, one area of relative success has been at the ambassador level. One former senior official credited Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010 and himself a Mandarin-speaking former diplomat, with having insisted that Australia’s ambassadors in key posts such as Beijing, Tokyo, Jakarta and Seoul speak the local language.265 Recent examples of fluent ambassadors include Graham Fletcher in Beijing, James Choi in Seoul, Penny Williams in Jakarta, Bruce Miller in Tokyo, and Glenn Miles in Cairo.*  In 2015, DFAT updated its

* Fletcher, Australia’s ambassador in Beijing since 2019, is on his fourth posting to China and has accumulated 12 years of experience there in addition to six years as head of the North Asia division at DFAT. Prior to being named ambassador in Cairo (his second posting to Egypt), Miles also served in Lebanon, Kuwait, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan, and Iraq. Miller, a fluent Japanese speaker since university, served a total of 14 years in Japan on three separate postings including as ambassador from 2011 to 2017.

Language Proficiency Allowance scheme, with fluent speakers of Arabic, Cantonese, Korean, Japanese or Mandarin now eligible to receive an additional A$13,000 per year.266 The allowance is paid even when the employee is based at headquarters, subject to maintaining a level of General Professional Proficiency that is re-tested every three years. By 2018, the compliance rate for language-designated positions reportedly crossed the 60 percent mark.267 The allowance scheme has existed for decades and was promoted, most notably, by Ashton Calvert, Secretary of DFAT from 1998 to 2005 and a fluent Japanese speaker following four separate postings to Tokyo including as ambassador.268

One impediment to maximising DFAT’s return on language training is the ministry’s practice of discouraging back-to-back postings abroad. A major trade association, the Australian Industry Group, raised its concerns to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Australian Parliament in 2012 about this practice, “which meant returning diplomats had to wait before another posting, probably to a different country ‘to broaden you out’. This differed from the British diplomatic service which had back-to-back postings and “seemed to keep its people [in a given region] longer””.269 While DFAT responded that there was “an equity issue” given the number of headquarters staff eager for posting opportunities, that “it is important for policy officers in Canberra to actually have experience of the countries they are working on”, and that cross-posted officers “can sometimes forget the country they come from”, the Committee bluntly replied that it “does not accept DFAT’s arguments concerning the back-to-back posting of staff. In certain circumstances there are clear advantages for a longer posting in a particular country, such as developing a greater depth of understanding of the country and developing broader networks. The Committee rejects the notion that diplomats on longer postings can “forget the country they come from”.”270

Australia’s understandable focus on the Indo-Pacific region has resulted in a relative dearth of expertise in other regions of the world, such as Africa and Latin America. A 2011 inquiry by the parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs faulted DFAT for its reduced coverage of embassies in Africa over the prior two decades – from 12 posts to 8 – and its lack of presence in Francophone Africa, where most Australian mining interests were concentrated.271 The committee urged the foreign ministry to “take deliberate steps to expand its expertise and capacity to engage” by working with Australian universities to establish a centre specialising in African studies.272 The deficit in subject-matter expertise persisted, however; one former senior Canadian official recalls that Australia approached Canada for help in seconding an Africa specialist to provide policy support during Australia’s term on the UN Security Council in 2013-14.273 Another area where DFAT’s thin bench was noted was peacebuilding, where the department had managed to bring in peace and conflict specialists as consultants only to lose them due to budget constraints.274 As well, a 2009 blue-ribbon panel urged DFAT to invest more in specialist skills such as international finance and economics, public diplomacy, and new media.275

In the last several years, DFAT has begun to respond to these challenges and to take tentative steps toward becoming a more specialist organization. Interviewees credit this change to the appointment of Frances Adamson as Secretary of DFAT in 2016. An accomplished diplomat and Mandarin-speaker with postings as Ambassador to China and previously in Hong Kong and Taipei, Adamson recognized a deficit within the diplomatic service in terms of geographic and economic expertise. Under her leadership, and at the urging of then-minister Julie Bishop, “who underlined the importance of subject-matter expertise” upon Adamson’s appointment,276 DFAT began to act on recommendations made in a 2013 capability review of the department conducted by the Australian Public Service Commission, which had advocated “language and processes that more explicitly manage the accumulation of expertise during the course of a generalist career, for example through the idea of ‘career anchors’ – areas of expertise to which they will return several times in the course of a broader career”.277 The career anchors approach was also aimed at reassuring ex-AusAID employees that they could maintain a professional focus on development and still enjoy healthy career progression.

A DFAT human resources review completed in March 2020 concluded that the department needed to “move away from the generalist model” and adopt a more rigorous approach to defining the skills and knowledge needed in the organization, including by favouring more targeted hiring of required skills instead of bulk recruitment processes.278 A three-year implementation plan is currently underway. The turn toward greater professionalization is supported by a new diplomatic academy, which delivers training in diplomatic tradecraft in areas such as advocacy, negotiation, forecasting and strategic planning, with a particular focus on the Indo–Pacific.279

As with other foreign ministries examined in this study, DFAT faces an increasingly competitive environment around the cabinet table. With 18 of 19 government departments now boasting international divisions, DFAT’s primacy in foreign-policy expertise and influence is under pressure, especially now that coordination of international relations has progressively been concentrated within the Prime Minister’s Office and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, including with the creation of the office of National Security Advisor in 2008.280 The 2012 capability review of DFAT by the Australian Public Service Commission further found that the excellence of the foreign ministry’s overseas network was undermined by “difficulties… in operating as effectively in Canberra”. Noting the “more frequent than usual churn in Canberra-based positions”, the review found that DFAT was struggling to “quickly master new areas of work” and to adequately “disseminat[e] the knowledge drawn from its overseas network throughout the APS [Australian Public Service]”.281 More recently, the COVID crisis and the 2019-20 bushfires emergency saw DFAT’s engagement and communications efforts praised. The 2022 election of a new Labour government that has a strong view of DFAT’s central role, and the appointment of an influential foreign minister in Penny Wong, may offer a window for DFAT to move along its reform agenda toward greater specialization and equip itself with the resources necessary to compete for influence across the Indo-Pacific region.


China’s global network of an estimated 4,500 diplomats posted abroad is the second- largest after the United States. It is known mainly for the exceptional discipline of Chinese diplomats as well as for their commitment to linguistic and regional expertise. Especially impressive is the speed with which the Chinese diplomatic service has professionalized, since its establishment in 1949 following the Communist revolution which left it “no prior structure to inherit, nor archives to guide the new diplomats”.282 The post-revolution service was staffed mainly with members of the People’s Liberation Army and its early ethos was as “the PLA in civilian clothes”. The first 17 ambassadors appointed after the revolution were drawn from the ranks of the PLA. However, the decade beginning in 1954 saw the emergence of a civilian diplomatic cadre and by 1966, ambassador appointees from the PLA were in the minority.283

According to Robert Hutchings, China’s focus on language ability and regional expertise reflects a diplomatic culture that predates the revolution, with Chinese diplomats trained to report on foreign countries and represent the official position as dictated from Beijing.284 Whether for that reason, or because it self-consciously modeled itself on the Russian diplomatic service, the Chinese foreign ministry chose to elevate mastery of foreign languages to a signature strength. By 1957 the ministry had 600 qualified interpreters specialized in 27 languages.285 Uniquely among foreign ministries, and at the personal initiative of Premier Zhou Enlai, China required its diplomats to study the languages even of small states, eventually bringing the foreign ministry’s interpreter-level expertise to over 40 languages, including all the languages spoken in China’s neighbourhood. This was buttressed by a system of directed assignments wherein diplomats were rotated exclusively between the headquarters and their region – or country – of specialization. (It is only in the 1990s that cross-regional movement at middle and senior ranks was introduced, now extended to the junior levels.)286

The death of Mao Zedong in 1976 and China’s opening to the outside world beginning in the 1980s ushered in a process of professionalization for the Chinese diplomatic service. This period marked the first ambassador appointments for the post-1949 cohort of career diplomats, a process assisted by a new mandatory retirement law in 1983 which accelerated the replacement of PLA veterans with civilian professional diplomats.287 Of ambassadors appointed between 1980 and 1984, 64 percent possessed foreign language fluency,288 and they proved themselves more capable of establishing a collegial rapport with diplomats from other countries.289

This change in style was noticed by, among others, the CIA. “Since 1983, Beijing has transformed its Embassy in Washington from a fledgling establishment designed merely to monitor bilateral relations into an organization that pursues China’s national interest with increasing effectiveness,” the agency reported in 1986. It noted the increasing independence of the commercial and science and technology sections of the embassy from

the political section, evidence of the increased importance the embassy attached to technical expertise.290 Along with its continuing focus on regional and language expertise, China during this period also began to invest in its multilateral tools, beginning with arms control policy, where the ministry started the practice of rotating diplomats to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, providing them with the opportunity to learn from global experts.291 Today China’s multilateral specialists are routinely sent on repeat assignments to the same international entity, while at home they continue to work on issues relating to that organization. Some are deployed for jobs in the UN and its specialized agencies based on their acquired expertise in sub-themes such as culture, health, or labour migration, extending Chinese influence across the organization.292 Some of China’s best diplomats are reserved for service at their delegation to the UN.293

Up until the late 1990s, new Chinese diplomats were recruited almost exclusively from the Beijing Foreign Language University, with many serving as interpreters and translators before being entrusted with diplomatic responsibilities. This sparked criticism that ‘translator diplomacy’ had come at the expense of a more well-rounded diplomatic corps. Ironically, as well, the ready availability of interpreters was blamed for breeding complacency among senior officials, including ambassadors, who no longer felt driven to acquire foreign-language skills. Over the last two decades, the Chinese foreign ministry has diversified its catchment of talent to include a wider variety of international relations and public policy schools and a broader range of humanities and international relations backgrounds, to better match the requirements of other leading diplomatic services.294 All applicants must have some English language competency, and the ministry continues to seek recruits offering a variety of language backgrounds.295 Chinese junior diplomats receive six months of training upon entry, designed to familiarize them with the foreign ministry and the Chinese diplomatic system. A new China Diplomatic Academy, opened in 2016, has taken over training for diplomats under closer scrutiny from the ministry’s senior ranks.296

The Chinese foreign ministry imposes educational and targeted training requirements on their officers as a condition of advancement, using an incentive-based system of credits toward promotion.297                                     For example, diplomats must complete a leadership and management training course, along with courses on international relations, economics and finance, international history, protocol, and consular affairs in order to be promoted to second secretary.298 However, one weakness of the ministry’s training approach is that it has significantly curtailed opportunities for study abroad compared to earlier generations.299 (Similar misgivings about foreign influence have prompted the ministry, it is said, to no longer recruit applicants who have studied overseas.)

Officers typically spend an entire career in (or on) a single region or theme, continuing the Chinese tradition of hyper-specialization. However, with new recruits joining with broader backgrounds, there are fewer barriers to gaining experience outside their region of primary focus. The foreign ministry’s fixation with the mastery of more esoteric languages, in the 1950s and 1960s, has given way to a pragmatic focus on major languages, partly due

to the reluctance of young officer to devote a career to a ‘marginal country’.300 However, work at the junior and mid-level ranks appears extremely regimented and limited in scope. Only very senior diplomats are expected to engage directly in international negotiation or provide input to strategic decision-making.301 The foreign ministry also appears very insular, with no tradition of exchanges with other departments to provide officers with more diverse experience.302

Regional expertise and knowledge of foreign languages continue to be important factors in the selection of China’s ambassadors. A 2018 study by the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) found that in recent years, the Chinese Communist Party has increasingly favoured ambassadors with more experience in their respective region than their predecessors. This trend has combined with the Chinese practice (shared in common with Russia) of expecting lengthy tours of duty for senior ambassador positions, resulting in an extreme concentration of expertise in a small number of individuals. For example, China’s ambassador to Russia, Li Hui, has spent a decade in his current post, culminating a career spent entirely working on Russia and its neighbors. (Previously he was ambassador to Kazakhstan and the director general for Eastern European and Central Asian Affairs in the foreign ministry.) According to MERICS, “Li’s considerable regional expertise is hardly unusual in China’s foreign service and may be seen as a strength. However, Li’s example also underscores a persistent problem in China’s diplomacy: a lack of renewal in top posts.”303 This approach also suggests that the Party only trusts a select few people to fill the most sensitive positions.

Assessments of the effectiveness of the Chinese diplomatic model vary greatly. One scholar, Peter Martin, finds that Chinese diplomats are “more professional, more cosmopolitan, and more expert than any previous generation… [with] specialized expertise on topics from global finance to nuclear weapons. To a great extent, they closely resemble the very best of their international counterparts.”304 MERICS agrees, to the extent that “policymakers in Europe and elsewhere should not underestimate China’s key competitive advantage: the strong focus on regional experience. Extensive previous exposure to the region in which they serve and knowledge of the local language could put Chinese diplomats at an advantage vis-à-vis their counterparts from other countries who traditionally want their diplomats to be generalists.”305 Other assessments are less sanguine, with some commentators charging that China’s focus on defence and commercial issues often comes at the expense of insight into decision-making in foreign capitals. The Economist recently cited a foreign diplomat in Beijing to whom Chinese counterparts had admitted that they had limited understanding of central and eastern Europe, “but were fortunate to have the Russians to explain it for them”.306

More systemically, however, the Chinese approach suffers from the highly subordinate role the foreign ministry occupies, as a mere implementation arm of the foreign policy decisions made by the Standing Committee of the Politburo.307  Peter Martin argues that the

professionalization of the diplomatic service from the 1980s onward came at the expense of the prestige that had surrounded the first generation of diplomats who were veterans of the People’s Liberation Army and enjoyed strong links to top Party leaders.308 He adds that “paradoxically, China’s growing global role weakened its foreign ministry”. As Chinese businesspeople and tourists ventured out into the world, the foreign ministry was brought into competition with other players such as the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Public Security, and powerful state-owned companies – organizations with bigger budgets and often more clout than the foreign ministry.309 As well, the Party’s more pervasive role under Xi Jinping could further stifle the sense of initiative in the diplomatic service. In a 2018 speech to assembled diplomats, Xi reminded them that they are first and foremost “party cadres”. This may signal a shift in which loyalty is valued more highly than professional skill.310

In Martin’s assessment, “China’s diplomats are unable to extricate themselves from the constraints of a secretive, paranoid political system. They will continue to be bound by institutions forged through underground revolutionary struggle and that matured at the height of the Cold War.”311 Their fear of looking weak in front of Party leaders or the Chinese public “makes them focus excessively on small tactical wins at the expense of strategic victories”. This produces a diplomatic style in which Chinese diplomats are “effective at formulating demands, but poorly equipped to win hearts and minds. Their constant repetition of official talking points is unpersuasive at best and, at worst, looks like bullying; and their limited space to improvise, show flexibility, or take the initiative leaves them unable to tailor their approach to different audiences.” 312

One illustration of this point is the recent phenomenon of so-called ‘wolf warrior diplomacy’, characterized by bellicose public statements by officials, including diplomats, in response to perceived slights against China. The practice takes its name from a popular Chinese action film. It emerged around 2017 and became widespread after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Chinese government faced a storm of global criticism for its handling of the emergency. Criticism of China’s treatment of the Uighur minority was also met with abuse, with the Chinese ambassador to Canada accusing that country’s media of “Western egotism and white supremacy”. Twitter was a popular medium for ‘wolf warrior’ broadsides, delivered almost always in English. But while the tweets highlighted Chinese diplomats’ linguistic prowess – insofar as being comfortable with the cut-and-thrust of trolling in a second language – the overall impression created was one of thin-skinned insecurity. The backlash sparked by ‘wolf warrior diplomacy’ seemed to register in Beijing. One former Chinese ambassador to the U.S. publicly admonished his colleagues in Beijing to “always have the country at large in mind, and not always think about being an internet celebrity”. Even President Xi – ostensibly the wolf warriors’ muse – told a study session of the Politburo of China’s need to improve its international communication, in order to “enlarge the circle of friends who understand China”.313 By late 2021, the practice appeared to be on the wane.

China’s commitment to excellence by its diplomats through the development of specialized expertise is laudable. However, the Chinese example also proves that knowledge alone is no guarantee of success in the practice of diplomacy, which often solicits organic, and intuitive, interactions and instincts. While China’s diplomatic toolkit has some strong elements, other pieces are deficient due to the rigidity of the overall system it serves – a system that, in Peter Martin’s words, has left China with “tremendous international influence but few true friends”.314


Russia’s diplomatic approach is very similar to China’s and indeed served as a model for the new, post-revolutionary Chinese foreign ministry starting in 1949. Its senior leadership consists of officials trained in the Soviet tradition and consequently, like the Chinese diplomatic service, Russian diplomats are characterised by profound linguistic and cultural knowledge of their regions of assigned specialization, but also by rigid discipline and minimal personal autonomy. As Russian foreign policy reverts to Soviet-era tendencies toward centralized decision-making and anti-Western hostility, the advantage conferred by individual Russian diplomats’ regional expertise and foreign-language proficiency risks being squandered.

Since the 1940s, the majority of recruits to the Russian foreign service have come from the Moscow State University of International Relations (or MGIMO), which operates under the umbrella of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With its 8,000 students and 2,000 staff, MGIMO is both a university and a think-tank, and serves as “the alma mater for the bulk of Russia’s foreign policymaking elite – both those at the MFA and foreign policy specialists at other state institutions and in large companies.”315 To gain admission to MGIMO’s Department of International Relations, students must pass exams on history, a foreign language, and the Russian language. According to Robert Hutchings, “In an interview with Russia Today, many Russian diplomats mentioned that they had the impression that their language and theoretical training was more intensely focused than that of other nations’ diplomatic services.”316

Russian diplomats are expected to specialize in one region of the world, with most of their assignments in Moscow and abroad serving to deepen their expertise in their area of specialization. To this end they undergo “intensive study of foreign languages and deep training in the customs, traditions, and political history of foreign countries”. Most Russian ambassadors are assigned to their region of deepest experience.317 Consistent with this vision, the foreign ministry is staffed nearly exclusively with career diplomats, and mid- career entry, as well as lateral movement to and from other ministries, are extremely rare. (As one Russia scholar puts it: “The MFA is like a steel tube – one can enter it from one end and leave from the other, but not in the middle.”)318

One American diplomat who served in Moscow recalled meeting a Russian colleague who said that he had served with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 21 years, of which 17 had been spent in Pyongyang. “About his Korean-language skills, he said that if he was on the phone, Koreans thought he was Korean—he had no accent at all.”319 Another example of the Russian predilection for hyper-specialization is Alexander Kadakin, who served cumulatively some twenty years in India including twice as ambassador, from 1999 until 2004 and again from 2009 until his death in 2017. He had also served in Delhi for

three years earlier in this career. (Kadakin’s first posting as an ambassador, from 1992 to 1997, was next door in Nepal.) Kadakin had begun his specialization on India while a student at MGIMO and, as a fluent speaker of Hindi and Urdu, had served as interpreter during Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev’s official visits to India in the 1970s. Kadakin endeared himself to Indians through his ability to quote Indian literature as well as Bollywood classics, and upon his death he was awarded India’s third-highest civilian honour, and a street in Delhi was renamed in his memory.320

Interestingly, the Russian diplomatic service does not consider such specialization as inconsistent with advancement to senior management positions in the foreign ministry. The current Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov – who has been in that role for 11 years – also carries the title of Russia’s Special Presidential Representative on the Middle East. A fluent Arabic speaker, Bogdanov has spent the bulk of his career in the Middle East, as ambassador to Egypt and to Israel, following previous postings to Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen.

There can be no doubt that such degrees of specialization represent a competitive advantage. In a scathing 2014 article titled “Russia’s Diplomats Are Eating America’s Lunch”, former US Foreign Service officer James Bruno took stock of the depth of diplomatic experience and expertise that Russia was mobilizing across Europe in the months following its annexation of Crimea, juxtaposed with the United States’ cast of ambassadors, many being non-diplomats appointed as a reward for their success in political fundraising: “Russian ambassadors are using their many close connections with continental elites to press Putin’s case, to seek to stifle or limit economic sanctions and to foster divisions between Washington and its allies. In most cases these Russian envoys have spent the bulk of their diplomatic careers dealing with the countries to which they are posted and have extensive decades-long contacts with whom they can speak, often in the latters’ native languages. This gives them a decided edge.”321 Bruno cited the example of Germany, where the US ambassador, John Emerson, was an entertainment lawyer (and prolific Democratic fundraiser) who spoke no German, while his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Grinin, had served in Germany in multiple tours totalling 17 years in addition to four years as ambassador to Austria. According to Bruno, Russia’s ambassadors to the 28 NATO capitals totalled 960 years of diplomatic experience (an average of 34 years) while the American ambassadors totalled 331 years, or an average of 12 years.

The cultivation of subject-matter expertise as a means of influence reflects Russian tradition beyond the foreign ministry as well. As early as the 1950s, the US military took notice of the Soviet Union’s edge in the use of foreign language proficiency as a tool of defence diplomacy. One American senior officer recalled a situation where the Soviet Union had needed to land a transport plane in Indonesia: “Down to the very last man on board – a janitor – everyone spoke fluent Indonesian. Shocked, the Indonesians processed the passengers in record time. The Jakarta leadership never forgot that calculated gesture of goodwill.”322

Russia also leavens its subject-matter expertise with a deep respect for institutional memory and experience. Ambassadors and other senior diplomats typically stay in their positions much longer than in other foreign ministries, both increasing the return on training investment (in foreign languages, for example) and deepening their wealth of contacts. Russia’s current foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, has held that role since 2004, and immediately prior to his appointment served as Russia’s ambassador to the UN for a decade. (One of his Soviet-era predecessors, Andrei Gromyko, held the foreign minister portfolio for an unfathomable 28 years.) This emphasis on continuity gives Russia a “deep institutional memory and working knowledge of certain countries and organizations” that leaves it “better prepared than most of its counterparts to nurture long-term working diplomatic relationships”.323

However, like China, Russia’s diplomatic service – and, more importantly, the government it serves – features a number of rigidities that undermine the value of the wealth of expertise accumulated by its diplomats, leaving a whole that is somehow less than the sum of its parts. One US diplomat who served in Russia and in former Soviet republics faulted Russia’s bureaucratic culture, which “discourages innovation and risk-taking”. Another noted that, despite their cross-cultural and linguistic proficiency, Russian diplomats “tend to confine their contacts to the foreign ministries of the countries in which they are serving, neglecting to engage with a cross section of society as American diplomats are trained to do.” Russian diplomats are notably weak in the area of social media engagement, for example.

This culture appears to reflect a tradition, certainly reinforced under President Putin, of the Russian foreign ministry serving as the mere implementer of centralized, top-down foreign policy decisions originating in the Kremlin. One academic described the Russian foreign ministry as “a hierarchy for quickly taking and executing orders from the president and his executive office rather than as an institution with the capacity for coming up with new initiatives.”324 A report for the European Council of Foreign Relations found that “In recent years, but especially since the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of Russia’s military operation in Syria in 2015, the MFA has become much less central to policymaking than it used to be. The Presidential Administration and its security council are increasingly prominent. It is not diplomats that have the upper hand in these bodies but officials from the intelligence services and the Ministry of Defence.”325

Based on interviews with young Russian diplomats, the ECFR discovered a significant loss of prestige following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, which had ‘militarised’ the tone of Russian diplomacy. Noting that it was a criminal offence in Russia to even discuss the return of Crimea, one Russian diplomat confided that “this makes discussions very different from what they were like at the turn of the century, when everything could be discussed.” Rather than producing problem-solvers, one Russian expert said, the foreign ministry was increasingly churning out propagandists.326   The report noted that, as a result, the

diplomatic service was losing interest among graduates of Moscow State University of International Relations in favour of other international careers. The use of Russian diplomats as pure propaganda agents increased significantly after the ban by many European countries on Russian state-backed multilingual media outlets such as Russia Today and Sputnik following the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The German Marshall Fund found that the Twitter accounts of Russian diplomatic missions have become “more belligerent in how they push disinformation” about the Ukraine war, and more promiscuous in amplifying fake content and conspiracist material. A former Russian diplomat recently wrote that “Russia’s isolation can be considered a failure of Russian foreign policy, which now speaks only one language: that of propaganda”.327 Whereas Russian diplomats have traditionally evinced a reticent presence on social media, they appear to be experimenting with their own version of ‘wolf warrior diplomacy’, in yet another parallel with the Chinese experience.

Writing recently about the importance of maintaining an impartial, professional diplomatic service, US Foreign Service officer Aaron Garfield argued that “One need only look to Putin’s historical blunder in Ukraine to appreciate an appropriately independent national security bureaucracy that can temper a political leader’s preferred policy prescriptions with the nuance, seasoned judgment, and cold reality necessary to avoid disaster.” The case studies of Russia and China illustrate that, in highly centralized and authoritarian systems, the diplomatic function – however expert and professionally delivered – can be quickly reduced to simply implementing decisions taken without the benefit of that expertise. Or, as one British scholar has stated, “Expertise and skills of diplomats can only serve a foreign policy strategy, but not replace it”.328


We live in an era of competitive expertise. When fewer people practiced diplomacy, there was a greater margin for amateurs. But the proliferation of diplomatic actors— state and non-state—and competing sources of information drive an urgent need to refine our skills base.

–Future FCO, 2015

Foreign ministries are under unprecedented pressure to deliver results amid growing global uncertainty and potent new threats. No longer are they simply mandated with managing state-to-state relations; they are being asked to support leaders with sound advice to anticipate and resolve a seemingly endless series of crises in an “unpredictable environment that is infused with culture, language, religion, and history, as well as economic, humanitarian, political, and security interests”.329 Along with this policy role they are also expected to be operationally nimble, able to deploy worldwide on short notice to rescue their citizens or deliver aid, and to implement multimillion-dollar development programs (now that so many foreign ministries have been merged with formerly distinct development agencies). All of this is happening in a hyper-critical climate of 24/7 media scrutiny, amid the proliferation of new domestic stakeholders including increasingly assertive diaspora communities, and a constellation of new non-state actors including citizen diplomats, private foundations, murky networks of online bots and trolls, and the transnational private sector.

This study has found that in all countries examined, the foreign ministry has experienced a loss of status and influence over the last several decades, as the traditional messenger function of diplomats and embassies has been obviated by communications technology. The international agenda has shifted away from a narrow focus on state-to-state relations toward a more nebulous array of global issues such as climate, energy, and migration, which has empowered domestic line ministries with expertise on these topics. These ministries have now spent years building their own international affairs bureaus and competing for talent that, in past decades, would have gravitated toward the diplomatic service; they no longer require embassies to broker their discussions with international counterparts. As one ambassador told an Israeli academic: “In the past, if a Ministry of Agriculture attaché from my [non-English speaking] country was sent to the US or Canada, he wouldn’t have the tools to operate, he wouldn’t know the language or how to form relationships. Today, it’s likely that he has already spent time studying or living abroad, and he can operate independently.”330

This empowering of line ministries has exacerbated the tendency for foreign policy to be re-centralized (or ‘presidentialized’), including through National Security Council-like structures in which the foreign ministry is but one stakeholder alongside others (especially

defence ministries and intelligence agencies) that are considerably better resourced. This study has also found that foreign ministries have frequently been subjected to structural reforms, such as mergers, that have resulted in hemorrhaging experience and subject- matter expertise, and that have distracted them from addressing other talent-management challenges, such as the question of how to reposition foreign ministries as knowledge organizations fit for the 21st century.

If they fail to demonstrate sufficient subject-matter expertise and networks of influence to support both operations and policy, foreign ministries face a risk of having their comparative advantage questioned, and seeing their role dwindle to that of a mere service provider: a purveyor of consular, visa, and passport services, and the landlord of their country’s network of embassies, with waning influence over foreign policy. Clearly, senior officials in some foreign ministries are content with the reduced expectations of merely participating in an inter-agency foreign policy process rather than leading it. However, without the value-added of subject-matter expertise and the credibility that accrues from it, foreign ministries may not be treated as indispensable to policy formulation.

Amid this disruption, foreign ministries are struggling to define the talent that they will need in the decades to come. All are wrestling, in one way or another, with the classic debate between ‘specialist’ and ‘generalist’ skill sets. The strengths and weaknesses of both groups have been debated at length in the context of public administration theory, often in caricature.

Specialists are accused of narrowness of vision and preoccupation with hobby horses: “They may not merely be committed to a subject but to a school of thought within it that is not even shared by all their professional colleagues.”331 They are said to be insensitive to practical and political realities and blind to the ‘bigger picture’. In the US, specialist cadres at the State Department have been subjected to far worse slanders: the Foreign Service’s expert Sinologists of early 1950s were tarred by McCarthyites for the ‘loss of China’, and the purges that followed left the Foreign Service with only 12 Mandarin speakers by 1981. Likewise, the department’s Arabists have regularly faced casual accusations of anti- Semitism.332

Writing in the 1960s on trends in British government, F.F. Ridley offered a defence of specialists, writing: “There is no evidence, of course, that the generalist always escapes over-identification with a particular set of proposals… The ethos of the generalist is that of the cultivated amateur, sceptical and detached – and quite unsuited to modern, complex, and purposive government. The argument used against specialists can be turned in their favour: by their very calling, they are more likely to be purposive.”333 Generalist managers must manage something, he added, “and a knowledge of that something is a necessary qualification for a high administrative rank”.334 Ridley took issue with the then-fashionable notion that in public administration, ‘the expert should be on tap, not on top’, retorting: “There is little point in turning on the tap if one cannot understand what comes out. The

self-confident amateur who has misunderstood, without realising it, is as dangerous as any over-enthusiastic specialist.”335

History is replete with examples of diplomats who leveraged their subject-matter expertise with transformative results. George Kennan, for example, wrote “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” in 1947 based on his cable (known as the “Long Telegram”) sent the previous year. This analysis of Russian thinking, which built the intellectual foundations of the containment strategy that guided Western strategy through the Cold War, “was based on Kennan’s deep understanding of Russia, its language, culture and people – expertise acquired through repeated tours in the region and career-long study.”336 The Arab Bureau – the British government’s political and intelligence office in Cairo, charged with providing London with expert understanding of the Middle East from 1916 to 1920, including through the legendary exploits of Arabists like T.E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell – left a complicated legacy, but it inarguably contributed to enlisting Arab support for Britain, and against the Ottoman empire, at a critical time. Abba Eban, the polyglot Israeli diplomat (he spoke ten languages including perfect English)* and later foreign minister, used his almost bicultural intimacy with the United States – including nearly a decade as ambassador to the US and the United Nations, simultaneously, from 1950 to 1959 – to cement the status of the new state of Israel. According to his biographer, “Eban’s oratory talent, linguistic skills, and effective style of diplomacy augmented both Israel’s image in the view of the American public and relations with official Washington.” Eban achieved a level of celebrity in the US that was instrumental in overcoming early skepticism about Israel and laying the groundwork for a strategic assistance relationship that is unparalleled today. One Jewish- American periodical concluded that Eban’s appearances at the General Assembly and the

U.S. State Department were worth “a division of soldiers to the Israeli army, if not more”.337

In a similar vein, major geopolitical blunders have resulted from a failure to marshal subject-matter knowledge of other societies. An internal FCO report commissioned after the UK was blind-sided by the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran identified “failings in the conduct of British policy” arising from factors including “an insufficiently deep awareness of some aspects of Iranian history and culture”.338 (In the midst of the same crisis – in which 52 embassy staff and American citizens would be taken hostage months later – only nine out of 60 Foreign Service Officers at the US embassy in Tehran could speak Farsi.)339 Similarly, a 2015 study found that most major embassies in Cairo had failed to appreciate the significance of the protests leading to the overthrow of President Mubarak, except for a small number of mostly junior ‘expeditionary diplomats’ who “spoke Arabic and the Egyptian language; frequently interacted with common people; met with NGOs, activists

* Henry Kissinger said of Eban: “I have never encountered anyone who matched his command of the English language. Sentences poured forth in mellifluous constructions complicated enough to test the listener’s intelligence and simultaneously leave him transfixed by the speaker’s virtuosity.” Eban’s Arabic was no slouch either: he published the first English translation of one of the most celebrated works of the Egyptian playwright Tawfiq al Hakim.

and members of the opposition parties on a regular basis; went to Tahrir Square; and

monitored social media.”340

More recently, the failure of the Afghanistan campaign has highlighted the pitfalls of operating at an information disadvantage. Writing for Chatham House, British Army Col. Will Davies argued that personnel deployed in complex and unfamiliar human terrain, usually on short rotations, do not accrue sufficient expertise through ‘on the job’ learning and risk never rising beyond “a perfunctory level of analysis leading to the concomitant risk that their progress assessments are over-optimistic, meaningless or misleading”.341 Davies argues that defence engagement roles should therefore be filled by “operators with specialist knowledge, skills and experience forged beyond the mainstream discipline of combat and warfighting”, including “regional expertise enabled by language skills, cultural intelligence and human networks”.342 Davies goes on to highlight the competitive nature of influence – even among allies – and the opportunity costs associated with underinvesting in cross-cultural effectiveness, citing the advantage enjoyed by the French in Libya by virtue of having a defence attaché with “a year’s intelligence training, two years Arabic language training, a year in Egyptian Staff College, 3 years in Cairo, 3 years in Abu Dhabi, and now 2 years as DA in Tripoli”.343


If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

–Nelson Mandela (apocryphal)

The historical relationship between language and diplomacy is intimate. In the early days of the profession, in the Middle Ages, diplomats were selected primarily for their ability to interpret between cultures. Failure to make sense of different languages could be catastrophic: the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, which killed nearly half a million people, arguably was sparked by the mistranslation of a single word – a military rank – in a telegram. 344 In modern times, proficiency in foreign languages is but one sub-set of the subject-matter expertise that effective diplomats are expected to bring to the table. In the view of the British parliament, “Languages are the foundation of diplomacy, and failure to excel in foreign languages undermines whatever other skills our diplomats may develop.”345 This reflects the concept of language ability as a force multiplier that enhances the effectiveness and credibility of the diplomat’s other, more conventional talents. A report from Chatham House elaborated: “The better an individual’s grasp of language and culture, the better their relationships, levels of trust and mutual understanding with partners, which in turn results in enhanced insights and decision-making. If progress in the

human terrain moves only at the ‘speed of trust’, then proficiency in language and cultural competence must be a priority.”346 Fundamentally, conducting diplomacy in host languages is essential to operating in a next-generation environment that is not limited to the exchange of diplomatic notes or to interacting only with English- or French-speaking local elites: from public diplomacy in the social-media age to working with non-state actors, diplomats who cannot communicate in a nimble and locally-resonant fashion will be producing not signals but noise.

The foreign ministries covered in this study all have unique strengths in their approach to foreign language proficiency. The Chinese and Russians train some of their diplomats to interpreter-grade fluency through career-long regional focus and repeat, planned assignments. The French recruit accomplished linguists as one of two main paths of entry into their diplomatic service. The Americans offer career-long opportunities for language training and make fluency in at least one foreign language a condition of promotion into the senior ranks. The British invest heavily, and plan smartly, to ensure that their ambassadors – the public face of the UK abroad – are fluent in the local language. The Australians prioritise Asian-language proficiency in key regional capitals and rely on ambassadors with years of experience – often through multiple postings – in individual countries.

Canada has its strengths as well. Global Affairs has designated about 433 positions abroad as requiring some level of foreign language fluency – nearly as many as the UK, which boasts a service roughly twice as large. For the most difficult languages, such as Mandarin, Korean, and Arabic, it offers up to 24 months of full-time training (the UK only recently increased training time for Mandarin to 22 months). Canada is also unique in having designated a significant number of positions – 197 out of 433 – as ‘foreign language imperative’, meaning that the employee, theoretically, is not allowed to proceed to post until they have reached the target proficiency level of the position. No other foreign ministries surveyed are that strict.*

There are, of course, areas for possible improvement. Global Affairs only trains its diplomats to the level of ‘general professional proficiency’, which is often inadequate for more nuanced or sensitive conversations, or for engaging with the media confidently. (By contrast, both the UK and the US train some of their diplomats to ‘advanced proficiency’, including 25 percent of Britain’s ambassadors.) This seems incongruous given the often communications-focused nature of Canadian foreign policy; a more ambitious approach might suggest that certain key streams of the department’s work abroad – whether the Global Security Reporting Program, our Public Affairs officers, our special envoys, or our heads of mission, who are the public face of Canada abroad – should strive where possible for full fluency. As one think-tank report suggests, “If broad people-to-people engagement is to be a hallmark of future diplomacy, very highly developed language skills will be even more at a premium.”347  Although Global Affairs has experimented with training at more

* The compliance rate for imperative positions is currently only 32 percent, due to short staffing which results in officers not getting the required training time.

advanced levels, including a Foreign Language Fellowship program launched around 2009 that aimed to bring select employees with existing foreign-language fluency to an advanced level, such efforts have become victims of cost-cutting. More broadly, Canada also trails its peers badly in terms of filling designated positions with officers possessing the required level of fluency. In 2021 the overall compliance rate stood at 23 percent, and only 18 percent for executive-level positions, far behind its counterparts from Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, the US, and the UK, all of whom could boast a compliance rate above 50 precent. (UK compliance today stands at 72 percent overall, and 74 percent for its heads of mission, while the US boasts a compliance rate of 75 percent.)

One key dimension of the discussion around retention of expertise, and return on training investment, relates to service in the field. It is a truism that the development of regional subject-matter expertise, including language skills, is enhanced by spending more of one’s career in the field than at headquarters. In organizations committed to excellence in this regard, “individuals should be employed for longer periods and repeatedly in the same region as a way to deepen expertise and to build continuity, familiarity and trust with their network and in-country partners while improving institutional memory and expertise.”348 While China and Russia (with their tradition of sometimes decade-long ambassador postings) already take this point to heart, other foreign ministries covered in this study are beginning to adapt as well. In the last few years, Canada and the UK have increased the standard length of most postings by one year, while the US is considering following suit. However, one area where Canada is an outlier is in its practice of capping the allowed consecutive service time abroad at seven years (at which point an officer must return to Ottawa for an assignment at headquarters). By comparison, the US State Department allows its diplomats to serve up to 15 years consecutively abroad.

Based on the experience of the other countries examined in this paper, Global Affairs’ performance on foreign language acquisition and retention would benefit from clearly making these skills a meaningful credential for advancement (as they are in the US Foreign Service); the department could model desired behaviour by setting more ambitious expectations of foreign language fluency among its heads of mission, as the UK and increasingly Australia are doing; it could extend difficult-language speakers preferential consideration for cross-posting, including through planned assignments, along with exemption from the rule capping consecutive overseas service at seven years; it could ensure that employee performance management evaluations actually assess their use of language skills, and relate this to employee ratings; and it could look more creatively at other aspects of the ‘career penalty’ associated with long-term language training, for example by addressing spousal employment constraints in countries where neither English nor French are spoken. And while some are skeptical that a financial incentive scheme would be a panacea, the fact that Canada is the only G7 country that does not offer its diplomats a foreign-language proficiency bonus is a message about management priorities, whether intended or not.

It is worth considering the importance of foreign languages in the parallel professions of intelligence and the military, going back to the intelligence failures leading to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, when reportedly one third of conversations intercepted by American intelligence services in connection with the plot could not be translated in time due to insufficient linguistic capacity. The subsequent Western misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq prompted some military professionals to conclude that “timeliness and accuracy is everything in intelligence, and thus, a linguist’s skills are more important than firepower. With the former, you might not need the latter.”349 Unfortunately, these skills were not prioritized until it was too late. In 2005, the Pentagon’s Defense Language Transformation Roadmap concluded that

the Department of Defense needs a significantly improved organic capability in emerging languages and dialects, a greater competence and regional area skills in those languages and dialects, and a surge capability to rapidly expand its language capabilities on short notice. […] Conflict against enemies speaking less-commonly- taught languages and thus the need for foreign language capability will not abate. Robust foreign language and foreign area expertise are critical to sustaining coalitions, pursuing regional stability, and conducting multi-national missions especially in post-conflict and other than combat, security, humanitarian, nation- building, and stability operations.”350

However, despite the Transformation Roadmap urging that mastery of a foreign language be phased in as a criterion for general officer advancement, one year later the Iraq Study Group report mandated by Congress concluded that “All of our efforts in Iraq, military and civilian, are handicapped by Americans’ lack of language and cultural understanding.” It found that only about 130 US servicemen and women, out of an occupying force of 130,000, possessed any Arabic skills.351

In 2011, with the Iraq adventure concluded and the Afghanistan campaign on a tapering trajectory, the Secretary of Defense nonetheless stressed in a memorandum to the Pentagon leadership the importance of language skills, regional expertise and cultural capability as “enduring warfighting competencies that are critical to mission readiness in today’s dynamic global environment”.352 The British Army’s 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review likewise identified language abilities as a “critical enabler” of defence diplomacy and influence operations, finding that “objectives will be more quickly, effectively, efficiently and enduringly achieved if overseas activity is conducted in native languages”.353 The UK Ministry of Defence now seeks to re-purpose members’ generalist knowledge and experience, forged in the mainstream disciplines of combat, to specialist engagement tasks, and it has created a defence engagement school to train personnel in language, culture, intelligence and security.354

The irony is that some foreign ministries that are wedded to a ‘generalist’ skills model are finding themselves outperformed by their defence counterparts. A 2018 report by the Berlin-based Global Public Policy Institute was critical of the German foreign ministry,

which it saw as “rigidly clinging to the idea that all diplomats should be generalists and able to rotate into any post”. Noting that the German army often sends its officers on one-year language courses before they are stationed abroad, “a German diplomat is lucky to have a three-week Arabic course before starting a job in the Middle East, and there is no guarantee that they will get the chance to use the skills and regional expertise they gain during that posting ever again.” The Institute concluded that “the notion that diplomats should not have a strong specialization is simply outdated and no longer feasible for the 21st century”.

As the case studies in this project illustrate, there is no single answer to the question of what an ideal diplomat should look like. Retired Indian diplomat and scholar Kishan Rana has offered one perspective, worth quoting at length:

The formula that has worked for most good systems is to blend the individual’s specialization with generalist skills. A young diplomat should begin with an “assigned” foreign language that he is required to learn, which morphs into area expertise in a region or country. As the career advances, the official adds to this other functional skills or special knowledge, for example on security and disarmament affairs, or environmental issues, or on legal issues relevant to his own country, or multilateral economic diplomacy. The range is vast. In this manner, by mid-career the official would have typically absorbed three or four special skills, making him a kind of “generalist–multispecialist.” Taken collectively, within the foreign ministry a range of expertise is thus built up, spread across the hierarchy. The MFA’s professionalism, and credibility with domestic partners, hinges on the quality, range, and depth of its expertise.355

Most foreign ministries examined in this study have acknowledged that the skills toolkit of diplomats needs to evolve beyond the conventional areas of regional or linguistic expertise. As one blue-ribbon panel has suggested, “In a complex and internationalised public policy environment, traditional diplomats armed only with traditional diplomatic skills are no longer sufficient.”356 This points to the increasing dominance, on the international agenda, of global issues that defy the traditional frame of state-to-state relations, such as climate change, migration, cyber-security, and disinformation. For example, the eight foreign policy priorities announced by the Biden Administration in March 2021 were dominated by thematic issues such as global health and emerging technology, and included only one bilateral relationship (China).357 As former Canadian diplomat Daryl Copeland argues, “Diplomats, as they have traditionally been trained and developed, are particularly ill prepared to diagnose or treat the growing range of political, economic, and especially science-based global problems that have become a prominent feature of the evolving international landscape.”358 The COVID pandemic has focused minds on the need for diplomats to possess at least a grounding in health and science issues, without which “they may not even know that there is a science question to be asked concerning a specific foreign policy challenge”.359  While it is unreasonable to expect that diplomats with

backgrounds mostly in the humanities and social sciences can reinvent themselves as scientists, it seems realistic to achieve at least a broad level of ‘causal literacy’ on a range of global issues.360

An obvious challenge to broadening diplomatic knowledge is the traditional insularity of most foreign ministries. This has been identified as a problem requiring, in some cases, radical treatment, such as France’s dismantling of its two senior-most foreign service cadres. Other countries have advocated more frequent exchanges by diplomats into other ministries (including ostensibly domestic ones) but struggled with the perceived career penalties involved in taking an unorthodox assignment. In the Canadian foreign ministry, as in others, performance and talent-management assessments are geared toward service within the organization and are poorly adapted to evaluating outside professional experiences. Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Morris Rosenberg told the Canadian Senate: “I think it would be helpful if when people came back from their postings, rather than taking a job in the department, at least some of them would look for positions elsewhere. It could be another government department, an NGO, a corporation or a provincial government. And then there should be incentives. If you do that, that should be given weight when you’re considering promotions or when you’re considering your next assignment.”361 One way of abating the perceived ‘career penalty’ around hiatuses outside the diplomatic service is to make them mandatory – an option the US Foreign Service is now considering.362

A related – and more controversial – aspect of permeability is the question of lateral entry into the diplomatic service. Senior executives in most ministries examined in this study have identified a need to supplement the knowledge and skills of rotational career diplomats with the targeted recruitment of mid-career professionals possessing capabilities in demand, or simply ‘fresh perspectives’. As Morris Rosenberg told Canada’s Senate: “There should be more opportunities for mid-career entry into the Foreign Service from other sectors and from other government departments. Moreover, if expertise on emerging global issues like climate, pandemics or cyber is found in other departments, there should be more opportunities for these experts to be part of Canadian missions abroad.”363

Calls for increased lateral entry, predictably, tend to meet resistance from foreign service officers and their unions, who argue that the practice diminishes promotion opportunities for career diplomats and dilutes the professionalism of the craft. The notorious example of non-career ambassadors in the US is often cited as the logical, and unenviable, result of that slippery slope.* Objections to the practice are often dismissed as evidence of a ‘guild mentality’, a protectionist response by people with suspect credentials and weak claims to membership in a distinct profession.  In this view, diplomats are little more than civil

* According to one scholar, “There seem to be a greater number of horror stories about US ambassadors who have completely gone off track compared with other countries, but that might also owe to greater US transparency on such matters.” (Rana, Contemporary Embassy, p.26)

servants who happen to live abroad, and therefore highly interchangeable with bureaucrats from other ministries. Some advocates of this view go as far as to call for the elimination of the diplomatic service in favour of public service-wide eligibility for overseas assignment.

In the words of Indian diplomat Kishan Rana: “Diplomacy is a profession, even if not always recognized as such. It lacks an established qualification process, unlike, say, chartered accountants or lawyers, but it entails the same element of domain knowledge, apprenticeship, and skill accumulation.”364 American diplomat Aaron Garfield puts it more succinctly: “Diplomats are neither born nor trained; they are grown.”365 Retired Canadian ambassador Abbie Dann explains the cumulative benefits of career-long commitment: “Diplomacy isn’t ‘Get a smart person, add water, and stir’. […] As a diplomat, your reputation and networks travel with you and you build knowledge, contacts and credibility in international circles. This professional baggage becomes an asset for Canada.”366 While foreign ministries are not immune to the broader labour market shift away from lifetime employment, the notion of a more promiscuous approach to talent management (built around secondments and contractors, for example) is especially inimical to the core diplomatic skill of networking, which requires the patient accumulation of relationships built through trust, often over the course of several assignments.

Although not himself a career diplomat, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ian Shugart has spoken eloquently about his regard for the language and tradecraft of diplomacy: “We have to be able to use it in normal and crisis situations. This is not a language that can be learned overnight. It cannot be ramped up quickly. It is a resource that has to be cultivated, kept in reserve and used continuously.”367 This underscores a key distinction of diplomacy, which is the amount of foresight and pre-emptive investment that it requires, sometimes decades in advance. One French diplomat highlighted the years of relationship-building and practical knowledge that had gone into securing the necessary flight authorizations to evacuate thousands of nationals during the COVID emergency: “These close links with our foreign interlocutors are woven in the local language through detailed knowledge of foreign cultures, and this cannot be learned in a few months.”368 By contrast with this success, the failure of Western governments to anticipate, prior to 2001, the looming need for expertise and language skills in the Arab world or in Afghanistan is notorious. (In the words of former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter Harder, “When we started out in Afghanistan, we had nobody speaking the tribal languages of Afghanistan and Pashto in particular. That harmed our ability.”)

These setbacks underscore the definition of diplomatic work as a form of insurance, “which by definition does not become evident unless and until it is needed”.369 They also highlight the importance of expert diplomacy in leveraging the value of time. As discussed previously, China and Russia direct their diplomats to devote years of focus to individual countries and regions in order to master their files in detail, much as some of their senior ambassadors and ministers measure their tenures in decades. In democratic countries, however, diplomats are expected to be custodians of long-term national interests across

the short lifespans of individual administrations, and across even shorter assignment cycles. This is where competitive expertise can help level the playing field. Whereas generalists might be inclined to focus their efforts on building relationships with conventional contacts within host foreign ministries (whose relevance may prove ephemeral), specialists with high intercultural savvy are more likely to succeed in reaching non-traditional audiences outside elite circles, whose significance may take years or decades to materialize. In British lore, it was the Foreign Office’s expert Kremlinologists who shrewdly picked out both Mikhail Gorbachev and Vladimir Putin as up-and-comers worth cultivating well before they became ascendant in the eyes of most other diplomats.370 Similarly, according to his biographer, Abba Eban used his deep knowledge of the US political scene to cultivate personal relationships with marginal contacts he anticipated could one day be in positions to influence American-Israeli relations. “I wanted whoever might become President to be a man who had once dined in my house during his humbler days,” recalled Eban.371

If the slow bend of the arc of time speaks to the wisdom of maintaining capabilities, including subject-matter expertise, in regions of the world where the need is not yet obvious or pressing, it also suggests the folly of disinvesting from regions or topics whose importance seems to have waned. One former British Ambassador to the US has argued that by the time of the Ukraine crisis of 2014, “the old cadre of British Cold War experts, with their historic analytical capacity, were simply not there to provide the insight and clarity needed. The scaling down of FCO resources in Russia and Eastern Europe after the Cold War has left the Foreign Office without vital expertise as a whole generation of diplomats have retired and taken invaluable experience and institutional knowledge with them, resources which are now needed more than ever given renewed tensions with Russia and increased tension in the Black Sea states.”*372 Similarly, the FCO has had to scramble to rebuild its expertise in trade law following Brexit. This highlights the reality that once expertise is lost, it can be very time-consuming to rebuild, and argues favourably for maintaining a cadre of experts, at different levels of seniority, on most issues.

One modest way of compensating for the loss of expertise is to mobilize the knowledge of retired diplomats. In 2011 British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced the creation of the ‘Locarno Group’, an ad hoc advisory forum that would allow him to “tap into the expertise of serving or former diplomats on issues like the EU and soft power”. (It met only a few times, however, and did not endure past Hague’s term.) In a similar vein, France has occasionally bestowed the honorific grade of ambassadeur dignitaire, an emeritus status that marks the continuing availability of retired ambassadors to provide special service to the foreign ministry and to serve as members of the consultative Conseil des

* A similar observation was made in the US by Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who served on the National Security Council from 2018 to 2020, where he found that “very few officials had specialized knowledge of the region, let alone of Ukraine”. He attributed this to the decline of area studies in academia following the collapse of the Soviet Union, which had led to “a dearth of funding for the languages and specialized knowledge needed to develop regional expertise”. (Alexander Vindman, “Stop Tiptoeing Around Russia”, Foreign Affairs, August 8, 2022.)

affaires étrangères.373 Retired American diplomats can return to service for up to half the calendar year without endangering their pensions, which helps fill gaps in knowledge and experience. As well, since 1986 the non-profit Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training has recorded the oral histories of more than 1,700 retired senior American diplomats, creating a unique corpus of scholarship. In China, about 20 retired ambassadors serve on a Foreign Ministry advisory ‘wise men’ group created in 1998, meeting monthly to discuss thematic issues and produce papers.374 By contrast, Canada has not taken advantage of the opportunity to tap the accumulated expertise of retired diplomats, despite the readiness of the Canadian Ambassadors Alumni Association (AmbCanada) to build a strategic relationship with Global Affairs Canada. In late 2015, former ambassador Robert Peck led an initiative called ‘Generations at Work’ which examined ways to mobilize the expertise of retired heads of mission. One proposal would have created an advisory council of retired ambassadors along the lines of the UK’s Locarno Group, but the suggestion met with little enthusiasm from Global Affairs management.

It is worth acknowledging the contribution that locally hired employees at embassies abroad make to continuity and to the accumulation of local expertise. While diplomats rotate typically every 3-4 years, local staff, who sometimes stay in the employ of embassies for decades, provide a permanent body of knowledge as well as local language fluency, and are key to maintaining relationships with local stakeholders through the regular churn of diplomats assigned to the mission. Local staff are also much less expensive, and therefore the conversion of diplomat positions to local-hire status has been a popular move during periods of cost-cutting. However, there are limitations to this approach. Local staff are not expected to abandon their loyalty to their home country, which constrains their ability to pursue ruthlessly the interests of their employer. They are also generally not seen as speaking authoritatively for the country whose embassy they serve, which can limit their influence. As one Canadian ministerial staffer puts it, “A Canadian business-person will want to be briefed by a diplomat; a local staffer will not have the CEO-level contacts he needs.”375 Local staff can represent a vulnerability in difficult environments where security is an issue, because they do not enjoy the full protections of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Furthermore, when the British FCO converted many, mostly junior, diplomat positions to local-hire status in the first decade of the 2000s, it created a bottleneck of officers who were told that they could expect to have one posting abroad for each one in London, whereas the ratio had previously tended to be two-to-one.376 The British Parliament criticized this “speedy cost-cutting measure which may have damaging consequences for the UK’s longer-term diplomatic capacity. The FCO must regard the overseas postings of junior UK-based staff as part of a succession strategy for the next generation of senior British diplomats.”377 So while local staff will always be valuable sources of local knowledge, the ability to leverage that information in an embassy’s pursuit of national interests must inevitably fall to diplomats with the ability to master the nuances of both sides of the relationship.

The case studies examined in this report demonstrate that, if they are to succeed in reinventing themselves as centres of policy excellence and expertise, foreign ministries will need to be more purposeful, and at times assertive, about human resource management. While the highly directive staffing approach of the Russians and Chinese (wherein diplomats are told, not asked, what their career focus should be) is a poor fit in Western democracies, the laissez-faire approach to career progression in the Canadian system and elsewhere needs an injection of discipline that recognises that subject-matter expertise, including foreign-language skills, are a corporate asset that has value and requires careful stewardship. No lesser a figure than Ian Shugart, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Clerk of the Privy Council, told the Senate:

We should have a professionalized approach to career management based on the needs that the Foreign Service has, so that if we invest, for example, in somebody learning a difficult language, we should get the value from that person learning that language. We shouldn’t give them the guarantee that they’ve done Asia, and now they can do Europe. Then, they’re interested in South America, so they can do that. There’s a balance in realizing the benefit of our investment and honouring the prospect that if you do well and are effective, there will be a career path for you.378

Increasingly, foreign ministries such as the British and the Australians are gravitating toward a concept of ‘career anchors’ wherein diplomats will be urged to identify complementary areas of specialty in which they would develop expertise and to which they would recurringly be assigned over the course of an otherwise generalist rotational career. In France, the human resources department of the foreign ministry has adopted a proactive policy of only appointing Orient-track advisors to their region of speciality.379

The US State Department’s development of Foreign Service Core Precepts, in partnership with the American Foreign Service Association, is a noteworthy practice that deserves much praise. Renewed every three years, the Precepts “reflect the competencies determined to be the most critical to successful service throughout a Foreign Service career and comprise the most essential competencies to advance”.380 They articulate the expectation that American diplomats develop several areas of specialization including proficiency in at least one foreign language as a condition of entry into the Senior Foreign Service.

In Canada’s case, as argued in an earlier section, the absence of written talent-management precepts has given rise to a tradition of informal career guidance that stresses the career benefits of a generalist trajectory and, conversely, the risks associated with being ‘pigeon- holed’ as a specialist. This informal doctrine is scriptural for many ambitious diplomats and it reflects, as well, the shift toward managerialism – observed in all foreign ministries examined – in defining desired leadership skills.  This was articulated by former British

diplomat and development minister Rory Stewart, in words that could apply as easily to Canada as to the UK:

One of the big changes in the Foreign Office over the past 15 or 20 years has been to emphasise management and administrative skills, as opposed to hard languages and political knowledge. You can see that in the promotions over the past 10 years. What you are hearing out of the Foreign Office embassies is people who are specialists in particular languages and countries feeling that they are being marginalised in favour of rather slick purveyors of management jargon, who rise effortlessly up to the top. Such people are not really in a position to challenge policy on Iraq and Afghanistan, because they simply do not have that depth of knowledge.381

The case studies examined in this report found that budget cuts affecting most foreign ministries in the 1990s and early 2000s were accompanied by a rise in ‘managerialist’ culture as described by Stewart, which prioritized abstract notions of corporate performance – often measured with generic public administration ‘metrics’ – at the expense of core diplomatic skills and subject-matter expertise. This was also an era of restructuring of foreign ministries, including through mergers with aid agencies, which further depreciated these assets. In the words of one British report, “Specialist skills such as languages or area expertise can be a disadvantage, particularly in a time of restructuring, if it means that staff are not widely deployable to other roles.”382 If the Canadian foreign service is to take inspiration from the 2015 Future FCO report’s motto, More Foreign, Less Office, this will require a sustained reprieve from any further structural churn, an acknowledgement that Global Affairs cannot be managed exactly like a domestic line ministry, and a conscious decision to reinvest in core diplomatic skills.

Interviewees shared a range of views on what diplomatic expertise should consist of. Morris Rosenberg described it as comprising foundational area knowledge of cultures and languages, the ability to extrapolate from this knowledge an understanding of the implications for Canada of events and trends, and finally the ability to navigate within government to ensure that the resulting advice is treated as credible.383 All agreed that future diplomatic successes will require diverse teams with multiple complementary skills, capable of delivering operational effect and robust, evidence-based policy. While the scale of the Canadian foreign service suggests that it will always be generalist at its core in order to meet the sheer demographic demand of overseas rotational assignments, the need for small cadres of specialists on most of the world’s regions as well as on key global issues, at different levels of seniority, is inescapable if we are to remain relevant in Ottawa and competitive globally. Other foreign ministries examined in this report place more emphasis on area expertise than Canada does and recognize the problems they face from the loss of these skills. There has been less reflection about this in Canada, and this is overdue for change.

One argument frequently encountered, in rebuttal to the need for investment in subject- matter specialization, is that the trend toward recruitment of increasingly diverse foreign service officers will, over time, naturally provide the diplomatic service with a better grasp of regional knowledge and language familiarity. However, there are important reservations to any approach that relies heavily on the recruitment of individuals (such as second-generation Canadians) with so-called ‘heritage’ skills. In some specific contexts, posting an individual to their region of family origin may complicate their work and expose them to undue misgivings about their ability to operate impartially. There is also a risk of creating unfair assumptions around the expected career progression of that individual: not every Urdu speaker may wish to serve in Pakistan, for example. And whereas the department has a certain equity stake in expecting a return on investment from trainees it has paid to acquire language skills, it risks creating the perception of ethnically foreordained career paths for those it has recruited with native abilities. Hiring of recruits with pre-existing specialized knowledge or language abilities should encompass a wide variety of sources, including those who acquired them in university, from prior work placements abroad, as well as those who have a native capacity due to family history. But targeted recruitment will not obviate the need for significant investment to further upgrade these recruits’ language skills, as well as to train officers who develop an interest in regional specialization post-recruitment.

But the fact that the Canadian foreign service is drawing on one of the world’s most multiethnic populations as its talent pool, and that it is rapidly growing more diverse as a result, gives Canada a unique competitive advantage over most of its peers, not to mention its adversaries. The era of ‘honourable men of varied abilities’ is giving way to bold new possibilities. If we fail to draw on our strengths to build the most interculturally knowledgeable, networked, and savvy diplomatic service in the world, it will be a failure by choice.


This study has focused on Canada and six other countries – four of them allies, and two that fall in the camp, currently, of adversaries. The choice was driven largely by availability of documentary sources and interview subjects. But other countries not covered by the scope of this research have ideas to offer. Norway, for example, has accumulated decades of experience and expertise as a third-party mediator in conflicts as diverse as Israel- Palestine, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Guatemala and Colombia.384 New Zealand, despite the tiny size of its diplomatic service, has elected to concentrate on bolstering China knowledge and language capabilities across its public service through an initiative called ‘China Capable’.385 Germany, following a 2014 review led by Foreign Minister Steinmeier, decided to invest in systematic learning and the pooling of expertise on crisis prevention and stabilization through the creation of a centre of excellence, in the form of a new

Directorate-General for Humanitarian Assistance, Crisis Prevention, Stabilisation, and Post Conflict Reconstruction.386 In the Netherlands, the foreign ministry in 2010 decided to introduce a system of career ‘circuits’ to promote expertise in key policy areas; this idea was endorsed by a high-level advisory panel on modernising the Dutch diplomatic service in 2014 which concluded that the foreign ministry should adopt “a promotion and placement policy that focuses on assessment and development, with a heavy emphasis on acquired specialist knowledge and expertise”.387 Although the concept was never really implemented, one senior Dutch diplomat concluded that the foreign ministry had succeeded in creating “clear specialization within a specific EU circuit” in response to the demand for expertise stemming from EU integration.388

This study has hopefully demonstrated that most foreign ministries are experimenting with various forms of innovation to bolster specialization and expertise either in traditional diplomatic skills or in new multi-disciplinary fields of work. By contrast, the Canadian foreign ministry remains wedded to the generalist model that has defined the ethos of its foreign service since it was created. There is a risk that Canada will become an outlier among its peers and competitors and miss the opportunity to modernize its diplomatic service. Although this study does not prescribe a specific approach, it has highlighted a number of strengths found among our like-minded partners that could serve as inspiration for future reform efforts.

Interview subjects for this study consistently made one final, critical point, which ultimately falls outside the scope of this paper and merits full, separate treatment: that specialized knowledge is of little value if decision-makers are uninterested in it. In the words of former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Morris Rosenberg, in a foreign ministry “you need a receptor capacity that seeks out the expertise available”.389 Former Deputy Minister Ian Shugart likewise told the Senate: “Truth to power is often spoken, and it has made no difference. […] There can be an easy assumption that all we need is for people, whether it’s ministers to their colleagues or public servants to their higher-ups and to ministers, to speak truth to power and everything will be okay. The first assumption is that they are right. The second assumption is that if they just speak, that advice will be taken. Neither of those assumptions can be taken for granted.”390

Many of the countries covered in this study have had recent experience of foreign ministry advice being ignored at the top. In Australia, according to one retired senior official, “in the last decade, several governments have gotten into trouble not taking advice from the foreign ministry, thinking, ‘how hard can diplomacy be?’”;391 the Trump Administration’s contempt for career diplomats is legend; in the UK, the FCO visibly lost standing with successive Conservative governments over its Brexit skepticism; in France, the Macron reforms of the senior diplomatic cadre, rightly or wrongly, are seen by many as an attempt to put the foreign service in its proper place. The perception in many governments that diplomats are overly analytical, risk-averse, and aloof from domestic priorities may also

explain their loss of influence at the hands of other ministries. One Australian official states that politicians are increasingly drawn to the analysis produced by intelligence agencies, instead of DFAT, “because they get the analysis without the commentary”.392

The broader fashion of anti-intellectualism in government has roots in recent societal trends, thoroughly examined in Tom Nichols’ sobering 2017 book, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters. These trends have been reinforced in the business world by popular books such as Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World and The Silo Effect. Closer to the world of foreign policy, Philip Tetlock’s 2005 book Expert Political Judgement lampooned the poor predictions made by some experts in order to discredit expertise generally. Behavioural economist Daniel Kahneman famously charged that “in long-term political strategic forecasting, it’s been shown that experts are just not better than a dice-throwing monkey”.393 (Competent diplomats, of course, generally prefer to avoid making predictions precisely because their specialized knowledge acquaints them with all the sources of uncertainty, both seen and unseen.)

Interviewees argued eloquently that the diplomatic profession needs to improve both its public image and its reputation within government. Morris Rosenberg suggested that the Canadian foreign service “needs to do some public diplomacy in Canada”, for example by showcasing its ambassadors domestically so that they can better explain how their work overseas serves the domestic agenda. In his internal reform plan, French diplomat Jérôme Bonnafont likewise argued for a communications blitz to demonstrate the value of diplomatic excellence, by placing current and retired ambassadors more prominently into the public discussion about world events and by putting more of the ministry’s high-quality analytical products into the public domain. To illustrate the latter point, the British Defence Ministry’s publishing of daily unclassified defence intelligence updates on the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been hailed as a success in countering Russian propaganda and seems to have inspired the Canadian Armed Forces to follow suit.394

In a public information environment that is increasingly degraded by disinformation leading to record-low levels of trust for media as well as governments, diplomats will need to fight on the home front as well as abroad to defend their credibility. Meanwhile, our adversaries are turning increasingly to their diplomats as new vectors of that disinformation. If we are to successfully contest the information space and win the battle for credibility, we will require a better command of the facts than they have, and more effective means of reaching audiences culturally unfamiliar to us. This will place an even greater premium than before on diplomats with the nuanced, deep understanding of societies necessary to reach both hearts and minds, and the tradecraft required to change both attitudes and behaviours in a way that protects our interests.


I was assisted in this project by the generous help of over 60 current and former diplomats, other government officials, and academics, on four continents, who agreed to be interviewed. They provided invaluable insights and encouragement. In order that they may speak without inhibition, all were assured that their comments would not be attributed, with the exception of a few who chose to be quoted by name.

I am particularly grateful to three distinguished retired ambassadors and senior officials of Global Affairs Canada – their excellencies Michael Small, Patricia Fortier, and John McNee – as well as former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Morris Rosenberg, who were kind enough to review a draft of this report and provide their wise counsel. Any errors or deficiencies that remain are mine alone.

My sincere thanks to Dr. Rita Abrahamsen, Director of the Centre for International Policy Studies, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, for offering me the chance to join CIPS as a Research Associate for 2021-2022, and for her support to this project, including as a reviewer of this report. Many thanks as well to William Messier, who provided invaluable research support and was a virtual bridge between my home in Jerusalem and the University of Ottawa library.

About the author

Ulric Shannon is a career diplomat in the Canadian foreign service who has specialized in stabilization and conflict issues, mainly in the Arab and Muslim worlds. He served as Canada’s ambassador to Iraq from 2019 to 2021, overseeing one of Canada’s largest development, humanitarian, stabilization, and military assistance programs anywhere in the world. His previous postings have included Egypt, the Palestinian Territories, Pakistan, and Turkey, where he served as Canada’s Consul General in Istanbul from 2016 to 2019.

As one of the most fluent Arabic speakers in the Canadian diplomatic service, Ulric has been noted for his pioneering efforts in the area of public diplomacy. His ability to engage local audiences in Arabic via traditional and social media raised Canada’s profile significantly in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East, earning him mention as an “influential foreign policy voice and thinker” in Hill Times’ list of ‘Top 50 Influencing Canadian Foreign Policy” for 2021. He is currently on leave from the Government of Canada and living in Jerusalem, where he is serving as the National Democratic Institute’s Senior Regional Director for West Bank and Gaza.

This report does not reflect the views of Global Affairs Canada.


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1 Copeland, Guerrilla Diplomacy, passim.

2 Global Affairs Canada, “Concept Note – Future of Diplomacy: Transforming Global Affairs Canada for Success in a Changing World”.

3 Lalande, p.36

4 Cadieux, pp.60-62

5 Hockin, p.35

6 Royal Commission (Glassco), p.103

7 Royal Commission (Glassco), p.113

8 Hockin, p.35

9 Keenleyside, p.53

10 Keenleyside, p.56

11 Keenleyside, p.55

12 Keenleyside, p.52

13 Keenleyside, p.66

14 Keenleyside p.71

15 Cited in Stewart, p.35.

16 Donaghy, p.54

17 Royal Commission (McDougall), p.247.

18 Essex, p.13

19 Cooper, p.45

20 Foreign Policy Secretariat, p.1

21 Foreign Policy Secretariat, p.4

22 Nossal, p.275

23 Dionne, op. cit.

24 Foreign Affairs Canada, International Policy Statement, p.30

25 Office of the Auditor General, pp.1-2

26 Canadian Foreign Service Institute, “Business Case: Foreign Language Allowance”, 2018, p.5 (unpublished)

27 Ibid.

28 See CSE collective bargaining agreement, p.68: Collective-Agreement.pdf

29 Canadian Foreign Service Institute, “The Decline of Foreign Languages”, 2020, p.1 (unpublished)

30 Ibid.

31 Gilroy, Goss, Inc., “Speaking Their Language: Foreign Language Acquisition and Use Abroad”, for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, 2014 (unpublished)

32 Juneau, p.109

33 Interview with Elissa Golberg, then-Director General of Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force, April 5, 2022

34 Jones, pp.236-7

35 Quan, op. cit.

36 Shugart Senate testimony, June 16, 2022: AEFA/55615-E

37 Interview with Mark Fletcher, July 15, 2022

38 Available online at: 2018-9789264303560-en.htm

39 Available online at: reviews-canada-2012_9789264200784-en

40 Caddell, op. cit.

41 Kerry Buck, former Political Director and ambassador to NATO, quoted in CGAI Conference: Canada’s Place on the World Stage, May 10, 2022: e730430b048e

42 Interview with former Director General of Assignments, January 14, 2022

43 Dann Senate testimony, April 28, 2022: 441/AEFA/55615-E

44 Savoie, p.163

45 Savoie, p.161

46 Lahey, p.36

47 Lahey, p.iii

48 Lahey, p.35

49 Lahey p.67

50 Edwards Senate testimony, April 28, 2022: Committee/441/AEFA/07EV-55484-E

51 Small Senate testimony, April 7, 2022: Committee/441/AEFA/06EV-55465-E

52 Buck, op. cit.

53 Interview with former senior GAC official, January 18, 2022

54 Lahey, p.35

55 House of Commons, p.48

56 Lasserre, op. cit.

57 Interview with senior GAC official, February 2, 2022

58 Rosenberg Senate testimony, June 16, 2022: 441/AEFA/55615-E

59 Skotte, op. cit.

60 Hutchings, p.189

61 Foreign Service Act:, p.7

62 Slaughter, op. cit.


64 American Academy, Forging, p.29

65 Hutchings, p.201

66 American Academy, Forging, p.29; American Academy, Risk, p.59.

67 American Academy, Risk, p.34

68 American Academy, Forging, p.68

69 American Academy, Risk, p.11

70 American Academy, Forging, p.65

71 Burns, p.6

72 Hutchings, p.207

73 Interview with senior official at the American Foreign Service Association , April 7, 2022

74 Burns, p.31

75 Zeya, p.26

76 American Academy, Forging p.39

77 Baker, p.92

78 Kopp, p.112

79 Zeya, p.26

80 American Academy, Forging p.37

81 Garfield, “What Good are Diplomats?”, op. cit.

82 Zeya, p.27

83 American Academy, Forging, p.36

84 Kopp, pp.170-1; American Academy, Forging p.36

85 Interview with Michael Ratney, former Deputy Head of the Foreign Service Institute, July 5, 2022

86 United States Institute of Peace, p.4

87 Tarar, op. cit.

88 American Academy, Risk, p.43

89 State Department, “Decision Criteria for Tenure and Promotion in the Foreign Service (‘Core Precepts’) 2022-2025”: Precepts.pdf

90 Mastery of one language at the advanced level also satisfies this requirement. (Kopp, p.173)

91 Kopp, p.172

92 American Academy, Risk, p.20

93 American Academy, Risk, p.15

94 Burns, p.7

95 Zeya, p.21

96 American Academy, Risk, p.15

97 American Academy, Risk, p.51

98 Zeya, p.21

99 Foreign Service Act:, page 20

100 “Kaine & Booker Reintroduce Legislation to Boost Oversight and Transparency of Ambassador Nomination Process”, April 7, 2022: legislation-to-boost-oversight-and-transparency-of-ambassador-nomination-process

101 American Academy, Forging, p.25

102 The other 24 percent, confusingly named ‘Foreign Service Specialists’, are support staff who provide administrative, IT, and security services. American Academy, Strengthening, p.8

103 American Academy, Scarcity, p.24; American Academy, Risk, p.45; Hutchings, p.198

104 Interview with former official in the State Department Bureau of Global Talent Management, March 28, 2022

105 United States Institute of Peace, op. cit.

106 Interview with senior official at the American Foreign Service Association, April 7, 2020

107 American Academy, Scarcity, p.28

108 Kopp, p.45

109 Burns, p.47

110 Burns, p.32

111 US Institute of Peace, op. cit.

112 Zeya, p.1

113 Pearson, op. cit.

114 Ibid.

115 Burns, p.41

116 Smith, op. cit.

117 Increasing pressure for more transparency in staffing may also undermine specialization. Recently, the Europe bureau boasted that two thirds of positions in its missions had been filled by officers from outside the bureau. Interview with former official in the State Department Bureau of Global Talent Management, March 28, 2022

118 Zeya, p.24

119 Garfield, op. cit.

120 Skotte, op. cit.

121 Interview with senior official at the American Foreign Service Association, April 7, 2020

122 Zeya, p.25

123 Hutchings, p.193

124 Zeya, p.15; Burns, p.7

125 Zeya, pp. 3, 24

126 American Academy, Risk, p.9

127 Hutchings, pp.214-5

128 Hutchings, p.190

129 Hutchings, p.216

130 Pollard, p. v

131 East, p.229

132 Speech of Secretary Hague, “Our diplomatic network is the essential infrastructure of Britain’s influence in the world”, October 17, 2012: diplomatic-tradecraft

133 House of Commons, Role of the FCO, p.3

134 House of Commons, Role of the FCO, p.22

135 House of Commons, Role of the FCO, p.71

136 House of Commons, Role of the FCO, p.69

137 Speech of Secretary Hague, “The best diplomatic service in the world: strengthening the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as an Institution”, September 8, 2011: foreign-and-commonwealth-office-as-an-institution

138 Speech of Secretary Hague, “Our diplomatic network is the essential infrastructure of Britain’s influence in the world”, October 17, 2012: diplomatic-tradecraft

139 Hague Speech, ‘Our Diplomatic Network’, op. cit.

140 Future FCO, pp. 3,5

141 Future FCO, p.21

142 House of Commons, FCO Skills, p.9

143 House of Commons, FCO Skills, p.9

144 House of Commons, FCO Skills, p.15

145 House of Commons, FCO Skills, p.12

146 House of Commons, FCO Skills, p.13

147 Dickie, p.57

148 “Paul Bergne, Accomplished linguist and ambassador who was Blair’s special envoy to Afghanistan”. The

Guardian, April 17, 2007: guardianobituaries.obituaries

149 Interview with senior FCDO official, July 6, 2022

150 Dickie, p.58

151 Hutchings, pp.168-70

152 Hutchings, p.162

153 British Academy, pp.23-24

154 British Academy, p.24

155 British Academy, p.24

156 British Academy, p.6

157 British Academy, p.21

158 House of Commons, UK’s foreign policy approach to Afghanistan and Pakistan , HC 514, para 234

159 Huxley, op. cit.

160 House of Commons, FCO Performance, para 55

161 British Academy, p.11

162 British Academy, p.32

163 House of Commons, FCO Skills, p. 18

164 House of Commons, FCO Skills, p. 18

165 Wintour, op. cit.

166 House of Commons, FCO Skills, p.19

167 British Academy, pp.26-27

168 British Academy, p.27

169 Interview with senior FCDO official, July 6, 2022

170 House of Commons, FCO Skills, p.20

171 House of Commons, FCO Skills, p.21

172 Peter Ricketts, cited in King’s College London, “State of British Diplomacy”, June 29, 2022: watch?v=x84b3E8UElE

173 House of Commons, FCO Skills, p.17

174 Dickie p.16, p.224

175 House of Commons, Role of the FCO, p.66

176 House of Commons, Role of the FCO, p.23

177 House of Commons, Role of the FCO, p.67

178 “Rory Stewart: Failure, and the Villains of the Western Campaign in Afghanistan”, RUSI, August 18, 2021: campaign-afghanistan

179 House of Commons, Role of the FCO, p.4

180 House of Commons, Role of the FCO, p.70

181 Hutchings and Suri, p.174

182 Hutchings, p.173

183 Interview with senior FCDO official, June 9, 2022

184 Future FCO, p.24

185 Future FCO, p.24

186 Interview with senior FCDO official, June 9, 2022

187 Ibid.

188 Future FCO, p.26

189 Peter Ricketts, cited in King’s College London, “State of British Diplomacy”, June 29, 2022: watch?v=x84b3E8UElE; figure of 213 staff cited in: 102427#:~:text=Who%20has%20replaced%20them%3F,- By%20William%20Worley&text=Close%20to%20100%20technical%20advisers,departmental%20merger%    20in%20September%202020.

190 House of Commons, Role of the FCO, p.21

191 Future FCO, p.21

192 Hutchings, p.173

193 British Foreign Policy Group, p.5

194 House of Commons, Role of the FCO, p.23

195 Hutchings, p.47

196 Hutchings, p.46

197 Lequesne and Heilbronn, Senior Diplomats, p.274

198 Hutchings, p.47

199 Lequesne and Heilbronn, Senior Diplomats, p.271

200 Lequesne and Heilbronn, Senior Diplomats, p.279

201 Lequesne and Heilbronn, Senior Diplomats, p.279

202 Lequesne, Ethnographie, p.47

203 Lequesne and Heilbronn, Senior Diplomats, p.275

204 Lequesne and Heilbronn, Senior Diplomats, p.273

205 Lequesne and Heilbronn, Senior Diplomats, p.278

206 Lequesne and Heilbronn, Senior Diplomats, pp.276-7

207 Lequesne and Heilbronn, Senior Diplomats, p.276

208 Lequesne and Heilbronn, Senior Diplomats, p.284

209 Pommier, op. cit.

210 Hutchings, p.49

211 Lequesne and Heilbronn, Senior Diplomats, p.283

212 Lequesne, Ethnographie, p.57. Lequesne, Diploweb, op. cit.

213 Lequesne, Diploweb, op. cit.

214 Dickie, p.45

215 Hutchings, p.49

216 Hutchings, pp.47-48

217 Hutchings, p.50.

218 Lequesne, Ethnographie, pp.82, 121, 135, 143.

219 Lequesne, Diploweb, op.cit.

220 Lequesne, Ethnographie, p.280; interview with former ambassador Olivier Da Silva, July 4, 2022

221 Lequesne and Heilbronn, Senior Diplomats, p.280. Lequesne, Ethnographie, p.47

222 The union cited a 2009 decree which stated that heads of mission were required to have 10 years of experience in an A-grade corps including at least three years overseas. (Lequesne, Ethnographie, p.60)

223 Hutchings, p.48

224 Ministère des Affaires étrangères, MAEDI 21, p.23

225 Bonnafont report, p.29

226 «Projet de note pour le Ministre : Le corps diplomatique, corps d’avenir pour l’État et la France dans le

monde» (le Rapport Bonnafont), November 27, 2020. Unpublished, obtained in confidence.

227 Garfield, op. cit.

228 Le Monde, « l’Appel de 500 agents », op. cit.

229 Pommier, op.cit.

230 Ibid.

231 Lequesne, Ethnographie, p.86

232 Pommier, op.cit. Lequesne and Heilbronn, Senior Diplomats, p.283. Lequesne, Ethnographie, p.85

233 Le Monde, «Colère froide», op. cit.

234 Harris, p.29

235 Harris, p.25

236 Ibid.

237 Harris, p.35

238 Australian Public Service Commission, p.14

239 Australian Public Service Commission, p.14

240 Australian Public Service Commission, p.13

241 Lowy Institute, “Diplomatic Deficit”, p.49

242 Australian Government, “Our Public Service”, p.205

243 Oliver, “Australia’s Deepening Diplomatic Deficit”, p.16

244 Oliver, “Budget of Skewed Priorities”, op. cit.

245 Oliver, “Australia’s Deepening Diplomatic Deficit”, pp.16-17

246 Oliver, “DFAT Budget”, op. cit.

247 Dobell, op. cit.

248 Oliver, “Australia’s Deepening Diplomatic Deficit”, p.20

249 Oliver, “Budget of Skewed Priorities”, op. cit.; Oliver, “DFAT Budget”, op. cit.

250 Langmore, p.44

251 Ibid.

252 Moore, p.27; Australian Government, “Our Public Service”, p.240

253 Moore, p.22

254 Gulrajani, op. cit.

255 Moore, p.4.

256 Interview with former senior DFAT official, April 20, 2022

257 Moore, p.2

258 Moore, p.17

259 Ibid.

260 Lowy Institute, “Diplomatic Deficit”, p.27

261 Ibid.

262 Oliver and Shearer,

263 Parliament, “Punching”, p.79

264 Harris p.31

265 Interview with former senior DFAT official, April 20, 2022

266 Cited in: speaking-the-lingo-20150429-1mvz74.html

267 Canadian Foreign Service Institute, “Business Case: Foreign Language Allowance”, 2018, p.6

268 Interview with former senior official at DFAT, August 11, 2022

269 Parliament, “Punching”, p.79

270 Parliament, “Punching”, pp.79-80

271 Senate, p.x

272 Senate, p.100

273 Interview with Michael Small, former ambassador to Australia, January 27, 2022

274 Langmore, p.28

275 Lowy Institute, “Diplomatic Deficit”, p.48

276 Interview with former senior official at DFAT, August 11, 2022

277 Australian Public Service Commission, p. 24

278 Interview with former senior official at DFAT, August 11, 2002

279 Australian Government, White Paper, p.18

280 Oliver, “Australia’s Deepening Diplomatic Deficit”, p.20

281 Australian Public Service Commission, pp.12-13

282 Rana, Asian Diplomacy, p.18

283 Rana, Asian Diplomacy, pp.18-19

284 Hutchings, p.26

285 Rana, Asian Diplomacy, p.19

286 Rana, Asian Diplomacy, p.32.

287 Martin, p.144

288 Rana, Asian Diplomacy, p.20

289 Berridge, op. cit.

290 Martin, p.144

291 Martin, p.144

292 Rana, “Multilateral Training”, op. cit.

293 Rana, Asian Diplomacy, p.36

294 Hutchings, pp.22, 27

295 Hutchings, p.28

296 Hutchings, p.29

297 Burns, p.29

298 American Academy, “Forging”, p.42

299 Hutchings, p.22

300 Rana, 21st Century Diplomacy, p.254

301 Hutchings, p.26

302 Rana, Asian Diplomacy, p.39

303 Mokry, op. cit.

304 Martin, p.227

305 Mokry, op. cit.

306 The Economist, op. cit.

307 Rana, Asian Diplomacy, p.21

308 Martin, p.182

309 Martin, p.182

310 Mokry, op. cit.

311 Martin, p. 227

312 Martin, p.15

313 Powers-Riggs, op. cit.

314 Martin, p.15

315 Liik, p.16

316 Hutchings, p.131

317 Hutchings p.133

318 Liik, p.23

319 Skotte, op. cit.

320 Biographical details cited in:

321 Bruno, op. cit.

322 Western, p.50

323 Hutchings, p.130

324 Biberman, p.680

325 Liik, p.22.

326 Liik, p.14

327 Baunov, op. cit.

328 House of Commons, FCO Skills, p.7

329 American Academy, Risk, p.30

330 Fredman, p.12

331 Ridley, p.199

332 Kaplan, p.112; Roland, p.153

333 Ridley, p.200

334 Ridley, p.206

335 Ridley, p.207

336 Smith, op. cit.

337 Siniver, p.199

338 House of Commons, Role of the FCO, p.47

339 Roland, p.153

340 Cornut, p.398

341 Davies, p.18

342 Davies, p.2-3

343 Davies, p.19

344 Relevant background on this incident cited here: empires/articles/the-ems-dispatch-the-telegram-that-started-the-franco-prussian-war/

345 House of Commons, FCO Skills, p.19

346 Davies, p.25

347 American Academy, “Forging”, p.36

348 Chatham, p.31

349 Western, p.50

350 Department of Defense, pp.1, 5

351 Guidère, p.26

352 British Academy, p.50

353 British Academy, p.35

354 Davies, p.17

355 Rana, 21st Century Diplomacy, p.253

356 Lowy Institute, “Diplomatic Deficit”, p.37

357 Priorities announced in Secretary Blinken speech: american-people/

358 Copeland, p.4

359 Pearson, op. cit.

360 Davies, p.24

361 Rosenberg Senate testimony, June 16, 2022: 441/AEFA/55615-E

362 A formal recommendation by the board of directors of the American Foreign Service Association, in the

spring of 2022, was to “make a professional development tour mandatory for entrance into the Senior

Foreign Service”. (“AFSA Foreign Service Reform Priorities Summary”, shared by senior official in AFSA.); interview with Michael Ratney, former Deputy Head of the Foreign Service Institute, July 5, 2022

363 Rosenberg Senate testimony, June 16, 2022: 441/AEFA/55615-E

364 Rana, Contemporary Embassy, p.26

365 Garfield, op. cit.

366 Dann cited in both Tsalikis (op. cit) and Senate testimony, April 28, 2022: en/Content/Sen/Committee/441/AEFA/55615-E

367 Shugart Senate testimony, June 16, 2022: 441/AEFA/55615-E

368 Le Monde, op. cit.

369 House of Commons, Role of the FCO, p.49

370 Dickie, p.99

371 Siniver, p.132

372 British Foreign Policy Group, p.17

373 Lequesne, Ethnographie, p.76

374 Rana, Asian Diplomacy, p.38

375 Interview with former chief of staff to the Canadian foreign minister, May 19, 2022

376 House of Commons, Role of the FCO, p.73

377 Ibid.

378 Shugart Senate testimony, June 16, 2022: 441/AEFA/55615-E

379 Lequesne and Heilbronn, p.279

380 Cited in: medium=rss&utm_campaign=foreign-service-core-precepts

381 House of Commons, Role of the FCO, p. ev8

382 British Academy, p.47

383 Interview with Morris Rosenberg, August 14, 2022

384 Langmore et al., “State Support for Peace Processes”, p.54


386 Brockmeier, op. cit.

387 Advisory Committee (Netherlands), p.6

388 Arjan Uilenreef, “The Europeanization of National Diplomats? EU specialization within the Dutch Foreign Ministry”, a chapter in: “Intra-EU Diplomacy: Dutch Bilateral Embassies in the European Union”, Ph.D. dissertation, Antwerp University, 2017. (Courtesy of Mr. Uilenreef)

389 Interview with Morris Rosenberg, July 19, 2022

390 Shugart Senate testimony, June 16, 2022:


391 Interview with former Deputy Secretary of DFAT, July 21, 2022

392 ibid.

393 Cited in:,9171,2099712,00.html

394 Examples at 20&t=zITW6cUJnaCvJcszMlHMuw;







內容 提要…. 4

介紹…. 6

加拿大:「各種能力的尊貴人物”. 8

美國…. 22

大不列顛及北愛爾蘭聯合王國…. 33

法國…. 42

澳大利亞…. 49

中國…. 55

俄羅斯…. 60

結論…. 64

確認…. 81

關於作者…. 81

引用…. 82

尾注…. 89

 根據我的一些消息來源,當康明凱和斯帕沃爾被捕時…… 高級官員舉行的會議看起來像是集體恐慌發作。政府與北京處於未知的水域     ,他們似乎不覺得自己擁有處理危機的專業知識。在樞密院辦公室的一次會議上,為總理和內閣提供建議的委員會,一位沮喪的高級官員問道:「中國人民在哪裡—? 

—— 邱淑嫻, 《中國 無界:  新 世界 大亂》





內容 提要

  • 由於國際議程日益受到氣候變化、全球公共衛生、移民和網路安全等全球性問題的支配,而不是傳統的國與國關係問題,外交部面臨被邊緣化的風險。 在這些問題上具有專門知識的國內部委在國際上正變得更加活躍,並發展自己的網路,要求外交部展示它們帶來的具體附加值。
  • 與此同時,對基於規則的國際秩序日益增長的關注——俄羅斯入侵烏克蘭只是最近和暴力的例子——以及西方民粹主義浪潮引發的對國際關係採取的更具交易性的做法,削弱了集體行動和多邊外交的能力。 這表明全球環境競爭日益激烈(甚至在盟國之間), 各國將需要   專業知識  和網路來追求其利益。
  • 面對這一現實,外交部正在重新審視成為21世紀高績效組織所需的人才。 這促使本研究中研究的幾個外交部質疑外交官的輻射「通才」模型是否足以滿足當前和未來的需求。
  • 儘管大多數外交部打算保留輪換人員的「通才」核心,但該研究顯示,無論是在特定地區還是在多邊關係等主題上,都存在鼓勵發展更深層次的主題專業知識和在外交部內培養專業幹部的強勁趨勢。 本報告所審查的外交部門要麼已經將精通電子語言能力列為優先事項,要麼正在朝這個方向採取步驟。
  • 加拿大外交部堅持在其創始精神中根深蒂固的「通才」模式,有可能成為同行和競爭對手中的異類。儘管加拿大外交部門內部有一些專業知識,但加拿大全球事務部的組織文化往往阻礙專業化,將其視為與晉陞高級領導層不相容。這種現象並非Globa l Affairs所獨有,它反映了過去二十年來加拿大公共服務部門內部“管理主義”的更廣泛趨勢,這種趨勢貶低了主題知識作為領導屬性的作用。
  • 加拿大外交事務常設委員會2022年2月宣佈對加拿大外交部門是否「適合目的」進行為期一年的研究,以及外交部長Joly於2022年5月宣布進行平行的外交未來審查,這些都是重新調整當前假設和方法的機會加拿大需要的外交人才。
  • 如果它希望在爭奪全球影響力的鬥爭中與同行和對手保持競爭力,加拿大將需要一個可信的外交服務。 這意味著在世界各地都有能夠權威發言的人,他們通過展示一系列全球問題的“因果素養”,以及對其指定區域或主題重點的深入了解主題。
  • 加拿大外交部門正在努力整合專門知識,因為它缺乏明確的人才管理理論,在晉陞高級管理人員方面沒有充分強調外交能力和知識。 它應該研究在英國開發的「職業一個nchors」模型(在澳大利亞正在開發中),以及美國外交部用來指導職業發展和晉陞的「核心戒律」,作為可以適應加拿大需求的最佳實踐。
  • 與其他外交部一樣,加拿大外交部將受益於與其他部委、多邊組織、智囊團和學術界以及私營部門更頻繁的交流機會。 這將需要通過調整目前僅評估全球事務部內部服務的績效和人才管理工具,消除圍繞組織外部任務的“職業懲罰”。
  • 同樣,人才通過職業生涯中期橫向進入外交部門滲透到組織中,是其他外交部成功用於解決特定技能短缺問題的一種手段。  雖然可以理解的是,加拿大外交官員對橫向進入的影響持懷疑態度,因為他們已經很狹窄的晉陞機會,但全球事務部應該在有限的基礎上考慮這種方法,以解決具體的人才短缺問題。 然而,從長遠來看,它還應採取步驟,鼓勵外交官員獲得必要的專家技能,並專門研究那些知識非常寶貴的領域。
  • 值得稱道的是,全球事務部已將中國確定為一個優先領域,在外交部和更廣泛的政府中,都需要更多的主題專業知識和職業集中度 ,並且暗示“通才”模式不再足夠。 其他領域也是如此,例如貿易政策,在這些領域,專家的價值很容易得到承認。 在尋求 在日益複雜的世界中實施全球外交政策時, 全球事務應該渴望在大多數(如果不是全部)區域和主題上建立至少一小批專家骨幹 , 包括預測尚未看到的危機和機遇。
  • 鑒於其擁有世界上最多樣化的人口之一作為其人才庫的獨特優勢, 加拿大外交部門沒有理由   不成長  為  世界上最具跨文化意識,知識淵博和網路化的外交服務之一。塞斯。這種程度的雄心壯志是一種選擇,它不會僅僅通過一成不變的人口統計數據來實現。相反,這將需要有目的的人力資源政策和勞動力戰略規劃,更重要的是,需要企業文化的轉變,以瞭解外交專業所需的獨特能力。


 外交職業永遠處於對未來的焦慮狀態。 在一個世界各國領導人可以通過WhatsApp或通過Twitter與全球受眾即時交流的時代,幾個世紀以來,實體大使館提供的信使功能已被篡奪。 與此同時,國際關係變得越來越複雜,國與國之間的關係在氣候變化、能源安全、移民、恐怖主義和跨國有組織犯罪等全球威脅和問題上的重要性逐漸讓位於外部,這些問題越來越多地由  不屬於非     國家和行為者主導或塑造。 外交部的傳統範圍和舒適區。

有豐富的分析文獻通過宣導一種「新外交」來應對這種職業身份危機,這種外交更加靈活,更具創造性和風險偏好,更善於通過社交媒體進行實時宣傳,並且更擅長使用大數據。根據這些有遠見的人的說法,未來的外交官將作為精通技術的網路多語言者,在靈活的層次結構中運作,可以快速調動不同的技能來應對威脅或機遇。 它們將受益於外交部、其他政府部門、私營部門、學術界和智囊團之間更大的滲透性。1“新外交”支持者經常假設的是,不可避免的是,傳統的“通才”外交官模式——全面發展、適應性強的官員,能夠對一系列問題做出良好的判斷,但缺乏任何一個領域的專業知識——將把一些地方讓給  專業同事——那些 外交官具有更深厚的主題專業知識,建立在特定問題或地區的多年經驗之上,包括精通外語和強大的實地聯繫網路。

在過去的二十年裡,美國、英國、法國、澳大利亞和荷蘭進行了大量調查和報告,質疑各自外交部門的技能狀況。加拿大沒有這樣的公開努力,事實上,最後一次關於其外交服務的官方研究,皇家外交服務條件委員會(或麥克杜格爾委員會)在1981年報告了其調查結果。儘管大眾媒體對當代加拿大外交有效性的批判性評價比比皆是,但很少有人關注加拿大外交部門的專業技能,以及它們是否能很好地適應未來更靈活、有時更專業的外交的需求。 然而,2022年2月24日,加拿大參議院外交事務常務委員會宣佈對加拿大外交事務進行為期一年的重大審查。彼得·貝姆參議員和彼得·哈德(Peter Harder)的心血結晶——分別是第一國際發展和外交事務部的前副部長——這項研究將研究加拿大外交部門是否“適合目的”,是否具備   未來成功的必要技能。 就  麥克杜格爾而言


 2013年,荷蘭的一項重大審查概述了    外交部  作為  混合、特定任務單位的橫向網路運作的概念。 (見諮詢委員會,同前,第24頁。


三個月後,即5月30日,Foreign部長Joly宣布啟動自己的審查活動    ,題為“  外交的未來”,該活動將制定  “現代化和加強加拿大全球參與能力”的方法。 “我們的員工”是工作的四大支柱之一,其  任務  是“確保我們能夠   招聘、留住和發展具有  適當領導素質和技能的多元化員工隊伍,以應對當今和未來的全球挑戰,建立有效的機制和系統來建立專業知識和知識,以及部署和 戰略性地重新分配我們的人力資源,特別是在危機時期。2 預計到今年年底將提出初步報告和建議。

因此,現在是時候評估加拿大傳統上如何處理其外交使團的人才管理問題,並將其與我們的主要盟友以及我們的一些競爭對手和對手的做法進行批判性比較。 雖然加拿大全球事務部內部長期存在的「通才與專家」辯論繼續無果而終,但很明顯,她的州正在採取有意識的步驟,在其外交官中孵化更多的主題專業知識,包括通過培養區域和主題專家的骨幹。 這份CIPS報告的目的是強調其他外交部已經制定的最佳實踐,這些實踐可以作為未來改革議程的一部分適應加拿大外交部門的需求,也許是為了回應參議院或Joly部長的“外交未來”倡議的調查結果。

     本報告無意成為加拿大  外交政策優先事項的願景,也沒有規定比較分析所暗示的具體建議。它在預算、任務和組織設計問題上保持沉默。 它主要對「傳統」外交所需的技能感興趣,因此主要關注所審查的各個部委以及大使的政治流的工作。所審查的七個國家的現有比較文獻沒有使作者能夠明智地評估貿易促進、發展援助方案規劃或領事案件管理或政策所需的更具技術性的專業化領域。 然而,這位代表確實贊同這樣一種觀點,即所有這些流都可以從更深層次的領域專業知識和語言技能中受益,這既是力量倍增能力本身,也是打破各部委內部組織孤島的一種手段。


加拿大外交部門的通才根源根深蒂固,因此已被證明抵制變革。 O.D. Skelton是1925年至1941年間轉型的外交部副部長,他基本上是從無到有地建立了加拿大外交部門,他將理想的外交官員描述為“具有全能能力的人,能夠在短時間內執行各種不同的任務,而不是一個高技能的專家,很少關注他所在領域之外的事情”。3 斯克爾頓是一位政治經濟學家,在上臺前國際經驗有限,他描述的是他挑選的第一代加拿大外交官,他們同樣擁有出色的學術資歷和個人工業和判斷力的強烈特徵,但對狹隘的歐洲-大西洋範圍以外的世界的接觸有限。 由於麥肯齊·金總理雄心勃勃的兩次世界大戰之間遠見卓識和外交部的微薄規模(到1930年,我們只有30名外交官員,直到1939年才有六次海外人員派遣人員),外交部沒有必要——實際上也沒有能力——建造一個比一個小型的、 輪換外交官的通才團。

隨著加拿大從第二次世界大戰中崛起,並在新非殖民化國家的擴散中開始顯著擴大其外交足跡 – 從 1946年的26個大使館網路增長到1967年的93個 – 該服務的人員配置精神保持不變 。傳奇人物馬塞爾·卡迪厄(Marcel Cadieux),1964年至1970年擔任外交部副部長,在O.D.斯凱爾頓擔任副部長的最後一年被聘入該部門(作為通才律師),他解釋說,繼續偏愛通才是:

由於拒絕捲入對專業化的狂熱,而這種狂熱對該部來說既無用又不利於該專業的基本素質,因此,該部避免了扭曲服務的良好管理,並危及其軍官幹部的良好平衡。 因此,從根本上說,加拿大外交部門相當稀少的補充是其官員過度專業化的障礙。 這都是為了好事,我們的官員們仍然忠於職業精神,忠於具有不同能力和興趣的可敬之人的理想,他有責任將自己應用於加拿大生活的各個方面,他可能在國外代表它,資源的多樣性是他職業的本質。4

早期的批評者一致認為,Cadieux對“過度專業化”的恐懼是沒有根據的:相反,“非專家似乎   有一種自豪感  ,”約克大學教授湯瑪斯


 加拿大外交部被稱為外交部(1909-1982),外交和國際貿易部(1982-1993),外交和國際貿易部(1993-2003),加拿大外交部(2003-2006),Foreign事務和國際貿易加拿大(2006-2013),外交,貿易和發展部(2013-2015),自2015年以來,加拿大全球 事務部。 本文使用與所討論的時代相對應的術語。

霍克在寫。“一旦成為該部的成員,既不鼓勵官員發展專業,也不鼓勵該部系統地進行詳細或複雜的培訓。5 1960-62年皇家政府組織委員會(稱為the Glassco委員會)認為這是一個缺陷,結論是“隨著經濟學家,科學家,國際律師和其他專業主義者的技能越來越多,越來越多的專業化已經變得必要,以滿足當今複雜的責任。6 委員會建議外務部門採取人員配置政策,允許在「通才」發展和經驗的框架內“實現專業化,包括放慢雇員招聘的步伐,以確保更持久地發展和部署專業技能。7 在評論委員會的調查結果時,霍金寫道:

參與世界某些地區現在需要特殊的語言技能或偏遠國家的深奧知識,複雜的國際談判需要特定學科或專業知識領域的專家在場。 在這種情況下,「通才」概念與輪換相結合, 在最壞的情況下往往會崩潰 ,至少會太薄,無法滿足有效決策和管理的需要。7

其他人也給通才模型打了不及格的分數。 加拿大學者R.巴里·法雷爾(R. Barry Farrell)在1954年至1969年期間多次訪問歐洲的基礎上指出,“加拿大外交官員在東歐和蘇聯獲得的最常見印象  是,   他們中的   大多數人並不  專門從事歐洲外交事務。 東道國作為他們的英國和美國同行,也不像美國人那樣精通當地語言。9 Farrell認為,“發展一支更專業的外交使團,實際上可能是加拿大奉行不依賴英國或美國的外交政策的先決條件,而且這種政策對加拿大的具體利益作出反應。11

 即使對外事務突飛猛進地發展,其領導層認為  外國商人太小  而無法沉迷於  主題專業化的看法一直持續到1970年代:“法律,商業,科學或語言培訓等一些專業顯然是可取的,但沒有一個小國能夠負擔得起 在每一個日益增加的國際關注領域保持外交專家。11 T.A Keenleyside在1979年寫道,他發現,自O.D.斯克爾頓時代以來,理想的加拿大外交官幾乎沒有發展過,對外事務繼續喜歡通才,他“已經接受過……在他的職業生涯中,他在渥太華和國外擔任過各種不同類型的職位。 據稱,他的價值在於他廣泛的視野,因為他擁有全面的經驗和對該部門各種活動的理解。 他應該具有『世界政治全球觀的優勢,而沒有來自專業化的受限政治視野的缺點』」。。11

然而,這些「優勢」的代價包括加拿大外交存在因非殖民化而增長最快的地區令人不安的盲點。 在1973年對加拿大外交官的開創性調查中,基恩利賽德發現只有六名外交官認為自己是中東或非洲的專家,只有16名外交官報告說他們是亞洲問題的專家,不列顛哥倫比亞大學教授巴里·莫裡森(Barrie Morrison)發現“加拿大的分析和背景報告明顯不如澳大利亞人和美國人。 Keenleyside總結說:“該部門必須至少在某種程度上通過增加區域專業化來適應其全球業務性質的變化。“13 有趣的是,在Keenleyside調查的外交官員中,有40%的人認為在對外事務方面需要更多的專家(相比之下,6%的人更喜歡通才)。 自我認同的通才也報告了顯著較低的工作滿意度。 Keenleyside總結說,「似乎有理由招聘更多經過預先培訓的職能和領域專家,使更多的官員能夠至少部分地在工作中發展專業化,並從該部門的隊伍之外為該部門配備專家。13

然而,在接下來的幾十年裡,在實現這一願景方面進展甚微。 在1960年代末,總理皮埃爾·特魯多(Pierre Trudeau)在接受採訪時說:“我覺得今天外交的整個概念有點過時了。 我相信其中大部分可以追溯到電報的早期,當時你需要一個調度來瞭解A國發生的事情,而現在你可以在一份好報紙上讀到它。15 特魯多將削減外交事務預算,同時逐步將大多數關鍵外交政策文件轉移到總理辦公室,將1970年代變成加拿大外交官邊緣化和士氣低落的時期。 根據部門歷史學家格雷格·多納吉(Greg Donaghy)的說法,這個野心低落的時代恰逢對內部行政的日益關注:“令浪漫主義者厭惡的是,’管理技能’將成為當代加拿大外交官的標誌性特徵之一。 當涉及到財務責任和問責制時,責任停在代表團負責人的辦公桌上,“大使迪利斯·巴克利 – 鐘斯宣布,強調外交官優先事項的轉變。16(美國、英國和法國將特派團管理責任放在使團副團長身上,使  大使能夠騰出時間專注於網路和高層外交,但加拿大除了少數大型大使館外沒有DHOM,大使的例行抱怨是管理的負擔 總部實施的控制措施削減了他們對實地高價值活動的關注。麥克杜格爾委員會在該十年末發現,“似乎沒有適當的職業規劃系統,無法確定個別外國服務雇員的優勢和劣勢,[……]或提供培訓和合理的任務模式,以確保該處擁有對實現其作為一個組織的努力所必需的各種和能力的人力資源。18

 1982年   貿易專員處與對外事務的合併產生了

 “回蕩了  一代人”的文化衝擊。18 儘管如此,  合併還是記入了貸方

 促使“注入來自政府其他領域的具有專業技能的人才”,其中包括一些保持豐富卓越傳統和群體認同的貿易政策專家。19 次年,由該部門的Polipon Planni ng小組領導的一項審查產生了一份題為“質量危機”的嚴厲的內部報告,該報告診斷出一個部門在管理上漂泊不定,無法創造一種卓越的文化:“我們似乎耗盡了新的想法或對新情況的富有想像力的反應,   而  我們正處在 最需要  智力復興。20 雖然報告很少關注主題專門知識問題,但主張“增加徵聘專門人才”,包括“為研究和情報單位挑選非輪換的專門知識”。 它呼籲大學休假和借調到私營企業和國際機構,以「在維和部需要現有專門知識的領域」培養知識,並呼籲建立機制,挖掘退休官員積累的專門知識。22

從1988年開始的十年中,對更名為對外事務和國際貿易的十輪預算削減,導致零星招募新的fier和機構知識的損失。 到1990年後加入外交部門的所有官員中,到2001年,有  一半以上   已經離開了該部門。22 向獲得和保留外語技能的外交官發放的財政獎金被取消,使加拿大成為唯一沒有這種激勵計劃的G7國家。23 當保羅·馬丁政府試圖在2005年《國際政策聲明》中闡明其外交政策願景時——這是自1995年以來的第一份外交政策白皮書,也是自1995年以來的最後一份外交政策白皮書——由於海外職位的穩步削減,外交部的總部已經變得繁重。聲明誓言要重新平衡足跡並加強加拿大在亞洲等日益感興趣的地區的實地存在,還承諾在普通話和阿拉伯語等語言的培訓方面進行更多投資,並指出,相比之下,澳大利亞外交部門在語言培訓上的花費是加拿大每名軍官的三倍,紐西蘭的九倍。23

然而,到2007年5月,加拿大審計長希拉·弗雷澤(Sheila Fraser)發現,該部門遠未達到《國際政策聲明》的願望。 在國外的外國語言電子指定職位的外交官中,只有16%真正符合該職位的熟練程度要求。 更可怕的是,弗雷澤發現“該部門沒有戰略人力資源計劃。 它沒有全面了解未來所需的人員,能力和經驗,並且缺乏規劃和管理其工作力所需的基本資訊。25 兩年後,美國財政委員會批准了外語培訓投資激增的資金,這有助於將合規率 推高至2012年的45%。 然而,根據該部門的培訓中心加拿大外交學院的數據,“從那以後,我們一直在觀察加拿大全球事務部的外語遵守率的下降”,目前為23%。  高管級職位的合規率甚至更低,為18%。 加拿大嚴重落後於來自澳大利亞,荷蘭的同行,

  截至  2018  年,紐西蘭,瑞典,美國和英國都可以擁有超過 50% 的合規性(荷蘭達到 100%)。   27

加拿大在培養精通外語的外交官方面有著初出茅廬的記錄,這在同行中是一個不幸的區別。 主要原因似乎是,在徵聘人員多年不足之後,總部長期缺乏初級和中級幹事,導致管理人員不願意讓這些幹事全額接受培訓。在過去四年中,平均而言,只有55%被分配到語言指定職位的員工享有繼承人的全面培訓權利。提前達到指定水準的高績效語言學生經常被拉回總部填補緊急空白,儘管理論上他們仍然有培訓時間,導致 在派任前幾個月的語言技能萎縮。

其他解釋更為具體:如前所述,在G7國家和許多國際組織中,只有加拿大沒有向外交官提供獲取和保留外語技能的財政激勵措施。 加拿大外交學院於2018年編製了一份詳細的商業案例,提議創建此類激勵措施,但該部門的高級管理層沒有支援,理由是成本原因。27 加拿大政府其他地方確實存在語言獎金計劃:通信安全機構向符合條件的員工支付外語流利獎金,相當於其工資的5%。27

2017年,一項針對58名全球事務部員工進行的調查揭示了該部門表現不佳的進一步原因,這些員工曾接受過中東語言(阿拉伯語、波斯語、土耳其語和希伯來語)的困難語言培訓。 調查發現,“輟學者”人數很多,即語文熟練程度很高,但後來拒絕在該區域擔任第二個職位的警官,使該部用沒有本區域背景、也不具備必要語文技能的幹事填補外地的後續空缺。調查發現,專業幹事的保留率低,主要是因為人們認為該部在職業管理和  晉陞方面不重視外語技能。 (受訪者舉了一個次要但很能說明問題的例子:自2013年以來,全球事務部外語冠軍助理副部長級職位一直空缺。 加拿大外交學院同樣  得出結論,“  申請語言有不愉快的態度 –


 這項未發表的調查是作者在當時的歐洲和中東事務助理副部長亞歷克斯·布蓋利斯基斯(Alex Bugailiskis)的支持下進行的,目的是確定改善中東地區專業人才保留的途徑。

 直到二十年前,外交事務部還要求接受外語培訓的外交官員承諾以  該目標語言提供兩倍於所提供任何培訓  的期限,以此作為就業條件。 對於針對最困難語言的24個月的語言培訓計劃,這相當於承諾至少兩個職位。這種做法似乎已經消失。

指定職位是因為官員花費長達2年的時間來獲得一個共同的資格,而損害了許多其他更具可轉移性的能力。29 在高級管理層沒有就專業技能的價值發出明確信號的情況下,官員們只能思考一項長達兩年的重大外語培訓終身承諾的成本和收益 ,而不能保證該部門將同樣承諾在職業發展中評估這一個人和公司資產。

事實上,在國外,只有18%的語言指定的EX級(即高級管理人員)職位由合格的演講者組成,這進一步證明瞭語言技能與組織進步的相關性。 加拿大外交學院在2020年發現,「由於外語能力y不是獲得更高級的輪換職位的要求,就像其他MFA的情況一樣,外語培訓可能會阻礙輪換員工的職業前景。30 有趣的是,2014年對外交事務語言課程的第三方評估建議,“至少一門外語的高水準熟練程度是該部門任何行政職位的必要條件”。31 這將與美國國務院關於進入高級外交部門的要求直接平行。該建議被忽視,也許是因為認識到所有員工歷來都沒有平等的機會獲得外語培訓機會 – 特別是那些來自領事和發展流的員工。 2019年前後,外語熟練度開始出現在晉陞為行政幹部的“資產資格”中,但這是否對個別候選人有任何影響,尚屬猜想。

在大使一級,代表團團長提名的獨特而複雜的程式需要得到外交部長和總理的同意,這經常出現拖延和不確定,這意味著大使們很少有機會在派任之前接受重要的語言培訓。  例如,這與英國的制度形成鮮明對比  ,英國的制度是提前一到兩年為使團團長職位配備人員的——足夠的準備時間來確保大多數英國大使——事實上,其中74%——在被任命之前具有預期的流利程度。

其他人力資源做法也構成結構性抑制因素。 近年來,在工作和中層管理層面的一些晉陞過程需要最近的財務或人力資源管理經驗,而根據定義,全日制語言學生在接受培訓時無法獲得這些經驗,因此許多學生沒有資格。 值得稱道的是,該部門在2019年開始將語言培訓時間從必須證明管理經驗的時期中免除。但對於希望  花費    長達  兩年的全職培訓以獲得流利程度的外交官來說,這是一項困難的


 這也將使從其他政府部門或公共服務部門以外吸引行政一級的橫向僱用人員變得更加困難。 (雖然這些並不常見,但它們是該部門解決EX級別特定需求的戰略的一部分。

 普通話、韓語或阿拉伯文   等語言,對   職業處罰的看法

 在這麼長的一段時間內,沒有受到高級管理層的注意  仍然很普遍。

儘管仍然堅持「通才」哲學,但全球事務部已經明確確定需要更深入的主題專業知識的一個領域是中國。據稱,時任駐華大使多米尼克·巴頓(Dominic Barton)的心血結晶,他認為“加拿大應該在G7中擁有最強大的中國業務”,2021年啟動的“中國能力專案”發現,該部門在中國的專業知識,包括其普通話人才,偏向於貿易流,在政治和區域分析領域存在缺陷。   報告還發現,其他政府部門越來越關注其工作的中國層面,並徵求全球事務部的專家建議,以增加總需求。 該專案主張在該部門內建立一個中國卓越中心,重新關注語言技能,在全球事務部和其他政府部門有針對性地招聘專家到中國(或)執行任務,與私營部門和學術界建立知識夥伴關係,以及為政府助理副部長級官員提供更複雜的中國問題培訓。該項目承認,圍繞diafiku lt-language學習的“職業懲罰”(普通話指定職位的遵守率僅為14%),該專案主張在未來招聘和晉陞流程的資產資格中增加普通話的流利程度,並建議創建中心,以說服具有中文技能的員工承諾在中國至少第二次任職。

該部門在開發主題和領域專業知識方面有著良好的記錄。在2001年9月11日的襲擊事件發生后,外交部獲得了資金,以創建全球安全報告計劃(GSRP)。 該計劃是加拿大獨有的,為世界各地的熱點地區的大使館提供三十多名軍官,他們專注於對加拿大具有戰略意義的國際安全問題進行分析和報告。他們的報告(在COVID之前的日子里每年約1,800份)在部委內提供廣泛的受眾,並與合作夥伴部門共用,並有選擇地與我們的盟友共享,從而產生有價值的服務間貨幣。 國家安全學者湯瑪斯

 加拿大獨有的一個挑戰是其官方語言要求。 所有外交官員必須達到英語和法語的高水準(CCC水準)。 從歷史上看,在入門級招聘的單語官員是試用(稱為從頭開始)和長達一年的全職培訓,以便以第二官方語言達到CCC級別。 然而,由於預算限制,外交部於2012年暫停了其官方語言培訓計劃,並開始將招聘限制在具有兩種官方語言流利程度的現有CCC級候選人。 這種做法明顯不利於該部門吸引更多講普通話的人的努力,特別是來自加拿大所有學區都不提供法語教學的加拿大華人社區。 2016年的一項有針對性的招聘工作  最終拒絕了  許多合格的候選人,他們  被告知,只有當他們已經精通兩種官方語言時,他們才會被僱用。 幸運的是,環球事務部在2021年恢復了官方語言培訓。

朱諾寫道:“GSRP報告是加拿大  在五眼社區   和其他情報合作夥伴中最大的資產之一。 據  一位受訪者稱,   “很難誇大GSRP的獨特性,五眼合作夥伴對它的喜愛程度……它是皇冠上的明珠。32 GSRP計劃特別值得一提的是投資於其官員的外語培訓(其在國外的36個職位中有29個具有“強制性”語言名稱)因此,對該部門的語言學家和主題專家的儲備做出了不成比例的貢獻。 然而,由於GSRP官員既不管理預算也不管理工作人員,因此該計劃受到職業前景不佳的看法,因為該部門的晉陞資格標準非常重視管理經驗。

此外,從2009年到2011年,該部門的穩定與重建工作組(START)嘗試了一項全面的人才管理計劃,旨在通過強化培訓和管理高達董事級別的職業發展,在危機背景下的衝突管理,建設和平和人道主義應對方面發展更深層次的專業知識。 該倡議建議對總部、衝突地區、聯合國和北約等多邊職位的任務進行深思熟慮的排序,並在G7中適當的戰略雙邊行動,並輔之以加拿大部隊參謀學院和聯合國高級領導人專案的部署機會。33 然而,這種動力似乎並沒有在隨後的領導層變動中倖存下來。

作為  START努力的一部分,渥太華大學教授彼得·鐘斯(Peter Jones  )受委託在2010年撰寫了一篇論文,評估了加拿大參與國際調解努力的歷史。 他發現,多年來,一些外交事務官員在調解方面積累了不同的專門知識,但這是以臨時方式發生的。 該部門沒有保留具有這些技能的員工名冊,也沒有提供培訓以加深他們對這一技術領域的瞭解。瓊斯採訪的外交官分享了他們的觀點,即如果該部門希望建立一小批調解專家,它將需要提供更好的培訓,職業發展和指導支援。“好人不會把職業發展時間花在[調解上],如果新聞部不表明它重視它並獎勵他們。 鐘斯總結說,如果它  希望在這個子領域表現出色,“DFAIT的人事系統將不得不接受這樣一個想法,即將有一批官員擁有不尋常的職業流 – 包括一段時間的調解培訓和在DFAIT之外借調的一段時間  ,以進行由DFAIT  運營的調解程式工作。 聯合國、區域組織  和非政府組織。33

加拿大外交部門面臨著許多人力資源方面的挑戰,這些挑戰阻礙了發展主題專業化的努力,並強化了預設的通用主義模式。 自1997年以來,由於預算壓力,外交官員的招聘一直零星發生,並且在2009年至2019年期間的大部分時間里基本上暫停,導致入門級官員的嚴重短缺,並迫使管理人員  優先考慮短期

     “語言命令式”職位是指   從理論上講,被選中的員工在達到職位的目標熟練程度之前不得繼續任職。  只有加拿大適用這一概念。

以犧牲職業和勞動力規劃為代價來修復人員配置。在進行徵聘時,是在全公共服務部門通用入學考試的基礎上進行的,自1999年以來,國際知識問題已經取消,轉而權衡通用行為能力。 一位精通普通話的申請人被多項選擇公共服務測試淘汰,她寫道,她對“過時的”外交服務招聘系統感到沮喪:“多項選擇考試並不能深入瞭解一個人在遠離家鄉的f oreign國家生活,工作和代表加拿大的能力。 36

在過去二十年中,許多參與人力資源管理的高級官員提出了各種其他理論來解釋該部門向通用主義的傾向。 一些人認為,2003年《公務員制度現代化法》或  隨後採用的公司做法  ,  促進了一種符合  政府範圍人力資源條例的思維方式,沖淡了面向國際的工作力隊伍的獨特要求。  這個時代另一個有爭議的變化  是  將職位和薪酬預算分散到地理分支機構,一些人認為這削弱了個人化職業管理和分配規劃的實踐,以及外國Affa IRS的企業人力資源職能部門捍衛組織長期人才管理需求的能力。

前外交部副部長莫裡斯·羅森伯格(Morris Rosenberg  )於2022年6月向參議院  外交事務常設委員會作證說,“人力資源  政策需要促進深厚的地理和語言專業知識的發展,併為使用這些技能進行多次旅行的外交官提供激勵”。36 其中一項嘗試是在2016年推出基於能力的人才管理方法(CBA),預計將向每位外交官員提供“能力護照”,以反映他們積累的技能和經驗,以及後續任務和晉陞所需的證書。   根據當時的任務執行董事馬克·弗萊徹(Mark Fletcher)的說法,CBA旨在通過計劃任務的實習來確保在專業技能(包括外語能力)方面的更高投資回報。  該系統的一項關鍵功能是跟蹤向願意接受多年語言培訓的警官作出的任務承諾,以確保他們有“職業保障”。37 截至2022年,CBA的“能力密碼t”和相關的職業規劃要素似乎已被放棄。

2004年,管理層和外交部門工會同意將兩級外交官職等分為四個職等,最高職等(FS-04)與初級行政幹部(EX-01)的工資範圍重疊, 再次嘗試承認專家的價值。 我們的想法是為不希望成為經理的主題專家創造一條晉陞道路。 事實證明,這一實驗在很大程度上是不成功的,因為FS-04等級現在經常被附加到中層管理職位上,以使其更具吸引力,從而沖淡了對激勵專業化的預期關注。FS的重新分類嘗試還進一步傳播了一種無益的觀點,即專家需要  從  管理軌道上走出職業坡道,並且  專業知識


2013年加拿大國際國家發展署與加拿大外交和國際貿易部的合併,以及同年晚些時候澳大利亞的經驗,被認為導致了發展專業知識的喪失。 2018年經合組織發展援助委員會(DAC)對加拿大發展計劃的Pe er審查警告說,在該部門重組期間,資金池管理的開發人員的流失“有可能進一步稀釋發展專業知識,並破壞與合作夥伴政府和執行合作夥伴的夥伴關係品質。38 它發現,由於「缺乏有效利用和重視CIDA專業和專業資源的管理模式」,合併延續了2012年DAC同行評審中首次確定的「CIDA更多地使用通才和外部顧問」 的趨勢。39 相反,一些外交官員認為,加開發署的合併導致職業前景下降,外交政策方面專門知識的喪失,因為晉陞為行政幹部會獎勵管理人員和預算管理方面的經驗(發展幹事通常具有這種經驗),而不是主題專門知識。39

撇開具體的人力資源實踐不談,恢復加拿大全球事務部作為基於主題專業知識的政策卓越中心地位的最有害障礙與企業文化有關。 與其他外交部(大多數不是美國國務院)在人才管理方面制定了戒律不同,加拿大外交部反而發展了口碑職業指導的傳統,該傳統一直強調通才軌跡的優點,這是他取得成功的最可靠方式 – 相反,與作為專家「鴿子洞」相關的風險。 這種建議通常繼續主張在渥太華總部度過大部分職業生涯,在那裡晉陞被認為更容易(“careers在渥太華製造”,一位前高級大使說),41理想情況下在中央機構工作,或者被派往歐洲大西洋主要首都,這些首都享有高級管理層的高度知名度。在管理雷達範圍內更遠征的地方發帖- 或者更糟糕的是,需要耗時的語言培訓 – 並不被視為專業上有利。

  雖然有些人試圖將這些建議視為民間傳說,但一位在2000年代中期在外交部擔任人力資源的高級管理人員報告說,他委託進行了一項關於該部門晉陞的“城市傳說”的研究(例如  偏向總部工作人員或派駐大型大使館  的工作人員)。 比如華盛頓),並沮喪地發現“這一切都是真的”。42 前大使艾比·丹恩(Abbie Dann)在參議院作證時指出,一個更微妙的轉變,認為政府在過去15年中以渥太華為中心的對專案交付的重視導致全球事務局縮短了其政策制定能力,包括地理能力。


這些發現與過去幾十年加拿大公共服務的更廣泛趨勢一致,這些趨勢以犧牲主題專業化為代價,提高了通才檔案的預期職業效益。 公共管理學者唐納德·薩瓦(Donald Savoie)描述了   公共服務部門其他地方的職業主義精神,“職業生涯中期的官員現在看到的通往頂峰的道路是通過在部門短暫停留,加入中央機構,獲得知名度,學會對抗或管理政治火災,而不是留在一個部門以獲得對 其促進系統性變革的政策和計劃。43

 這種向泛泛主義的漂移的一個關鍵表現是高級管理人員的滲透性越來越強,例如副部長和助理副部長。傳統上,人們期望副部長既以領導者又以實務專家的身份管理各部門,而他們現在則在公共行政文化中運作,在“問題日益橫向化的環境中”,尋求高級管理人員的“經驗多樣性”。 根據薩瓦省的說法,副部長現在「被選中是因為他們瞭解這個系統是如何運作的,而不是因為他們的部門專業知識或  他們對一個部門,它的政策和  歷史的瞭解。45 這反映在更替率高得多:1967年之前,副部長的平均任期為12年,而今天則接近2-3年。

副部長互換性的這一推定也逐漸在助理副部長中得到複製。 那位幹部的成員回憶說:「你曾經成為一名ADM,因為你有政策智慧,或者你有主題專業知識。 管理和領導技能沒有被尋求,甚至沒有被問及。至多有一種假設,你可以管理,最壞的情況是認為它不重要。46 然而,在1998年,ADM被正式轉移到一個集體管理的池子裡,這意味著它們不再“擁有”一個特定的職位,而是被認為可以部署在政府的任何位置。  決策被推高和集中,知識被推低。47 與副部長一樣,提交人發現,ADM的輪換時間越來越短,在這種變動中,他們正在努力掌握自己的檔案。 他們的結論是,公務員制度「越來越有可能開設一個全球管理階層,過分或幾乎完全注重管理技能和能力,以期經理就是經理,低估主題事項方面的知識和專長」。。48 該研究的結論是,Public Service近年來向“通用”管理人員發展得太遠,今後應更加重視和重視在其職責領域內容方面具有豐富知識和專長的ADM。48

加拿大全球事務部也未能倖免於政府向「管理主義」領導技能的更廣泛轉變,包括高級管理職位對非職業外交官的高度滲透性。 自2003年以來,只有一名職業外交官——2007年至2010年的倫·愛德華茲(Len Edwards)——被要求擔任外交部副部長,而在過去二十年中擔任這一職務的其他人都是有成就的公務員,但具有不同程度,有時甚至是適度的國際經驗。有趣的是,愛德華茲在  2022年4月參議院外交事務   常設委員會的證詞中提議,全球事務的一名正式代表應再擔任“外交部門負責人”的新角色,並領導重建工作。加拿大的外交服務是世界上最好的外交服務之一。愛德華茲承認最近最高職位的滲透性,並補充說:“理想情況下,它應該是外交部副部長,但應該始終是一個在外交部門工作並瞭解其作用和獨特特徵的人。51

邁克爾·斯莫爾(Michael Small)是一位職業外交官,在2007年審計長報告後擔任人力資源ADM的職位,他在Se nate之前的證詞中證實了他的觀點,即“近幾十年來,該部門低估了其高管的外交知識和技能,轉而支援其他管理能力”。51 前北約大使克里·巴克(Kerry Buck)對此表示贊同,他說:“全球事務部有太多的關鍵工作都是由臨時工作人員填補的,晉陞和保留不足以評估外交官的國際知識或他們的國際網路。51

 部分  原因在於  ,以  與  公共服務其他部門     相同的方式管理全球事務人才自然會產生  的後果。 2005年,關鍵領導能力在加拿大政府中公佈,並從那時起指導了外交事務未來領導人的遴選。這些能力描述了一般的管理行為,不包括知識部分。 2017年,該部門開發了一套單獨的國際能力(包括作為核心能力的外語能力),以及特定的特派團負責人能力。這些已列入外交事務官員和行政人員甄選程序的標準,但個人晉陞過程中國際能力與管理能力之間的相對平衡只能猜測。   顯而易見的是,更根本的是,外交經驗甚至不是全球事務進步的必要條件。 一位參與2016年EX-02和EX-03級別晉陞委員會的ADM回憶說,他堅持將在國外擔任高級職位的經驗作為基本資格標準,並以“對其他部門的候選人不公平”為由被否決。53 與英國相反,英國已著手將學習標準應用於作業和晉陞,而加拿大的制度中沒有這方面的知識標準或專業資格。 最後,通過全公共服務機構評估全球事務  高級管理人員的業績

 雖然加拿大外交學院提供一系列主題的培訓,併為大多數員工制定了學習路線圖,但接受培訓是 臨時 和自我指導的,培訓必須與常規職責一起進行。

執行人才管理系統,其中絕大多數 被評估的目標都是自動預先設定的公司或管理人員的優先事項,幾乎沒有空間來評估實際的外交政策目標以及實現這些目標所需的外交技能或知識。 總的來說,全球事務部人才管理的這些特點至少部分地回答了莫裡斯·羅森伯格(Morris Rosenberg)向參議院外交事務委員會提出的反問:“我們在激勵結構中是否做了足夠的工作,以實際獎勵那些帶來深厚專業知識的人?”

公共服務部門使用不包括主題專業知識的通用領導能力本身就引起了激烈的爭論。 正如一位助理副部長所說,「高級管理人員的知識能力似乎急劇下降。 這是錯誤的。 公共服務應該將自己視為學習型職業之一,高級管理人員為他們所領導的領域帶來深入的戰略思維領導能力。54 然而,將這種重要能力應用於外交部,因為它需要在獨特的、具有全球競爭性的跨文化環境中掌握不熟悉的問題,這似乎特別短視。 正如加拿大公共行政學者所指出的那樣,高級公務員的原則更強大,因為擁有“廣泛而非深入”的知識基礎也充滿了不一致的應用。 例如,大多數人都認為,財政部的副部長或ADM  沒有經濟學背景是不可想像的。 外交政策不那麼複雜或風險,或者值得採取專業方法,這種觀點似乎與全球分裂的步伐不一致,英國資深大使傑里米·格林斯托克爵士(Sir Jeremy Greenstock)已經估計,這增加了外交專業知識的溢價:

世界正變得越來越 單點、複雜和 臨時,在任何問題上,你都可能有一套與你正在處理的上一個問題不同的合作夥伴或對手 。如今,你必須  對這些問題做出臨時回應,這些問題可能需要一個小國,那裡需要一個地區,或者全球一系列只有你的外交官才能為你召集起來的國家。這將增加,而不是減少。我們不是在政治和身份的全球化,我們是在兩極分化。外交必須解釋這一點,政府需要工具來瞭解如何從談判桌上最重要的政府(幾乎可以是任何人)那裡獲得關於特定問題的下次會議的最大收益 。56

在考慮將法國外交部門的兩個高級職位合併到一般公共行政部門時(在後面的一節中討論),《費加羅報》的一位專欄作家回顧了加拿大向高級官員的更大滲透性的轉變,並斷言“實施這種改革的國家已經看到其外交效力迅速惡化”。56 雖然這種定性即使不公平,也是值得商榷的,但看到加拿大被引用為其他國家的警示故事仍然是發人深省的。

然而,在全球事務的背景下,值得注意的是,近幾十年來加拿大外交的一個獨特成功 – 在美國保護主義日益抬頭的情況下重新談判北美自由貿易協定 –  是由該部門  公認的藝術之一  完成的。

“神職人員”,其貿易政策和法律專家的專業骨幹。 正如一位高級官員所說,「我們沒有派出一個通才小組與鮑勃·萊特希澤(Bob Lighthizer)(美國貿易代表)進行談判。57 這給該組織提出了一個至關重要的問題:貿易政策和中國是否是唯一重要到足以保證部署專業知識的領域?通才方法是否足夠好,除非它真的很重要?

其他外國分部的經驗表明,有可能經營一個具有通才核心的外交部門,同時在一系列區域和專題問題上培養各級資歷的輪調專家幹部。 全球事務部是一個複雜的組織,目前提供56個不同的專案,正如莫裡斯·羅森伯格(Morris Rosenberg)在參議院所說,“我們需要在所有領域都有深厚專業知識的人  。[…]你需要瞭解整個政府以及如何與其他部門建立聯繫的人,但你需要真正瞭解核裁軍的人,例如,以及如何在撒哈拉以南非洲工作的人。59

但是,與本研究報告中研究的其他外交部一樣,全球事務部並不是氣候變化、全球公共衛生、移民或網路安全等日益增多的新出現的全球問題的牽頭機構。喬利   部長的授權書中確定的  三分之二的優先事項需要與全球事務組合以外的部門密切合作,其中許多部門已經建立了重要的國際關係部門,在問題實質方面擁有深厚的專業知識和強大的國內外聯繫網路。 如果它要保持其“市中心”的信譽,全球事務部將被迫證明它也有專業知識可以做出貢獻,不僅在通過其全球平臺提供的專案交付或客戶服務方面,而且在外交政策制定的高價值使命上。



一位美國外交官員的職業生涯始於一些高中西班牙文。無論出於何種 原因,國務院決定不在這一現有基礎上再接再厲。相反,它教他六個月的義大利語,並把他送到梵蒂岡兩年。


現在,在講英語的美國工作了六年之後,這位官員不熟悉 他以納稅人為代價學到的四種語言中的任何一種。



美國的外交部門是世界上最大的外交部門,有近7,950名外交官員(FSO)負責為277個海外外交職位配備人員。60 它的規模使它能夠發展出非常深入的主題專家,實現了1980年《外交服務法》  中規定的目標,該法案設想了一個“以強大的政策制定能力,傑出的領導素質以及高度發達的職能,外語和領域經驗為特徵”的服務。61 然而,美國獨有的其他特點繼續削弱外交部門的效力,用前政策規劃主任安妮-瑪麗·斯勞特(Anne-Marie Slaughter)毫不留情的話來說,國務院“用一支為十九世紀世界訓練的二十世紀外交使團來解決二十一世紀的全球性問題”。62 在美國,   「專家」與「通才」外交服務的優點之間的辯論  遠非如此激烈,在美國,關於他的需求和國務院未來方向的討論在過去二十年中催生了數十份智庫報告。 但人們普遍認為,主題專業知識是美國外交官增值的核心,布林肯國務卿於2021年10月宣佈的一項改革倡議承諾,國務院將進一步努力在“未來幾年對我們國家安全至關重要的領域”發展更深層次的專業化。62

雖然美國外交官員的選拔過程理論上是最不獨特的過程之一(它甚至   不需要大學學位),但它的競爭力 –  高達

20,000名美國人參加外交服務官員測試年和不到3%的通過率 – 確保了一批高品質的新兵。多達四分之三的人擁有研究生學位,其中許多人從事政治,外國文化,語言和國際事務,64 歲,至少80%的入境軍官曾在國外工作或學習,包括服兵役或和平隊。65 超過四分之一的人已經會說兩種或兩種以上的外語,部分原因是招聘過程本身,該過程為通過外交官員考試並表現出外語熟練程度的申請人提供獎勵積分,重點是阿拉伯語,普通話,波斯語,達里語,普什圖語和烏爾都語等關鍵語言。65

與其他在招聘階段尋求學科專業知識的外交部門(最著名的法國人)不同,FSO測試在很大程度上是認知性的,並且被批評為“沒有測試有關外交歷史和功能的特定知識……或了解作為美國外交專業人士成功執行的要求,專業知識和技能”67 這反映了國務院的普遍精神,即把外交視為一門主要通過多年的在職學習掌握的手藝,而不是通過教育或有目的的專業發展:“該局期望其官員逐個任務獲得他們需要的知識  ,而不考慮  更大的圖景,  並加強 他們  在工作中和通過隨意的在職培訓的技能。長期的專業教育,例如提供給我國軍官團的教育,很少甚至根本不存在。 “68名新員工在被派往海外崗位或接受外語培訓之前,通常只接受幾周的入職培訓。 根據一份重要報告,“與其他所有主要大國外交官的入門級培訓和專業發展相比,美國外交在高度業餘的基礎上發揮作用”。69 另一位代表將美國外交部門與全球同行相比不利:「在接受調查的幾乎每一項服務中,有抱負的軍官在申請之前都要接受高水準的外交服務教育,並有目的地接受外交服務教育,流利地使用一門外語(  在某些情況下是兩門或三門)作為正式或實際要求。 大多數服務要求新官員在第一次出國任務之前,通過實質性的專業組建和培訓計劃,持續時間長達兩到三年。71

多項研究建議更加關注美國外交官的專業化,例如通過擴大職業教育計劃,重點關注掌握實質性外交政策問題,外交專業知識和領導力。71 雖然普林斯頓大學、國防大學、陸軍戰爭學院、國家情報大學和其他地方每年有超過  100個名額可供外勤人員參加課程並獲得碩士學位,但72名軍官抱怨 國務院在通過合理的任務規劃將服務之外獲得的專業知識動員回組織方面做得很差。73 總體而言,與其他服務機構相比,FSO的學術機會相形見絀:Harvard Kennedy學校目前有50多名軍事和情報官員註冊,只是

兩名外交  官員。74 時任國務卿科林·鮑威爾(Colin Powell)曾一句名言,主張增加國務院的招聘人數,以創造一個永久性的“訓練花車”(如美軍領導層中存在的),以“加深軍官對外交貿易基本面的指揮”。ft,包括政策制定和學說,案例研究,談判,危機管理,專案管理以及整個職業道路上的專業知識“。75. 布林肯國務卿承諾提供資金,使培訓在2021年10月國務院最新改革倡議啟動時成為現實。


外交部門的基本技能有兩個組成部分 ——美國外交專業人員為政策談判桌帶來的附加值。首先是領域專業知識,即對其他國家,社會和群體的政治,經濟和社會現實的深刻瞭解。第二種是紮實的外語能力,如果要發展真正的領域專業知識,這是一項必要的技能。75

–美國  浸漬學院

國務院在語言培訓方面投入鉅資,因此,美國外交部門  長期以來一直以其在招募和培養外語人士方面的卓越表現而聞名。  然而,國家往往難以使其能力與實地需要相匹配,在伊拉克和阿富汗開展大規模軍民行動之後,實地需要成倍增長。 2006年伊拉克研究小組由國會授權的報告發現,在美國駐伊拉克大使館工作的1000名官員中,只有33人擁有任何阿拉伯語技能,其中六人可以流利地說。77 到2009年,這個數字幾乎沒有改善,不到20個。78. 雖然外交部吸引了許多外語消費者,但他們並不總是最迫切需要的語言:直到今天,國務院的葡萄牙語消費者仍然多於阿拉伯語和漢語的總和,講阿爾巴尼亞語的人比烏爾都語、達里語或波斯語還多。海外語言指定職位有15%空缺,其中24%的人員由不符合最低語言要求的官員填補。78

造成這種不匹配的原因有很多。 一份報告指出,「FSO普遍認為,國家的晉陞制度在評估晉陞官員時沒有  考慮在語言培訓上花費的時間,這可能會阻礙官員投入熟練掌握某些語言所需的時間。80 績效評估是美國外交部門晉陞的一個重要因素,因此,對於接受全職困難語言培訓的軍官來說,長達兩年的差距被廣泛認為是一種職業懲罰,與“久經考驗的職業晉陞途徑……通過

在華盛頓重複的工作人員工作,為該部門最高級官員處理紙張流動和後勤工作,他們將確保你將獲得下一個職業發展任務。81 此外,安全政策阻止一些講遺產的人在其家庭原籍國提供服務。82

美國國務院沒有氣餒,而是嘗試了一些試點專案,旨在使一批選定的外交官骨幹達到比通常要求的更高級的水準,以便在海外任職,這些職位將受益於更高水準的語言能力。83 大多數其他外交部門沒有的靈活性的一個例子是,國務院支援“非週期”外語培訓——這意味著不與即將在國外簽署的特定內容挂鉤——以提高流利程度,特別是對公共外交官員而言。 另一個試點專案  旨在通過管理任務模式,專門用普通話培養一支高級語言學家骨幹  隊伍。在外交學院接受一年的全日制語言培訓后,官員被派往中國,然後在北京或臺北接受另一年的語言培訓,然後又被派往中國,總共約七年。根據當時的FSI語言學校院長的說法,這種方法代表了傳統外交服務職業的改變:「在過去,我們會從世界的一個地方蹦蹦跳跳到另一個地方。現在我們正在尋找更持久的通信。84 外交學院目前還正在制定一項概念,在海外開展為期一年的強化區域研究方案,將語言培訓和主題獎學金結合起來,目的是在任職前將畢業文憑提高到“真正的區域專家”的水準。中國是這一努力的主要焦點,但其他優先地區也將包括在內。86

與加拿大外交部門不同,美國外交官員在五個職業軌道或「錐體」之一中工作:領事事務,經濟事務,管理事務,政治事務和公共外交。 事實上,他們需要在申請FSO考試時選擇他們的錐體,一旦被雇用,在流之間的移動是罕見的。美國和平研究所的一份報告認為,「錐體」是「在一個人們可能認為政治和經濟是可分離的時代,並且」公共外交「的信息基礎的流動可以以這樣一種方式進行管理,即美國人民不能也不會接觸到它 – 也就是說, 在互聯網之前“。86 一位外交官員批評這種職業道路,“有些人可能會爭辯說,大多數外交官員已經是全面的’通才’,  數據表明,大多數外交官都狹隘地  堅持自己的專業,並且

 安全審查政策一直是招募出生或曾經居住在某些國家的困難語言消費者的頑固障礙。 這在9/11事件后對講阿拉伯文的人的需求激增時尤其明顯。 (丹·艾芙倫,“聰明,熟練和被拒之門外”,新聞週刊,2006年6月26日。

加拿大外交部門的 五個職業軌道(稱為“流”)是:外交政策和外交,貿易,發展,管理和領事以及移民(加拿大全球事務部職權範圍之外的唯一分支 )。

 事實上,  當他們誤入相鄰時,經常會受到較慢的晉陞的懲罰

 職能(例如,  進入公共外交的經濟軌道官員)。88

通過  美國外交部門晉陞為高級外交部門,取決於發展對外交實踐的接觸以及特定領域的深度,最終實現“廣泛管理和深度專業化”的平衡。88 這一方法在「核心規則」中得到了闡述,這是國務院和美國外交服務協會(代表FSO的工會)每三年聯合談判一次的晉陞所需的一套競爭規則。 2022-25年的戒律要求晉陞到Seni或外交部門的五個核心能力,包括“實質性和技術性專業知識”。 根據這些規定,合格的候選人“利用對外國文化和其他美國G[overnment]機構的複雜知識來推進美國的目標並解決複雜的問題……保持並進一步發展外語的熟練程度,並利用語言技能向廣泛的受眾宣傳美國的興趣。89 外語能力是晉陞候選人達到相同分數的一個決勝因素。

如果沒有刻意的職業重點,這種對外國文化的複雜知識就不可能發展起來,而國務院的晉陞過程也對主題專業化提出了明確的期望。 自2005年以來,職業發展計劃(現稱為專業發展計劃)制定了“主要/次要”職業規劃,作為晉陞到高級外交官職系的必要條件。候選人必須在一個地區(“主要”)累積三次任務,並在第二個地區或專題局(“次要”)中累積兩次旅行,以確保至少一定程度的主題專業化。 除非官員會說和讀兩門外語(或一種非常困難的語言),否則不會考慮進入高級管理層,因為他們的一般專業專業水準或更高。90 在 FSI 海外設施進行阿拉伯文或中文等語言的長期培訓被視為區域旅遊。92

美國外交部的一個令人欽佩的特徵是,它故意尋求最大限度地利用外交官在該領域的時間,這部分解釋了它在發展主題專業知識方面的成功。 雖然大多數其他外交部(包括加拿大的外交部)都限制連續被派往國外,並要求定期被派往總部(表面上是為了重新熟悉總部的觀點,並治癒任何早期的“地方性”),但國務院要求其FSO僅在美國“15年內每期一次”任職。 相比之下,它在國外強制實行輪換,不允許其官員在美國停留超過六年,而大多數外交部(包括加拿大外交部)沒有這樣的要求。

 這些規定於2017年進行了修訂,以激勵FSO在國務院的專題局而不是地理局提供服務 。 但是,在2017年之前加入該服務的官員可以選擇他們希望遵循的一套戒律。

 美國實際上是唯  一一個將其一些最重要和最敏感的外交職位委託給那些幾乎沒有外交經驗的人。 91

–美國  外交學院

美國外交的一個獨特——也是臭名昭著的——特徵是,包括大使職位在內的大量高級職位被委託給非外交官。 根據一項研究,從1975年到2013  年,擔任高級職位(助理國務卿及以上)的職業外交官人數從60%以上下降到25-30%之間,93     這一趨勢在特朗普政府執政期間達到了最低點,當時國務院的23個助理國務卿職位中沒有一個被職業文憑填補。奧馬特。94 到特朗普政府結束時,政治任命大使的比例達到43%的現代高點,而甘迺迪政府到歐巴馬政府的歷史平均水準約為30%。

在某些方面,高級職位在學術界或私營部門的滲透性確保了進入全球人才庫的機會,從而確保了國務院的各種觀點和經驗。 非汽車大使“可以為雙邊關係帶來新的想法,領導才能和政治聲望    ”。95 然而,這是  以失去實地視角(“將理想與可能融合所必需的知識”)為代價的96,一些非職業任命者無疑為組織帶來了專業知識,他們在離開時會隨身攜帶。 政治任命者「對該機構的長期活力沒有顯著貢獻,他們的提升創造了一個本質上無法提供專家,無黨派外交政策建議的體系」。。100

使用大使身份作為對頂級競選捐助者的獎勵 – 這是美國特別令人震驚  的兩黨做法 – “削弱了美國的國家安全以及職業軍官的進步,並使  美國  與其大多數盟國中國和俄羅斯區分開來。98 這似乎也違反了1980年《外交事務法》第  304(a)條,該條規定,“被任命或指派擔任使團團長的個人應具有明確證明履行特派團團長職責的能力,包括在可行的最大範圍內,對主要語文有有用的知識。 或個人所服務的國家的方言,以及對該國及其人民的歷史,文化,經濟和政治制度以及利益的瞭解和理解。99 2022年4月,參議員蒂姆·凱恩(Tim Kaine)和科里·布克(Cory Booker)提出了《大使監督和透明度法案》,該法案“要求總統詳細說明被提名人的語言技能、外交政策專業知識和經驗如何使該被提名人在他們被提名任職的特定國家有效地領導美國的外交官員”。100個

美國外交的另一個獨特之處在於,主題專門知識在多大程度上不是由外交官員的輪換軍團提供的,而是由非輪換公務員制度的常駐總部人員提供的。101 這些工作人員占國務院人員的43%,實際上超過了他們的外交部門同事,他們只佔離境人員的三分之一 t.102 雖然外交官員在處理特定地理區域的六個地區局中占多數,但公務員人員提供十個主要類別的具體專門知識,並填補了國務院25個左右職能部門中的大多數職位。負責處理移民、軍備控制、氣候變化和通信政策等主題問題的稅務局。102

雖然所有外交部都有一些常駐總部的工作人員, 他們可以在高技術檔方面積累多年的經驗,但美國國務院憑藉其龐大的非輪換公務員隊伍,在擁有龐大的專業知識規模方面是獨一無二的。 一名外交官員評論說:「我們 生死存亡。」。104 雖然有一份報告建議公務員制度「鼓勵狹隘的技術專長,假定沒有海外經驗或知識,也不容易獲得這種經驗或知識」,但 美國外交事務協會的一名代表指出,公務員制度提供其他地方沒有的政策專門知識和連續性,包括在制裁等深奧問題上, 航空法和電信,通過從外國資產辦公室C和財政部等機構招聘的人員。106 國務院在為公務員在國外服務創造機會方面做了一些努力,但這一計劃仍處於萌芽階段。

國務院還利用退休的外交官員作為專業知識(包括外語能力)的儲備庫,可以部署這些人才來滿足華盛頓和海外的關鍵人員配置需求。107 這種特殊的就業狀況被稱為「實際就業時」(WAE),在任何時候,國務院已經填補了多達700個職位(約佔工作力的5%),108有助於保留綜合知識和技能。美國外交服務協會建議通過  建立  一支由具有10年或10年以上經驗的合格退休人員組成的後備軍團,使這種做法正式化  。108

這種大規模僱用退休外交官的能力是減輕美國外交部門另一個獨特特徵造成的主題知識損失的重要因素:其“向上或向外”的職業發展方法。這一原則以American軍隊為藍本,要求所有員工在服役時間的漸進門檻上成功達到一定資歷水準,否則他們將被解僱。 雖然  這種辦法   不可避免地會喪失一些  經驗和專門知識,但一些受影響的警官能夠轉入非輪換公務員制度的職位,將他們的技能保持在組織內。

我們對外交部門的願景是,所有官員不僅在其專業領域擁有深厚的專業知識,包括對文化,宗教和語言的深入瞭解。他們還應該是熟練的領導者,對  當代  外交政策問題的深思熟慮和有說服力的分析家,  政策領導者。

美國政府,美國企業的有效宣導者,即使他們不是專家,也精通科學和新技術。他們應該能夠幹練而自豪地談論自己國家的外交歷史,並有說服力地論證其價值觀。他們應該是政府中最優秀的語言專家群體 。109

——美國 外交 專案, 哈佛肯尼迪學院

美國外交部門是否有望實現上述雄心勃勃的願景,目前存在激烈爭論。 然而,幾乎所有觀察家都同意,  如果美國外交官要有效,就會期望他們提供更多的主題專業知識,而不是更少。根據美國和平研究所的說法,「未來需要國內外的多維軍官,軍官期望發展和掌握實質性知識的混合;地理專業知識;人際交往,職能和操作技能以及專業知識“,以及”機構間協調的經驗,與非政府組織,私營部門和國會的建設性關係“。111 然而,另一份報告注意到,目前爭奪緊迫的全球問題越來越多,並警告說,“二十一世紀的政策環境在一些優先領域已經超出了大多數外交和公務員的核心能力”。112 在COVID大流行之後,一份報告指出,「大多數美國人沒有背景來判斷疾病媒介,氣候變化或新技術帶來的跨國挑戰的範圍或意義。我們的外交機構也沒有評估  新科學發現的潛力,使世界成為一個更安全,更健康,更和平的地方。113 它接著主張為在硬科學領域具有大量先前背景的外交官建立一條新的外交服務職業軌道,並補充說,實地外交“涉及STEM學科的專業知識,這意味著需要具有足夠科學背景和直接外交權威的職業專業人員”。 114. 另一份報告對這一點進行了擴展,稱“目標應該是將科學和技術納入外交,招募具有網路、人工智慧、數據分析和金融技術專業知識的人。116

 2021年10月,布林肯部長回應  了這些呼籲,在國務院宣佈了一項改革倡議,旨在“在未來幾年對我們的國家安全至關重要的領域,特別是氣候、全球衛生、網路安全和新興技術、經濟和多邊外交方面,建設我們的能力和專業知識。  然而,Mo st觀察家們一致認為  ,外交部門在

如果不對國務院的人才管理方法進行全面改革,傳統技能(如區域和語言專業知識)和更前沿的領域(如氣候、能源和公共衛生)就不會發生。 一位美國外交官克裡斯托普·史密斯(Christop her Smith)在美國外交服務協會雜誌上撰文,主張更多地關注將外交官描述為專家的專業學說,拒絕接受“通才”學派,該學派優先考慮對多個國家和主題的廣泛瞭解,而不是在特定地區或職能問題上發展真正的專業知識:

在通才主義的方法中,美國外交部門在外交界是一個異常值,特別是與我們的大國競爭對手相比。中國和 俄羅斯外交官可以期望將他們的整個職業生涯都花在一個國家,或者一小群由語言或共同的地區歷史聯合起來的相關國家,其具體目標是獲得獨特的知識和專業知識。[…]如果沒有 專業的、區域和語言上的掌握,沒有長期的外國聯繫網路,一個“通才”就會錯過FSO在政策辯論中的獨特比較優勢。115

正如史密斯所說,美國是否真的是一個「局外人」是值得商榷的。 如前所述,國務院實際上領導了大多數其他西方外交部,通過發展外語人士來關注專業化,並利用其晉陞系統創造的激勵措施,轉向區域專業知識。  國務院的地理局具有很強的群體認同感,傳統上已經建立了非正式的機制,讓人們在同一個局中,而不是我們的多個任務,進一步促進專業化。117 儘管如此,專科學校的宣導者一再提出的一個建議是,用“更直接、更直接、更直接的、更傾向於外交服務任務的方法,以培養技能、發展人才和專門知識”來取代目前的任務競爭性招標程式。118 “我們是否  看到一個未來世界,深厚的區域專業知識將受到高度重視?然後,我們應該激勵   該領域的長期工作,並使用  作業系統來鼓勵   語言,語境知識和文化敏銳度的發展,“一位FSO認為。119 另一位,菲爾·斯科特(Phil Skotte)寫道:“我謙虛的建議是減少我們周圍的環境,激勵我們或迫使我們專注於更少的領域和語言。與其採用目前那種“謹慎”的作業方法,不如開發一個系統,真正使國務院能夠將文化和語言專業知識帶到桌面上。119

美國外交部門的兩個獨特特徵在這方面提出了挑戰。 首先,自2004年以來,國務院的政策將個人任職限制在三年內(輪換時間比世界其他外交部短得多  , 典型的   非艱苦 任務 通常 持續 4-5 年)。

 2000年代初縮短了派駐員額,以便在低困難員額(如歐洲)創造更多的更替率,因為需要為部署在伊拉克和阿富汗等無人陪伴的哨所的大量外交官創造更豐富的“獎勵”派任機會 。

根據AFSA的說法,在巡迴演出的長度上,國務院甚至與      屬於外交服務職業組的其他美國政府機構(如美國國際開發署和外交商務服務)相比,也是一個異常值。121改革宣導者呼籲將海外任期延長至3-5年,以“提供更大的投資回報,並在實地建立更大的連續性和專業知識   ”。122 其次,由於9/11后的規定,所有美國外交官都必須擔任領事官員,該條例規定所有簽證申請人必須由美國官員面試,而不是像大多數其他國家那樣由當地大使館工作人員面試。  123(許多FSO實際上  在領事事務中擔任了兩個職位。可以說,這次文書工作之旅剝奪了美國外交官在他們選擇的流中發展主題專業知識的幾個形成年份的好處。 國務院  目前正在試驗其他方法來滿足這一審查要求。

另一個經常出現的建議是,將美國外交部門開放給中級人員——類似於美國軍隊的直接傭金——以招募在技術、科學、商業和工程等領域具有獨特技能的美國人。124 一項相關的建議是增加有限的非職業性任命,目的是“引進具有專門技能的外部從業人員”,為他們提供長期公共服務選擇。126


美國領導全球的外交能力正在下降。美國外交日益政治化,扭轉了長達一個世紀的努力,即建立一個高度專業化的擇優錄用體系。儘管最近 有所改善,但國家既沒有將其工作人員教育到我們的盟友和競爭對手的專業水準,也沒有系統地 準備其未來的“板凳”擔任高級職務。125

–美國  外交學院

無論國務院採取何種措施來加強其專業知識和政策能力,隨著外交政策越來越多地受到白宮和國家安全委員會的控制,它可能會面臨華盛頓影響力的不可阻擋的下降,其工作人員包括許多來自學術界和智庫的外部專家以及從五角大樓和情報界借調的官員。127 美國政府的許多機構現在通過國務院直接與外國同行互動。128.羅伯特·哈欽斯說:「外交官的政策角色越來越受到政治任命者、外部專家和不斷擴大的跨機構進程的限制……國務院在為  外交政策決策提供“投入”方面仍有相對優勢,但其優勢正在萎縮。129 A 2014

報告進一步將國務院在海外行動效率 的“美國大使館 品牌”與其在華盛頓機構間進程中相對無效的“霧底品牌”進行了對比:“在海外,國家經常表現得超過其重量,利用其 不成熟的存在和技能,説明將政治,軍事,經濟和文化事務整合到跨越國家和地區邊界的協調”全政府“美國政策中。相比之下,美國國務院現在經常被認為 在華盛頓表現不佳,“它在複雜的機構間程式中的有效性因”缺乏專業知識“等因素而受到損害。130 一位學者指出,「外交部門在獲得足夠的專業技能以與其他機構競爭影響力方面進展緩慢。131 政治任命者——而不是職業外交官——往往在機構間政策進程中代表國務院,這一事實可以解釋這種 看法。

美國的外交方針是獨一無二的,它的優勢、劣勢和規模大多是無與倫比的。儘管如此,美國外交部在外交官中尋求更深入的專業知識,特別是通過其值得稱讚的透明核心戒律,已經開發了在其他外交部(包括加拿大外交部)具有廣泛適用的工具和原則。 隨著國務院調整其需求以適應新出現的主題優先事項,美國模式將值得繼續研究。


我們需要在重要的地方實地找到技術嫻熟的外交官,他們能夠深入這些國家的皮膚,沉浸在他們的語言,文化,政治和歷史中,他們可以接觸到決策者,可以利用非正式 的影響力網路。131

——外交 大臣 威廉· 黑格, 2012年

作為世界上最有成就和最受尊敬的外交機構之一,英國外交部門近年來對更大的主題專業化做出了明確的承諾。 多項改革舉措強調,需要調整英國外交部門的傳統通才方法,以深化地區和外語專業知識(特別是在中國和俄羅斯),貿易專業知識以及英國脫歐後歐洲的知識。 然而,2020年ForeiGN和聯邦事務部(FCO)以及國際發展部(DFID)的合併已經破壞了許多這些努力,因為新的外交部(FCDO)專注於整合兩個具有不同組織文化的部門,並對主題專業知識有不同的追求。

在合併之前,   過去十年來,當時的外交和聯邦事務部內部的幾次議會調查和內部研究發現,英國核心外交政策工作的品質近年來有所下降,特別是“FCO的專業地理專業知識,包括外語知識”。133 用一位退休的英國大使的話來說,FCO的工作“質量的驚人損失”已經“被許多外國人士注意到”。134 這一下降伴隨著一段時間的預算削減,2004年至2010年期間,英國駐外外交官人數減少了30%,135 其中許多職位由當地雇用的工作人員填補。 在此期間,外交和聯邦事務部按照職能而非地理線進行重組,是導致   外交和聯邦事務部區域專門知識下降的另一個因素,136 此外,對  貿易促進     的高度重視也是如此。 以犧牲傳統外交工作為代價,被分配到英國大使館。

2010年12月,新保守黨政府得出結論認為FCO已經「在英國政府中被貶值和邊緣化」,137啟動了「外交卓越倡議」,這是一項為期五年的內部改革計劃,旨在確保英國外交官「對派駐國家的歷史,文化,地理和政治擁有無與倫比的知識       , 和[能力]  說  當地語言“。138 設立了一個專門知識基金,以加深外交部的專題和地域政策專門知識,例如建立一支印度幹部隊伍,使外交官能夠在派駐印度之前在印度學習印度的文化、政治和歷史。139 此外,FCO的內部外語學校在     六年後於2013年  重新開放


2015年, 外交部委託英國前駐黎巴嫩大使湯姆·弗萊徹(Tom Fletcher)領導對 英國外交未來需求的審查。 在接受調查的FCO三分之二員工的意見下,由此產生的報告 Future FCO  對政策和專業技能的更深入的專業知識提出了要求:“我們必須從優先考慮能力,高層和流程的文化轉變為基於技能,網路和現實世界成果的文化……我們應該更加重視我們的專家,並將他們置於政策制定的核心。140 Future FCO 建議有必要重新調整外交部的傳統人力資源本能 :

我們繼續重視「可廣泛部署」員工的概念,但我們渴望 更深入地 了解  國家、  機構和 想法。 過去 ,  我們通過 招募和培養通才和專家來解決這些緊張關係。我們將繼續需要兩者,但目前的平衡有利於通才,同時沒有充分認識到專業化可以帶來的優勢。139

該報告呼籲建立一個人力資源系統,激勵個人專注於職業優勢:“FCO在為英國通才制定職業道路方面有著悠久的歷史,但避免為專家制定職業道路……FCO應該為該專業提供更好的職業道路,增加專業經驗的津貼,或重組其使用該專業的方式。 除了認為應該為包括FCO強大的研究分析師在內的專家保留更高級的角色外, Future FCO 還建議,無論是在 地理和多邊專業知識,外語和談判等傳統領域,還是在穩定,調解和數位外交等更新穎的領域,都應該期望 所有 外交服務成員都更加專業化: 」並非每個外交官 都需要掌握這些技能。但所有非專業人士都應該了解基礎知識,並在少數方面發展專業知識。  該報告建議,所有外交官都應在其職業生涯中發展一種「專業」和至少一種「地理/主題」優勢。

作為對未來   FCO報告的回應,  外交部於2016年啟動了“外交20:20”,這是一項為期四年的組織改革計劃,由三大支柱組成,其中包括旨在恢復FCO知識領導力的專業知識支柱。 隨著語言戰略的發展,《外交20:20》的核心是一個新的外交學院的誕生,該學院由來自部門內部的主題專家領導,  提供意識,基礎,從業者和專家級別的培訓。142 與此同時,2018年啟動了優先技能國家計劃,確定了FCO將尋求深化組織專業知識的地區和主題。在“外交技能和貿易技巧”的標題下,該聲明確定了阿拉伯文,法語,普通話,俄語和西班牙文的熟練程度,而在“地理知識和國際體系”下,它確定了歐洲,俄羅斯,中東和北非,印度,中國,日本和主要多邊機構。 聲明  是

伴隨著一個技能框架,其中列出了FCO在基礎,從業者和專家級別所需的全部技能。 142

因此,FCO首次將專業知識和職業發展聯繫起來,從而推出了一種人才管理模式,作為“職業錨”:官員和高級外交官在其職業生涯中應多次返回的主題或區域專業領域。 通過建議採取更深思熟慮的任務規劃方法,FCO背離了對人員配置的“自由放任”態度,而以前的議會委員會  發現這是“該部門失去地理知識背後的   因素之一”。 與此相關的是,FCO還增加了一些海外職位的巡迴演出時間,以“加深專業知識,減少客戶流失,並提供更高的性價比”。143

 職業錨點的概念旨在通過要求英國外交官在整個職業生涯中在兩到四個領域達到基金會級別,       並確定具有與FCO相關的技能的職業錨點,將晉陞與更深思熟慮的職業管理和學習聯繫起來。145名進入高級管理結構的工作人員在外交實踐和國際政策方面均達到從業人員級別。現在,考績將不僅衡量警官取得的成就,而且還包括評估他們如何“利用技能和知識來建立信譽、影響利益攸關者和取得成果”。 下議院外交事務委員會在2018年發表評論,敦促FCO將其職業錨點模式推向更深層次的專業化水準。它指出,外國官員尚未為其大多數優先技能界定專家級能力,並敦促外交和外勤組織對核心外交技能的專家級成就作出定義,並將其添加到高級任命委員會使用的標準中。145


——約翰· 迪基, 《 新 華人》



外交部一直珍視其外交官精通他們所服務國家語言的能力。 幾十年來,如果不是幾個世紀的話,英國外交官已經獲得了   講外國語言的聲譽,其流利程度與很少有競爭對手相媲美,俄羅斯人和中國人可能除外(稍後會更多)。 這一傳統的原型是保羅·伯格內(Paul Bergne),他是一位業餘考古學家,在傑出的職業生涯中,包括擔任  駐烏茲別克和塔吉克大使,掌握了所有中  亞語言以及阿拉伯文,波斯語,希臘語,俄語和阿塞里語。 伯格內在     總理退休


外交部在外交部中是獨一無二的,它指定非 英語世界的大多數使團團長職位要求外語流利。 儘管大使職位存在一些複雜情況(需要外交大臣、總理和白金漢宮的批准),但外交部始終能夠提前一到兩年為這些職位配備人員,並指派候選人接受語言培訓,導致今天的合規率為74%(並呈上升趨勢)。149 英國大使中有同樣多(75%)能說流利的三種或三種以上語言,150 這證明瞭FCO對培訓的承諾,因為FCO在招聘階段不要求外語能力。

從歷史上看,外交部一直依賴從精英學術機構招募受過高等教育的候選人,而不是通過外交培訓來培養熟練的外交官。入學考試包括面試,練習和筆試,重點不是主題知識,而是一般推理和解決問題的能力。151 多年來,FCO的主要培訓計劃“一直專注於培養強大的管理技能,以培養agile政策通才”。152 在外外交部中,在徵聘過程中既不要求第二語言也不要求進行語言能力傾向測試,這在外交部中是罕見的。用2013年的一份報告的話來說,“通過自己的廣告任務,它所接收的語言技能低於其他類似的外交部。153 過去,FCO曾討論過增加入境後語言要求,即工作人員在加入外交部后五年內應達到外語水準   。 這   被視為  使語言技能成為僱用條件的合理替代方案,因為害怕“阻止那些具有其他高度發達的外交技能的人,否則會成為優秀的外交官”。   154 但外國Office仍在調整其招聘策略,以更好地定位具有關鍵語言技能的候選人,例如其在未來人才計劃中為正在學習困難語言的有限數量的本科生提供的暑期實習機會e.155

儘管英國大使擁有傳統的語言能力,但過去二十年的預算削減仍然導致,用2013年的一份報告所說,“外語技能的持續缺陷威脅到我們未來的影響力”。156 2007年關閉外交和外空事務處語文中心,標誌著英國外交官語文技能逐漸下降的低點。到2012年,在總共1,900名外交官中,只有48名外交官獲得了與   東道國流利語言相關的獎金。 這種下降   對於困難的語言尤其嚴重

與大多數外國服務機構(但不是  加拿大的)一樣,  FCO為保持外語熟練程度的外交官提供財務獎金,從法語的每年約200英鎊到掌握中文,韓語或日語的每年4,334英鎊不等。外交官每四年接受一次測試,以確認他們是否保持了自己的  技能。    鼓勵人員保持其語言技能,特別是優先語文技能

如阿拉伯文、普通話和韓語。2010年,據報導,在161名英國駐阿富汗外交官中,只有三人說達里語或普什圖語,並且流利程度。 157 下議院在2012年的一項調查中發現,“FCO工作人員 在阿富汗的影響受到相對缺乏語言培訓和技能的嚴重限制”。158 前非洲事務國務部長馬克·馬婁赫·布朗認為,阿拉伯語知識不足導致外交和聯邦事務部未能預見到導致阿拉伯之春的發展。160

在2012年和2018年,下議院外交事務委員會對這些趨勢產生了興趣。 它發現,語言能力不是外交部在評估人員任命和晉陞時評估的核心能力之一,它發現這一事實“與外交大臣的語氣有些不一致”,該講話談到需要重新優先考慮文化知識和語言技能。160 同樣,2013年一份關於英國政府外語資產的重要報告發現,“不僅沒有足夠的激勵措施來鼓勵語言學習,而且在某些情況下,長期存在的職業抑制因素。161 報告發現,FCO的臨時任務結構意味著,那些在國外申請語言指定職位(特別是使用較難語言)的人可能會感到不利於晉陞,因為全職語言培訓需要投入的時間。此外,“一些外交官表示擔心,如果他們在世界特定地區長時間逗留,就會被視為過於’小眾’”。 這種對以犧牲一個人的晉陞前景為代價而成為專家的「豬籠草」的擔憂不僅影響了外交官,也影響了更廣泛的公共服務:「公務員制度中」通才『和』專家『之間的傳統分歧往往不利於語言學家等專家角色,導致向上晉陞的機會受到限制。那些為了進入管理水準而『重塑』為通才的語言學家  ,往往會    發現自己處於語言技能沒有得到  利用的境地。161

如前所述,2013年FCO語言中心的重新開放,以及與外交20:20倡議相關的改革,將職業發展與主題專業知識的發展聯繫起來,在扭轉外交部能力下滑方面取得了巨大成功。 FCO在填寫指定語言職位方面的合規率目前為72%,高於2015年底的39%,而普通話的優先語言已達到近70%的成功率。163 FCO現在已經設定了一個更加雄心勃勃的整體合規目標,即80%。164 2018年10月,外交大臣承諾在未來五年內將FCO教授的語言數量從50種增加到70種,並將FCO中講語言的人數增加一倍,從500人增加到1,000種。165 為了支援其外交足跡現代化的更廣泛努力,聯邦事務部的目標是  從   2010年起,將阿拉伯文和普通話的語言指定職位數量增加40  %,西班牙文和葡萄牙文增加20%。   FCO  還實施了更長的培訓時間

在「公職」期間,語言津貼也支付給在英國的官員,他們以普通話,阿拉伯文或俄語等硬性語言重新獲得資格。 “(英國科學院,第25頁)

那些學習硬語言的人,在抵制   由於相互競爭的操作要求而提前減少  培訓的趨勢方面變得更加嚴格。165

為了解決臨時的“自由放任”職業管理問題,FCO重申了公司的當務之急,就倫敦任命委員會代表團團長提出的人員配置建議做出了最終決定。這使外交部「有能力確保對具有寶貴語言技能的員工進行更具戰略性的分配,並具有更強的規劃未來分配和供應的能力。167 此外,負責講阿拉伯文、普通話、俄文、法文、德文和西班牙文六種核心語文的國家的地理局鼓勵工作人員加入促進使用這些語文的特定“幹部”。 這些幹部鼓勵員工保持最新的技能,並在其職業生涯中的多個職位上使用這些技能。168 雖然幹部的成員資格並不代表正式的承諾,但FCDO的意圖是開始圍繞他們建立特定的職業道路。170

《外交20:20》的改革努力已經超越了關鍵的外語,包括在《優先技能聲明》中確定的關鍵地區,特別是俄羅斯和中國,培養更深層次的主題專業知識。 在下議院外交事務委員會呼籲「投資於分析能力,以瞭解俄羅斯的決策,與外部專業知識來源接觸並發展俄語技能」的激勵下,FCO領導創建了“EECADRE”,這是一個跨政府的專家網路。 它將英國外交官的俄語培訓時間從10個月延長到14個月,並使達到指定語言水準的工作人員比例增加了三分之一。170 就中國而言,FCO每年在北京大學的倫敦政治經濟學院中國政策暑期班上安排約20名官員,並正在考慮就包括「一帶一路」倡議在內的與中國有關的問題設立一些新職位的建議,從而成功地加深了其專業知識           。171 最近,英國外交大臣前常務秘書彼得·里基茨勳爵(Lord Peter Ricketts)最近在談到英國  在印度-太平洋地區的影響力時說:“我們的專長主要在於我們的情報關係和外交關係。 英國大使傾向於說  中文,日文,韓文,  而大多數其他西方大使則不會。 我們了解這些國家,我們可以為美國人和更廣泛的民主社區提供真正的專業知識和深度。171

也許英國外交中更迫切需要的主題專業化是重建貿易政策專業知識,以在英國不再被納入歐盟貿易協定後協助英國脫歐後的貿易談判。 FCO承認「英國在從非常小的基礎上建立貿易能力的挑戰規模在發達經濟體中是無與倫比的」,2018年確定需要在一年內培訓至少240名貿易政策和談判專家級員工。 更廣泛地說,下議院敦促FCO建立一支對歐盟機構和成員國國內政治有深刻理解的外交官隊伍 第173條 早在1999年,另一項名為“展望2010”的大規模內部FCO審查  就主張英國外交的“專業知識的一步變化”。 除了在    困難語言方面有更多的專業知識和   整個外交部廣泛的“歐盟素養”外,  該研究還強調了


除了人才管理問題之外,2012年和2018年的未來FCO報告和議會調查提出的一個更廣泛的文化觀點是,由於「重新定位到管理主義和通用技能的發展」,外交部內部的地理專業知識和外語技能已被取消優先地位        。     最後

20年。 外交大臣黑格承認,外交大臣以犧牲核心外交任務和能力為代價,過分強調管理” 具體而言,一些目擊者說,時間和注意力被轉移到管理活動上,而犧牲了FCO的核心外交政策職能和能力。176

對FCO中“管理主義”最臭名昭著的批評之一是英國駐羅馬大使Ivor Roberts爵士洩露的2006年電報,他寫道:“在涉水通過[…]管理時代的排泄物,我們已經[…]忘記了什麼是二倍的“。176. 另一位大使傑里米·格林斯托克爵士(Sir Jeremy Greenstock)指責說,由於中央機構堅持認為外交部“遵守客觀設定和解釋其工作,反對不完全適合外交和海外工作的禮儀”,削弱了外交部專注於外交的能力。177 前外交官羅里·斯圖爾特(Rory Stewart)後來成為國會議員兼國際發展大臣,他認為,在外國職業中晉陞的激勵機制重視通用的管理技能,而不是主題專業知識:“人們是 獎勵良好的企業方法。[…]他們離開大使館,花幾個小時與外國人建立聯繫或學習他們的語言,並沒有得到特別的獎勵。 這已經持續了30年。179

下議院外交事務委員會承認這一現實,建議「外交事務委員會晉陞到外交部最高職位的過程應反映傳統外交技能,包括外語知識的便利,不應過分強調對純粹」管理主義『專業知識的需求」。。179 作為回應,當時的外交大臣威廉·黑格(William Hague)表示同意,他說,他“旨在 強調外交官在一個困難的地方服務的價值,或者以極大的親密關係瞭解世界上一個地區以及由此產生的語言專業知識。這些事情必須重新強調,這樣 20到30年後達到組織頂峰的人就會通過這種背景來到這裡。179

然而,FCDO高級領導層Bo ard拒絕了對選擇特派團團長施加更嚴格的技能和知識要求的努力,該領導層堅持靈活利用任命來實現其他組織目標。 雖然大多數英國高級外交官的職業生涯都在為  外交部門工作,但  大使的政治任命很少見, 181 in

2018年10月,外交大臣亨特宣佈,為了“擴大我們為大使挖掘的人才庫”,FCO將向外部候選人開放這一程式,特別是那些具有商業背景的候選人。182 . 白廳所有高級外交官職位都對競爭開放,目前正在考慮向政府以外的候選人開放。182

另一個反覆出現的建議是,通過借調和交流,促進更多的人進出本組織,以此作為“為外交部注入新的思維方式、更廣泛的網路和重要技能的重要手段”。184 未來    FCO  斷言“ FCO 不重視在組織外部獲得的專業知識,而在使用它方面更差”  他認為,從此以後,在組織外花費的時間  應被視為外交服務職業道路的重要組成部分。185 作為回應,FCO於2016年成立了借調和交換股,負責監督120名FCO工作人員部署到其他政府部門和多邊組織,以及向私營部門和民間社會組織借調的10名新員工。 然而,FCDO的一名官員承認,工作人員不願意尋求外部職位,因為該部門一直無法在其職業發展標準內評估此類專業經驗。185

展望未來,新合併的外交、聯邦和發展辦公室面臨許多長期挑戰。 除了與兩種截然不同的組織崇拜的整合相關的破壞之外,新的財政壓力,包括從2023年開始凍結招聘和到2025年減少20%的員工,可能會在中短期內使該部門的人才管理工作喪失能力。 許多與外交20:20改革努力相關的倡議已經暫停,以激勵主題專業化的發展,因為需要適應前國際發展部自己對專業知識的、技術性更強的定義。 據FCDO的一位高級官員說:

新FCDO中「專家」和「通才」之間的爭論最終使這兩個群體都感到被削弱了。 外交官們認為「我們是  專家」,不是在技術問題上,而是在更廣泛的外交實踐上。 至於前英國國際發展部,他們中的大多數被聘為技術專家,他們看到了一種新的組織文化,他們覺得專業知識正在被貶低。188

 英國國際發展部通過一個由13名專業幹部組成的系統來管理其專家諮詢人才,涉及治理、社會發展和健康等技術問題。 國際開發部的招聘人員——主要是在國際援助領域具有廣泛實地專業知識的職業中期專業人員——將受到嚴格的評估程式,以便被認定為“合格”的幹部成員資格,然後確定是否有資格擔任特定的海外專家。 幹部要求非常嚴格,很少有顧問有資格參加一個以上的工作。 CFDO中幹部系統的未來是未知的。

特別是,鑒於衡量和驗證這些技能的固有困難,合併使努力複雜化,以更嚴格地要求任務和利用外交學院的四個知識熟練程度進入晉陞佇列。 雖然在其他地方,英國公務員制度正在試驗基於技能的薪酬,但FCDO遠未準備好考慮   未來FCO報告中提出的建議,即  薪酬範圍內的工作  應根據外交學院類別中定義的專業水平  進行獎勵。189

除了在第一年就引發了“大量發展人才外流”(估計有213名前英國國際發展部工作人員),189 FCO-DFID merger還進一步加劇了下議院早在2011年就所描述的“過去20年幾乎不間斷的變革過程”。190.未來FCO報告  的結論是,這種持續的組織變動阻礙了該部門在其職責領域變得更加專業,這削弱了FCO在白廳政策討論中的權重。191. 這種影響力的喪失也加速了總理Minister辦公室權力集中和外交政策制定中“總統主義”的趨勢,最明顯的是在2000年代初的首相托尼·布萊爾(Tony Blair)的領導下,當時FCO“認為自己在外交政策決策中的作用被嚴重邊緣化”。192 智庫英國佛統治政策小組2019年的一份報告沒有細言:

外交部是對它以前的自我的蒼白模仿。它對外交事務的壟斷受到全球化、歐盟一體化和重組的侵蝕,這些重組將貿易和發展援助 轉移到 其無法控制的獨立部門。一代人以前,一個部門甚至不敢  在沒有外交部在場的情況下討論外交政策領域是不可想像的,現在它發現自己被排除在 自蘇伊士運河以來英國面臨的最大外交危機和外交政策問題之外:英國退出歐盟。192

儘管用前外交大臣大衛·米利班德(David Miliband)的話來說,外交部的年度預算還不到國家衛生局一天的開支,194 但FCDO在未來三年內面臨裁員,這將再次考驗英國外交卓越的韌性。 然而,對於加拿大來說,英國外交部提供了一個名副其實的實驗實驗室,旨在使外交技能和專業知識專業化,其基礎是明確承諾從傳統的“通才”模式轉向更專業的方法。

    本報告比FCO-DFID合併早了15個月。


法國擁有世界上最大和最受尊敬的外交機構之一。由163個大使館組成的歐洲和事務部網路是僅次於中國   和美國的世界第三大大使館。 法國人組成了一支精英隊伍,擁有深厚的知識份子和專業知識傳統,掌握外語,文化和歷史是該行業的核心價值觀。

法國外交部門在招聘部門尋求專業知識方面是獨一無二的,通過高度競爭和選擇性的過程吸引了法國強大的公共教育體系中的一些最優秀的畢業生。三語(法語,英語和第三種歐洲語言的工作知識)是一項基本要求,第四種語言的知識被認為是招聘高級幹部的資產。 在法國體系中,「掌握外語領域的文化和歷史也是必需的,並且被認為與說其精靈的語言一樣重要。196

法國外交部的人員分為三類或幹部,每一類 都是通過單獨的考試程序選出的。“A級圖書館”被認為是最高級別的,它使員工走上正軌,以達到最高級的 外交職位。“B類”主要由領事、管理和行政官員組成(包括 一些 也可能  通過 考試 進入A 級幹部的人)。最後一級,“C類”,主要由支持人員組成,如clerks,個人助理以及安全和通信技術人員。195

幾代人以來,進入法國外交部門A級職位的主要途徑有兩條:所謂的大學校 – 最著名的是著名的國家行政學院(ENA) – 和東方議會,這是法國獨有的選擇過程,可以追溯到  拿破崙時代,尋求主題 更具異國情調的外語和文化的專家。

大學校並不專門培養未來的外交官。 相反,他們的任務是培養一類廣泛的公共行政通才,他們可以在整個公共服務部門部署。在巴黎綜合理工學院或國家行政學院完成兩年制學位后,學生將有資格加入法國公務員制度。 排名前三分之一的人有資格在外交部擔任外交部總顧問(領事)。197. 東方議會的宗旨是招募具有現有領域專長和外語技能的外交官。 大多數是巴黎政治學院或著名的東方語言與文明研究所(INALCO)198的畢業生,從他們的學習中走出來,具有嚴格的學術技能,並掌握了至少一種困難的語言,如普通話,印地語,阿拉伯語或波斯語。200

 雖然人們  很容易  將ENA和東方之路描述為代表

“通才”和“專家”流  並行運行,現實  更加微妙。

東方商會 的新兵確實傾向於填補該部需要區域知識和專業知識的大多數地理工作。 他們通常更具移動性,並且比從ENA畢業的同事在海外花費更多的職業生涯 。“他們的流動性可以用這樣一個事實來解釋,即在國外服務是 東方 顧問的職業。200 其中只有20%的人在外交部內從事多邊事務,或在法國常駐主要國際組織代表處工作 。200

ENA畢業生同樣傾向於發展主題專業化,但他們通常在全球問題或多邊事務等主題領域實現這一目標。 在多邊途徑中,從ENA招聘的外交官傾向於圍繞特定的專業領域發展他們的職業生涯,例如歐盟事務或裁軍。歐盟工作中涉及的技術和法律問題的複雜性導致ENA畢業生在布魯塞爾,巴黎和歐盟首都之間交替。202 他們經常被任命為大使,擔任大型雙邊和多邊職務(例如,自1977年以來,所有法國駐歐洲聯盟常駐代表處大使都是歐盟代表處的畢業生)。202

 幾十年來,  法國      外交部一直在一種組織文化下工作,這種文化傾向於將東方議會的招聘軌道視為不如ENA管道那麼有聲望,後者長期以來被描述為” 皇家之路“進入法國外交。204 The 東方顧問的職業生涯與他們的ENA同事相比,其排名略低。 他們首先在國外被任命為第三或第二秘書,這與通常被任命為第一秘書的ENA新兵相反,因為在ENA的兩年學生被計入他們的資歷。 幾十年來,東方之路導致只招聘較低級別的官員(secrétaire),直到1999年,新的外交事務東方顧問考試被創建,這與ENA軌道一樣,為招聘更高級的顧問(conseiller)創造了機會。 這項非常有選擇性的考試 – 每年   在數百名申請人中只有八人被接受  –  包括針對年輕大學畢業生的外部考試和內部考試  外交部現任員工可以申請。除了完美掌握英語和一種困難的語言外,該測試還包括一般知識測試,法律或經濟學評估以及有關國際和歐洲問題的問題。206

一項關於1970年至2010年間職業發展的研究得出結論,ENA的晉陞率略高於那些在東方C巡迴賽中招募的人。ENA畢業生更快地達到全權公使的級別,這是邁向大使職位的最重要一步。206 她們也更有可能被選為令人垂涎的職位,擔任外交部長的政治顧問或共和國總統或總理的外交顧問。207 然而,自2000年代初以來,隨著招聘趨勢開始偏向東方新兵,ENA新兵的集體影響力開始減弱  。 2008年,ENA畢業生可以獲得的部門職位數量減少(表面上是為了緩解  領導職位的過度擁擠,這導致    職業發展緩慢)和

到2011年,他們在外交事務顧問中的份額已降至20%。208 2020年,ENA賽道僅生產了五名新員工,而  東方議會則產生了25名新員工,其中包括七名更高級的顧問(顧問)。208

雖然法國的外交體系(與美國和加拿大不同)不按照功能性的“流”或“錐體”運作,但A類的官員自我選擇進入各個專業領域,如“代表”,“談判”,“保護法國利益”,“促進雙邊關係”和“實地溝通”。根據羅伯特·哈欽斯(Robert Hutchings)的說法,“他們被鼓勵將自己的角色集中在這些特定領域,並申請促進這些流的職位。210 儘管該部內部的人力資源規劃歷來薄弱,直到1990年代後期才開始發展個人職業管理實踐,但這種自我分類的職能專業化還是發生了。210

根據傳統,法國軍隊的職業發展在很大程度上是自我管理的,並且受到不成文的(但被廣泛理解  的)關於不同服務時期期望成功的軍官達到的資歷水準的不成文(但被廣泛理解)的期望的指導 – 例如,“到ENA + 15 [年],你需要走得這麼遠。   預計有抱負的212名大使將在部長級辦公室擔任顧問,並積累了至少兩個深刻但互補的專業領域,“如歐洲和文化”,或雙邊和多邊經驗。212

由於法國外交部在招募精英外交官骨幹方面已有數十年的成功記錄,因此法國外交部並不傾向於優先考慮持續培訓的必要性。 法國在2010年才姍姍來遲地建立了一所外交培訓學校,即外交和領事學院,此前一個國家調查委員會於1999年對法國外交部門進行了重要調查(《海斯堡報告》)和2007年發表的白皮書。214 我願意解決長期以來對首次任職的外交官培訓不足的抱怨。215 所有高級(A類)外交官在入學時,都必須  完成   由內部教育機構(École Diplomatique)提供的  為期六個月的  教學課程,該學院由退休外交官、從業人員、記者和學者組成。216 2011年,法國外交部還推出了正式的職業中期培訓,任期為15年,旨在「加強將在外交部內擔任高級管理職務的外交官的管理技能和領導能力,並加深他們在國際行動優先領域(包括經濟外交,經濟外交)的知識, 軟實力,安全和國防,歐洲事務和氣候變化)。218

 法國外交部門享有強大的群體認同感和健康的自尊心,部分原因是  幾十年來   對其在  外交事務上  擔任領導職務的尊重。

政策。 該部秘書長幾乎無一例外地是一名職業外交官,總理和共和國總統的所有外交顧問也是如此。 (在法國的制度中,外交部長的參謀長也往往是  職業外交官  ,而不是政治工作人員。 從1981  年到2016年,13位外交部長中至少有三位本身就是前外交官。218 2022年6月,最新任外交部長凱薩琳·科隆納(Catherine Colonna)也加入了他們的行列,凱薩琳·科隆納是另一位職業外交官。根據法國外交部開創性的民族志研究的作者克利斯蒂安·勒奎斯內(Christian Lequesne)的說法,法國外交官希望他們的部長們能夠像他們自己展示的那樣,對文件的技術掌握程度與他們自己所展示的相同水準:“外交官,作為專家,對此高度重視。220

然而,這種精英群體的身份認同,在法國社團主義和工會團結的傳統進一步推動下,也促成了對服務中行會心態的看法,這種心態激怒了法國的政治領導人。 直到2019年,工會代表享有向上晉陞名單的諮詢權。220 無論是通過ENA流還是東方議會招募,法國外交官都努力使外人遠離其部門的上層。 他們反對1984年的一項法令,該法令允許從其他部委任命數量有限的高級公務員擔任全權公使,這是擔任大使之前的傳統步驟。221 2012年,一個代表許多法國外交官的強大工會採取了行政法律行動,最終成功阻止了薩科齊總統從法國公共服務部門其他地方任命兩名大使,222並在2018年阻止了馬克龍總統提名一位著名作家為駐洛杉磯總領事。

毫不奇怪,法國外交部門的特點是進出該組織的橫向流動有限。 繼2012年外交部從經濟部獲得貿易促進授權,並因此對  經濟外交給予新的關注之後,外交部長  洛朗·阿比烏斯(  Laurent  F abius  )指示為具有五至十年經驗的個人創造另一條進入途徑。 私營部門,如前公司經理和專家,希望他們能把私營部門的聯繫和非政府實體的機構知識帶到談判桌上來。223 實驗基本上沒有成功。 2016年對法國外交未來的內部審查呼籲通過鼓勵所有工作人員在外交部以外擔任職務,包括民間社會,私營部門和國際組織,促進外交部門以外的更大流動性。 它呼籲為專門從事歐洲問題的工作人員制定具體的職業管理戰略,使他們能夠獲得該領域的經驗並使其多樣化,併為歐洲對外行動處的職位形成人才庫。 審查還要求對有志擔任高級管理職務的工作人員實行強制性調動,但這一目標也仍未實現。224 截至2021年,在總共1,600名外交官中,只有180       名外交官在外交部以外任職,其中大多數在其他部委任職。

   負責  該部  的高級官僚;  用加拿大的話說,外交部副部長或副部長。

部分公共服務,只有25個在私營部門,遠遠低於領導層的願望。225 然而,一個值得注意的變化是,該部越來越依賴合同雇員來填補技能缺口。 它現在每年徵聘大約100名臨時工作人員,其中大多數合同期限為5年或更短,以解決國際發展和文化促進等領域的人員短缺問題。 但是,這種做法越來越多地包括全球事務總司令的更高級專家和政策規劃人員,包括管理職位。 因此,該部約10%的高級管理人員不再是職業外交官。

2019年,為了應對前一年的民粹主義黃背心抗議活動,法國議會通過了對公共服務的重大改革,表面上是為了打破其精英主義的招聘模式,使其更具代表性和多樣性。 為了消除這些改革對外交部門的影響,外交部長讓-伊夫·勒德里昂於2020年秋季委託高級外交官傑羅姆·博納豐特對外交部的人力資本進行內部審查。  在他的報告中,Bonnafont敦促外交部迅速採取新的人才管理方法,包括在部委之外進行強制性任務,以便“讓國際關係的高級從業者滲透到國家和社會中”,同時同樣“接收和降雨來自國家其他地區的公務員,使他們對歐洲和國際事務敏感”。 他呼籲擴大僱用合同工,包括作為迅速改善該部性別平衡的一種手段。然而,Bonnafont也強調了職業外交部門的重要性,並敦促通過更審慎的職業管理模式進一步強調專業化。他寫道,外交官應該發展2-3個職業專業領域,並遵循更繁瑣的任務發展模式,包括在一個人的外語熟練程度領域進行強制性的第一次任務。 他還呼籲為代表團團長提名制定一個更可預測的時程表,以便在派任大使之前接受數周或數周的語言培訓。225

馬克龍總統在2021年宣佈對法國外交部門進行重大改革,基本上解散了外交顧問(conseiller)和全權公使幹部的高級職位,並將其併入法國政府的高級行政服務,這也許正在尋求比博納豐特報告中提出的更徹底的變革。 此舉是在馬克龍早些時候決定將ENA和其他大學校解散為一個新的國家公共服務研究所之後,該研究所的畢業生將形成一個新的,通用的“國家行政人員”類別,他們將不再隸屬於特定部門,相反,預計州行政人員將定期在各部委之間輪換,以擴大其職業生涯。

這些改革的既定目標是確保招聘的更大多樣性,增加高級官僚的流動性和適應性,並打破   不同大學校的傳統精英主義群體身份。  具體   而言,取消兩個最高職等的做法旨在通過向國內機構的工作人員開放海外外交服務,同時“為外交官提供  更大的靈活性,以便在其他最低部門任職”,從而實現更大的人員滲透性。227 雖然它

看來,著名的 東方議會 將被保留為招募外國文化和語言主題專家的一種手段,這些新兵現在面臨著職業發展的不確定前景,包括 大使職位。

馬克龍的改革遭到了法國外交官的強烈抗議,甚至在2022年6月採取了罷工行動(這是外交部歷史上的第二次)。 一個由500名員工組成的小組寫了一封ope n信,發表在《世界報》上,認為外交職業有可能消失在一個主要由國內部門培訓的更大的通用經理人中:「這一決定將允許由放縱的人而不是有利於能力的人的提名,並將導致職業生涯的毀滅, 專業知識的喪失和職業危機。228 另一位外交官說:

外交 涉及 特定的 技能 —— 關於一 個國家、 一個 地區、 一種語言, 甚至 方言

– 這需要長期和有效的研究。 如果法國現在發現自己沒有職業外交,那麼在國際舞臺上重演力量平衡的那一刻,難道沒有失去信譽和影響力的風險嗎?縣官員或專門從事農業問題的人員在崗位調動期間將如何處理這些問題?230

助長這種憤怒是對馬克龍動機的懷疑。 “眾所周知,馬克龍總統不喜歡外交使團,”一位評論員寫道,回憶起馬克龍在2019年對他的國家外交官的指控,即他們正在努力破壞他與俄羅斯總統普京和解的努力。230 他的批評者說,馬克龍被一個「深層國家」的願景所激勵,他的批評者說,他似乎正在利用他的才能進行創造性的破壞,以清算分數並加強對外交政策的政治控制。 在馬克龍自己自上而下和高度個人化的執政風格的推動下,這些改革可能會加速在薩科齊總統領導下開始    的外交政策“總統化”趨勢-以及外交部  的進一步邊緣化,包括通過擴大總統自行決定任命大使的特權。

這些改革被視為加劇了其他一些結構性挑戰,最關鍵的是1990年至2010年間預算削減了20%,在過去三十年中,外交人員減少了53%,而在1998年法國外交部與國際發展部合併並承擔貿易責任之後,我對法國外交部的期望更高, 2012年從經濟部獲得。231 這些預算削減也促使法國外交部的工作中出現了管理主義的興起:“與大多數政府一樣, 工作人員將越來越多的時間用於管理官僚主義任務,而損害了核心業務。 232 2021年博納豐特報告警告說,法國的一些傳統外交卓越和專業知識領域,特別是歐洲事務、非洲和發展合作,正在出現衰落的癥狀。

鑒於法國獨特的殖民、革命和社團主義傳統,法國的外交人才管理模式是無與倫比的。 用前外交官蜜雪兒·杜克洛(Michel Duclos)的話來說,法國外交部門的公認有效性“來自於多語言冒險家和高級技術官僚的融合,由共同的職業和共同的激情鞏固,從而創造了一種團隊精神”。233 然而,它以精英招聘為基礎的根源是矛盾的,迫切需要更大的多樣性和機會的公平性,而在這一制勝公式中,經驗的地位可能尚未通過改革而改變。


在本報告審查的案例研究中,澳大利亞在地理挑戰方面是獨一無二的。 除紐西蘭外,它居住在一個主要由發展中國家組成的地區,擁有完全不同的文化,語言和社會制度。 用一位澳大利亞高級外交官的話來說,「雖然西方國家可能不需要對這些社會有深刻的瞭解,但澳大利亞需要能夠深入分析他們的文化和社會變革以及國家建設過程,」特別是考慮到澳大利亞與這個地區的經濟相互依存關係日益增強。234 這似乎表明,人們  非常有興趣建立  一個專門負責亞太地區的外交部門。   然而,幾十年的預算限制和人員不足阻礙了外交部孵化專業知識的努力,導致它在澳大利亞資金充足的國防和安全機構進行的外國製造中黯然失色。 然而,自2019年以來,外交部選擇重新努力打破傳統的通才模式,更有意識地走向更大的專業化。

澳大利亞外交部成立於1935年,“被視為 一個小型精英機構,主要關注海外代表和談判,並反映英國的外交慣例和風格。235 . 在早年,該部門在大學研究生一級為外交部門招聘,而其他公共服務部門則從高中畢業生中招聘,為這一精英 身份做出了貢獻。 然而,從1950年代中期到1970年代,該部門失去了一些地位,並且“在非正式的坎培拉公共服務啄食順序中排名不高 ”,因為貿易部的重要性隨著這幾十年來貿易關係的複雜轉變而上升,從 英國到日本和美國,然後更廣泛地跨越亞洲。235

1987年,貿易部 與外交部合併,使後者免於“在澳大利亞國際事務管理中日益邊緣化”。 雅高集團向當時的外交和貿易部部長斯圖爾特·哈裡斯(Stuart Harris)道:“由於合併,DFAT成為一個重要的國務院。它失去了大部分的排他性,以及它自己作為一個精英部門的感覺,從它作為外交部門的使命和它招募外交人員的方式中解脫出來。它已經變得像公共服務中的其他部門一樣。然而,它在其他部門中獲得了專業信譽,並提高了其在部門間討論和談判中的效力。238

DFAT的核心人才管理模式傳統上是“由專家加強的通才組織”,平衡了“靈活的通才,為部門提供敏捷性和回應能力”  的核心與其他具有更深層次專業化的同事。

和專業知識。238 2013年對DFAT的能力審查將這種方法比作“一系列行會,工作人員專注於某些專業領域,如貿易談判或政策領域的中國以及企業領域的ICT和安全”。239 澳大利亞在本研究報告所審查的國家中是獨一無二的,其外交部門在多大程度上依賴澳大利亞公務員制度其他地方的職業中期橫向徵聘,作為對職業服務的補充。橫向進入始於20世紀80年代初,並在過去二十年中不斷擴大,已成為解決特定技能短缺問題的關鍵工具。 2013年的一份報告發現,DFAT的高級行政服務(SES)中只有不到50%是在該部門的入門級計劃中開始的,而該部門的SES Band 3員工(最高級級別)中有一半是作為橫向招聘人員加入該部門的。240 儘管如此,2009年藍絲帶小組還是敦促貿易部促進更大的流動性,為管理人員借調到其他機構提供獎勵。241 然而,該部門拒絕了2019年對澳大利亞公共服務部門的審查中提出的建議,該建議主張向“來自[公共]部門的高績效和高潛力工作人員開放海外外交任務,無論機構如何”。241

幾十年來,評論員一直警告說,澳大利亞的外交部門“捉襟見肘,越來越無力應對作為一個活躍的中等大國的美國外交政策議程”。243 澳大利亞擁有所有發達國家中最小的外交網路之一,在經合組織的34個國家中排名第25位,比智利、葡萄牙、匈牙利和希臘的外交網路小。244名澳大利亞駐外外交官人數從1989年的862名外交官減少到2005年的494名,萎縮了近43%。245 自那以後的17年中,澳大利亞的適度增長仍然使澳大利亞今天派駐海外的外交官數量與1989年大致相同,在此期間,該國的GDP翻了兩番。246 議會聯合外交事務委員會在2012年得出結論,DFAT在過去三十年中一直遭受歷屆政府長期資金不足的困擾,使其擁有“嚴重缺陷”的外交網络,結論是:“澳大利亞顯然正在低於其重量。247 與澳大利亞國防和情報機構經歷的繁榮時期相比,DFAT的資金不足甚至更加引人注目。 在2000年至2010年期間,澳大利亞秘密情報局,國家評估辦公室和澳大利亞安全與情報組織的預算分別增長了437%,471%和562%,而DFAT的資源卻停滯不前。248 到2020年,國防開支預計將超過GDP的2%的門檻,而外交資金到2013年將降至GDP的0.63%,預計到2024年將降至GDP的0.08%。250

DFAT的預算問題導致招聘水準低,因此實際勞動力人數“大大低於核定的全職工作人員的水準”。250 一位學者說:「澳大利亞沒有保持其人的技能或城市能力,以充分處理經濟、社會、環境、安全和發展問題。 由於人員配備水準    持平,長期資金不足,難怪   幾乎沒有

外交部工作人員的專業化能力。251 只有23%的DFAT工作人員在海外工作,迫使部署的軍官  過於  分散,並稀釋    了他們可能傾向於建立的任何專業知識。該部門還不得不嚴重依賴僱用承包商來提供專業知識,因為整個公共服務的人員配置上限稱為平均人員配置水準。

儘管財政和人力資源形勢嚴峻,但DFAT的任務在2013年突然擴大,並宣佈將與澳大利亞發展機構AusAID合併。252 合併的特點是,在澳大利亞國際開發署的背後,使用節省的3.97億澳元為DFAT提供資金,252合併促使重新評估發展優先事項,導致  直接失去  主題專業知識,因為 駐外使館的援助主任職位被廢除,當地僱用的開發人員被裁減,總部的專業發展職位減少。253 AusAI D人力資源部前負責人估計,合併後損失了近1 000年的專門知識,自254年以來又損失了1 000年,一位分析員稱,「由於缺乏規劃、設計、實施和管理成功發展合作所需經驗,故意減少了專門知識」。。255. 一名前政府高級官員說,合併“基於’任何人都可以做任何事情’的想法,公務員是可以互換的”。256 理查·摩爾在詳細闡述合併的影響時寫道:新的外交和發展部:

DFAT依靠聰明的通才 – 能夠快速了解問題的基本原理並簡潔地進行溝通的人。這是許多開發人員可能有用地獲得的非常有價值的技能,但它不足以塑造和管理複雜的程式。它也可能成為彙集和有效管理專業知識深度的障礙,這些專業知識是提供尖端援助所需的,以加速發展和建立深厚的關係。擁有這種專業知識對於發展政策影響所需的形象,可信度和權威性也至關重要。256

DFAT在發展方面的技能和知識受到侵蝕,給澳大利亞的聲譽帶來了巨大的代價。 摩爾認為,在亞洲和太平洋地區,有大量報告稱,一等和二等秘書被派往與部長和總幹事進行複雜的政策對話。」    據報導,越來越多的曾經打開的門正在關閉。一個亞洲主要國家的一位前高級部長最近反思了政策參與的減少,他問一位對話者:「澳大利亞發生了什麼事? 其他人也問過類似的問題。摩爾寫道,258 摩爾寫道,在合併后,英國將澳大利亞降級為知識型員工交流的第三級地位,“一個主要的區域合作夥伴最近寫信給澳大利亞,稱它已經從首選的合作夥伴變成了難以合作的合作夥伴。另一位告訴我們,我們目前還沒有提出足夠的想法。260

甚至在合併之前,對澳大利亞外交部門的一個反覆批評就是缺乏多樣性和“頑固的英語國家特徵”。 2009年的一個藍絲帶小組發現,“有跡象表明,DFAT工作人員的語言技能在過去二十年中一直處於困境”,只有約26%的澳大利亞外交官精通英語以外的語言  260 儘管亞洲及太平洋語言在澳大利亞的國際政策目標中發揮著重要作用,但專家組認為,澳大利亞部門只有227名外交官精通任何亞洲語言,而法語流利的外交官只有107人。 其他語言的數位,如阿拉伯文和印地語/烏爾都語,情況更糟。 該小組發現,2006年DFAT語言培訓預算(219萬澳元)與1996年(216萬澳元)幾乎沒有變化,由於通貨膨脹而大幅削減。 它建議對語言技能(特別是東亞和太平洋語言、阿拉伯文、印地語/烏爾都語)進行重大再投資,並增加指定語言職位的數量,併為其他專業技能提供資金。 該小組指出,對語言和其他專業培訓的需求超出了DFAT,然而,延伸到許多其他在海外執行外交職能的機構:「澳大利亞國際政策界需要採取更具戰略性的方法,不僅在語言培訓方面,而且在重建澳大利亞的diplo肌肉方面也是必不可少的其他專業技能。260

在為語言培訓提供大量新資金之後,到2011年,具有亞洲語言工作水準熟練程度的外交官人數從227人增加到266人,這一數位仍然只佔DFAT工作人員的10%左右。262 DFAT在2012年向議會委員會解釋說,它在填補外語指定職位方面的困難部分是由於自然減員:“首先,你失去了一些,因為他們不想繼續     該國的專業。 其次,你失去了一些,因為私營部門抓住了它們。他們接受過良好的培訓,私營部門向他們支付更多的工資。 我們經常因此而失去人  。第三,你有時會失去人們,因為雖然他們有語言技能,但他們對政策工作沒有你想要的判斷力。263 DFAT前秘書斯圖爾特·哈裡斯(Stuart Harris)表示,重視“管理主義,而不是地區或學科專業化,也是一個因素”的企業文化。263

然而,DFAT在外語能力方面的整體表現如何,一個相對成功的領域是在大使級。 一位前高級官員稱讚2007年至2010年擔任總理陸克文(Kevin Rudd)本人是一名講普通話的前外交官,他堅持認為澳大利亞駐北京、東京、雅加達和首爾等關鍵職位的大使會講當地語言。 265 最近流利的大使的例子包括北京的格雷厄姆·弗萊徹、首爾的詹姆斯·蔡、雅加達的潘妮·威廉姆斯、東京的布魯斯·米勒和開羅的葛籣·邁爾斯。   2015年,DFAT更新了其

 弗萊徹自   2019年起擔任  澳大利亞駐北京大使,現已第四次被派往  中國任職,除了擔任  朝鮮       負責人六年外,還積累了12年的經驗德國交通部亞洲分部。 在被任命為駐開羅大使(他第二次被派往埃及任職)之前,邁爾斯還曾在黎巴嫩、科威特、巴勒斯坦領土、約旦和伊拉克任職。 米勒自大學以來就能說一口流利的日語,在日本共工作了14年,擔任過三個不同的職位,包括2011年至2017年的大使。

語言能力津貼計劃,講流利的阿拉伯文、粵語、韓語、日語或普通話,現在有資格每年額外獲得13,000澳元。266 即使雇員在總部工作,也要支付津貼,但須保持一般專業熟練程度,每三年重新測試一次。據報導,到2018年,語言指定職位的遵守率超過了60%。267 津貼計劃已經存在了幾十年,最值得注意的是,1998年至2005年,外交部秘書阿什頓·卡爾弗特(Ashton Calvert)在四次分別擔任東京大使后,能說一口流利的日語。267

最大限度地提高DFAT在語言培訓方面的回報的一個障礙是該部不鼓勵在國外背靠背發佈的做法。2012年,澳大利亞工業集團(Australian Industry Group)向澳大利亞議會外交事務常設委員會提出了對這種做法的擔憂,“這意味著返回的外交官必須等待另一個職位,可能是到另一個國家’擴大你’。這與英國外交部門不同,後者有背靠背的職位,並且“似乎將其人民[在特定地區]保留更長時間”。269 雖然外勤部答覆說,鑒於總部工作人員人數眾多,他們渴望派駐機會,存在“公平問題”,“堪培拉的政策幹事必須實際了解他們正在從事工作的國家”,交叉派駐的幹事“有時會忘記他們來自哪個國家”,但委員會直言不諱地回答說,它“不接受東非特派團關於背靠背派駐工作人員的論點。在實際情況下,在特定國家長期任職有明顯的好處,例如加深對該國的瞭解和發展更廣泛的網路。委員會拒絕接受這樣一種觀點,即外交官在較長的職位上可以「忘記他們來自哪個國家」。。269

澳大利亞對  印太地區的關注    是可以理解的,這導致世界其他地區(如非洲和拉丁美洲)相對缺乏專業知識。   2011年,議會外交事務聯合常務委員會(DFAT)進行了一項調查,指責DFAT在過去二十年中減少了對非洲大使館的報導-從12個職位減少到8個-並且其在法語非洲缺乏優勢,而大多數澳大利亞礦業利益都集中在法語區。271委員會敦促外交部「採取慎重步驟,擴大其專業知識和參與能力」,與澳大利亞大學合作,建立一個專門從事非洲研究的中心。272 然而,一名加拿大前高級官員回顧說,澳大利亞曾向加拿大尋求説明,借調一名非洲專家,為澳大利亞在2013-14年   擔任聯合國  安理會成員期間提供政策支援。273 注意到  財行部的薄板凳的另一個領域是建設和平,該部設法請來了和平與衝突專家作為顧問,但由於預算不足而失去了他們。274 此外,2009年的一個藍帶小組敦促DFAT在國際金融和經濟、公共外交和新媒體等專業技能方面進行更多投資。276

在過去幾年中,DFAT已開始應對這些挑戰,並採取試探性步驟成為一個更專業的組織。 受訪者將這一變化歸功於2016年任命弗朗西斯·亞當森為DFAT秘書。亞當森是一位資深外交官和普通話人士,曾擔任駐華大使,此前曾在香港和臺北擔任過大使,他認識到外交部門在地理和經濟專業知識方面的不足。 在她的領導下,在當時的部長裘莉·畢曉普(Julie Bishop)的領導下,在亞當森的任命下,“強調了主題專業知識的重要性”,276 DFAT開始根據澳大利亞公共服務委員會2013年對該部門進行的能力審查中提出的建議採取行動,該委員會主張“更明確地管理的語言和流程” 在通才職業過程中積累專業知識,例如通過’職業錨’的想法 – 他們將在更廣泛的職業生涯中返回各個時代的專業領域“。277 職業錨的方法還旨在向前澳大利亞國際開發署員工保證,他們可以保持對發展的專業關注,並仍然享有健康的職業發展。

 DFAT人力資源審查於2020年3月完成,得出的結論是,該部門需要“擺脫通才模式”,並採用更嚴格的方法來定義組織所需的技能和知識,包括更有針對性的招聘所需技能,而不是批量招聘流程。278 目前正在進行一項為期三年的執行計劃   。  向更大程度的專業化轉變得到了一所新的外交學院的支援,該學院在宣導,談判,預測和戰略規劃等領域提供外交貿易培訓,特別關注印太地區。278

與本研究中研究的其他外交部一樣,DFAT面臨著圍繞c abinet表的競爭日益激烈的環境。由於19  個政府部門中有18個部門現在擁有國際分部,DFAT在外交政策專業知識和影響力方面的首要地位受到壓力,特別是現在國際關係的協調已逐漸集中在總理辦公室和總理和內閣部,包括2008年國家安全顧問辦公室的成立。280 澳大利亞公共服務委員會在2012年對DFAT的能力審查中發現,外交部海外網路的卓越性受到“困難……在坎培拉有效運作」。 該評論指出,「坎培拉職位的變動比平時更頻繁」,發現DFAT正在努力“迅速掌握新的工作領域”,並充分“在整個APS[澳大利亞公共服務]中傳播從其海外網路獲得的知識”。281 最近,COVID危機和2019-2020年森林大火緊急情況使DFAT的電子和通信工作受到讚揚。2022年工黨新政府的選舉對DFAT的核心作用有強烈的看法,並任命了一位有影響力的外交部長Penny Wong,這可能為DFAT提供一個視窗,使其沿著其重新形成的議程邁向更大的專業化,併為自己配備必要的資源,以競爭整個印太地區的影響力。


據估計,中國的全球網路有4,500名外交官派駐海外,是僅次於美國的第二大網路。它主要以中國外交官的卓越紀律以及他們對語言和區域專業知識的承諾而聞名。 特別令人印象深刻的是,自1949年共產黨革命後成立以來,中國外交部門專業化的速度使其“沒有繼承的先前結構,也沒有檔案來指導新外交官”。282 革命後的軍人主要由中國人民解放軍成員組成,其早期精神是「穿著便服的解放軍」。革命后任命的首批17名大使都是從解放軍的隊伍中挑選出來的。 然而,從 1954年開始的十年中,出現了一支文職外交幹部,到1966年,解放軍任命的大使 人數很少。282

根據羅伯特·哈欽斯(Robert Hutchings)的說法,中國對語言能力和地區專業知識的關注反映了  革命之前的外交文化,中國外交官接受過  報告   外國情況的培訓,並代表了北京的官方立場  。284、不管是出於這個原因,還是因為它自覺地以俄羅斯的低調服務為藍本,中國外交部選擇將外語的掌握提升到一種標誌性的力量。到1957年,該部擁有600名合格的口譯員,專門使用27種語言。285 在外交部中獨一無二,在周恩來總理的親自倡議下,中國要求其外交官學習甚至  小國的語言,最終使  外交部的口譯員水準專業知識達到40多種語言,包括中國鄰國所說的所有語言。 這得到了定向任務制度的支援,其中外交官僅在總部和他們的專業區域或國家之間輪換。 (直到1990年代,中高級職位的跨區域運動才被引入,現在擴展到初級水準。285

1976年毛澤東逝世, 80年代開始對外開放,開啟了中國外交事業的專業化進程。這一時期標誌著 1949年後職業外交官群體的首次大使任命,這一過程得到了1983年新的強制性退休法的説明,該法加速了用文職職業外交官取代解放軍退伍軍人。287 名在 1980 年至 1984 年間任命的大使中,64% 的大使外語流利,288 名他們證明自己更有能力與其他國家外交官建立融洽的關係。288

這種風格的變化被中央情報局等人注意到了。“自1983年以來,北京已將其駐華盛頓大使館從一個旨在監督雙邊關係的新興機構轉變為一個越來越有效地追求中國國家利益的組織,”該機構在1986年報導。它注意到   使館   商業和科技   部門越來越獨立於大使館。

政治部分,證明大使館越來越重視技術專長。290 中國在繼續注重區域和語言專門知識的同時,在此期間也開始投資於其多邊工具,即軍備控制政策,外交部開始輪換外交官到日內瓦裁軍談判會議,為他們提供向全球專家學習的機會。291 今天,中國的多邊專家經常被 派往同一個國際實體,而在國內,他們繼續處理與該組織有關的問題。 其中一些人被部署在聯合國及其專門機構工作,這是基於他們在文化、健康或勞工移民等子主題方面獲得的專業知識,從而在整個組織中擴大了中國的影響力。292 一些中國最優秀的外交官被保留下來,在他們的駐聯合國代表團中服役。292

直到1990年代末,中國新外交官幾乎全部從北京外國語大學招聘,其中許多人在被委以外交職責之前擔任口譯員和筆譯員。這引發了批評,認為「翻譯外交」是以犧牲一個更全面的外交使團為代價的。同樣具有諷刺意味的是,口譯員的現成可用被指責為包括大使在內的高級官員中滋生自滿情緒,他們不再感到有動力去學習 外語 技能。 在過去的   二 十年中, 中國 外交部  使其人才集聚多樣化,包括更廣泛的國際關係和公共政策學校以及更廣泛的人文和國際關係背景,以更好地滿足其他主要外交服務的要求。294 . 所有申請人必須具備一定的英語語言能力,教育部繼續尋找具有各種語言背景的新人。295 名中國初級外交官入境後接受為期六個月的培訓 ,旨在使他們熟悉外交部和中國外交體系。2016年開設的新中國外交學院已經接管了外交官的培訓,受到外交部高層的嚴格審查 。295

中國外交部對其官員施加教育和有針對性的培訓要求,作為晉陞的條件,採用基於激勵的晉陞學分制。297                                                                       例如,外交官必須完成領導和管理培訓課程,以及國際關係、經濟和金融、國際歷史、禮賓和領事事務等課程,才能晉陞為二等秘書。298 然而,教育部培訓方法的一個弱點是,與前幾代人相比,它大大減少了出國留學的機會。299(據說,對外國影響的類似擔憂促使該部不再招募出國留學的申請人。

官員通常在整個職業生涯中(或圍繞)一個地區或主題度過,延續中國  超專業化的傳統。 然而,隨著新員工以更廣泛的背景加入,在其主要關注領域之外獲得經驗的障礙更少     在   1950年代和1960年代,外交部對  掌握更深奧的語言的執著  ,已經讓位於  對主要語言的務實關注,部分原因是

年輕軍官不願將職業生涯奉獻給一個「邊緣國家」。。300 然而,初級和中級職位的工作似乎非常嚴格,範圍有限。只有非常高級的外交官才能直接參與國際 談判或為戰略決策提供投入。301 外交部也顯得非常孤立,沒有與其他部門交流的傳統,為官員提供更多樣化的經驗。301

區域專業知識和對統治語言的瞭解仍然是選擇中國大使的重要因素。 墨卡托中國研究所(MERICS)2018  年的一項研究發現  ,近年來,中國共產黨  越來越青睞在各自地區具有親善經驗的大使,而不是他們的前任。這一趨勢與中國的做法(與俄羅斯相同)相結合,即期望高級大使職位需要長時間執行任務,導致專業知識極度集中在少數人身上。 例如,中國駐俄羅斯大使李輝(Li Hui)在目前的職位上度過了十年,最終的職業生涯完全花在了俄羅斯及其鄰國的工作上。(此前,他曾擔任駐哈薩克大使和 外交部東歐和中亞事務總幹事。根據MERICS的說法,“李克強在中國的外交服務中具有相當的區域專業知識並不罕見,可以被視為一種優勢。然而,李克強的例子也凸顯了中國外交中一個長期存在的問題:高層職位缺乏更新。303. 這種做法也表明,黨只信任少數幾個人來填補最敏感的職位。

對中國單價模型有效性的評估差異很大。 一 位名叫彼得·馬丁(Peter Martin)的學者發現,中國外交官“比上一代人更專業、更國際化、更專業……[擁有]從全球金融到核武器等主題的專業知識。在很大程度上 ,他們與國際同行中的佼佼者非常相似。304 MERICS對此表示贊同,認為「歐洲和其他地方的政策制定者不應低估中國的關鍵競爭優勢:對區域電子體驗的強烈關注。以前對他們所服務的地區的廣泛接觸和對當地語言的瞭解可能會使中國外交官相對於其他國家的同行更具優勢,這些國家傳統上希望他們的外交官是普遍的。305 其他評估則不那麼樂觀,一些評論員指責說,中國對國防和商業問題的關注往往以犧牲對外國資本決策的洞察力為代價。 《經濟學人》 最近引用了北京的一份外國文憑,中國同行承認他們對中歐和東歐的瞭解有限,“但幸運的是有俄羅斯人為他們解釋”。305

然而,更  系統地說,中國的做法受到      外交部所佔據的高度從屬角色的影響,它只是政治局常務委員會所作外交政策決策的  執行機構。307 彼得·馬丁認為  

從1980年代開始,外交部門的專業化是以犧牲 第一代外交官的威望為代價的,這些外交官是中國人民解放軍的退伍軍人,與黨的高層領導人有著密切的聯繫。308 .他補充說,“矛盾的是,中國日益增長的全球作用削弱了其外交部”。隨著中國商人和遊客冒險進入世界,外交部與其他行業競爭,如商務部、公安部和強大的國有企業——這些公司預算更大,影響力往往比外交部更大。同樣 ,黨在習近平下更普遍的作用可能會 進一步扼殺外交部門的主動性。 在2018年對與會外交官的講話中,習近平提醒他們,他們首先是“黨的幹部”。 這可能預示著一種轉變,即忠誠的價值高於職業技能。309

馬丁的評估是,「中國的外交官無法擺脫一個秘密的、偏執的政治體系的束縛。他們將繼續受到通過地下革命鬥爭形成的制度的束縛,這些制度 在冷戰高峰期成熟起來。311 他們害怕在黨的領導人或中國公眾面前顯得軟弱,“使他們過分關注小的戰術勝利,而犧牲了戰略勝利”。這產生了一種外交風格,在這種風格中,Chinese外交官“有效地制定要求,但缺乏贏得人心的能力。他們不斷重複官方談話要點充其量是 沒有說服力的,在最壞的情況下,看起來像是欺淩,而他們即興創作,展示詞彙性或採取主動性的有限空間使他們無法為不同的受眾量身定製自己的方法。 311

這一點的一個例子是最近所謂的“戰狼外交”現象,其特點是  包括外交官在內的官員發表好戰的公開聲明,以回應對中國的輕視。 這種做法的名字來自一部流行的中國動作片。 它出現在2017年左右,並在COVID-19大流行爆發後變得廣泛,因為中國政府在處理緊急情況時面臨全球批評風暴。 對中國對待維吾爾少數民族的批評也遭到濫用,中國駐加拿大大使指責該國媒體“西方利己主義和白人至上主義”。 Twitter是「狼戰士」寬邊的流行媒介,幾乎總是用英語提供。 但是,儘管這些推文突顯了中國人的語言能力——只要對第二語言的惡搞的切入點感到滿意——但給人留下的總體印象是一種臉皮薄的不安全感。 “戰狼外交”引發的反彈似乎在北京得到了體現。一位前中國  駐美國大使 公開告誡他在  北京的同事們“永遠把整個國家放在心上,不要總是想成為網紅”。 就連習近平主席——表面上是狼戰士的繆斯女神——也在政治局的一次研究會議上談到,中國需要改善國際交流,以“擴大   了解中國  的朋友圈”。313 到  2021 年底,這種做法似乎正在減弱。

中國通過發展專業知識,讓外交官追求卓越,這是值得稱讚的。 然而,中國的例子也證明,在 外交實踐中,知識本身並不能保證成功,而外交實踐往往尋求有機的、直覺的、互動和本能。 雖然中國的外交工具箱有一些強大的元素,但由於它所服務的整體體系的殭化,其他部分也存在缺陷——用彼得·馬丁的話來說,這個體系給中國留下了“巨大的國際 影響力,但很少有真正的朋友”。313


俄羅斯的外交方式與中國非常相似,並且確實成為 1949年開始的革命后中國外交部的典範。 俄羅斯的高級 領導層由受過蘇聯傳統訓練的官員組成,因此,與中國外交部門一樣,俄羅斯外交官 的特點是對其指定專業地區的深刻語言和文化知識,但也具有嚴格的紀律和最低限度的個人自主權。 隨著俄羅斯的外交政策回歸蘇聯時代 集中決策和反西方敵對的傾向,俄羅斯外交官個人的區域專業知識和外語能力所賦予的優勢有可能被浪費掉。

自20世紀40年代以來,俄羅斯外交部門的大多數新兵來自莫斯科國立國際關係大學(MGIMO),該大學在外交部的保護下運作。MGIMO  擁有8,000名學生和2,000名員工,既是一所大學,也是一個智囊團,是“  俄羅斯大部分外交政策制定精英的母校 – 包括外交部的精英和其他國家機構和大公司的外交政策專家。315 要獲得MGIMO國際關係系的錄取,學生必須通過歷史,外語和俄語考試。 根據羅伯特·哈欽斯(Robert Hutchings)的說法,“在接受《今日俄羅斯》採訪時,許多俄羅斯外交官提到,他們的印象是,他們的語言和理論訓練比其他國家的外交部門更集中。315

預計俄羅斯外交官將專注於世界的一個地區,他們的大部分任務都在莫斯科和國外,以加深他們在專業領域的專業知識。 為此,他們接受「外語的深入研究和對外國習俗,傳統和政治歷史的深入培訓」。。 大多數俄羅斯大使 被派往他們經驗最深厚的地區。317 . 與這一願景相一致,外交部幾乎完全由職業外交官組成,而職業生涯中期的入境,以及往返其他部委的橫向調動,都是極其罕見的(正如一位俄羅斯學者所說:“外交部就像一根鋼管——一個人可以從一端進入它,從另一端離開, 但不在中間。317

一位在莫斯科服役的美國外交官回憶說,他會見了一位俄羅斯同事,他說他已經在俄羅斯外交部服務了21年,其中17年是在平壤度過的。“關於他的韓語技能,他說如果他在打電話,韓國人就會認為他是韓國人 – 他根本沒有口音。319 俄羅斯偏愛超專業化的另一個例子是亞歷山大·卡達金(Alexander Kadakin),他在印度累計服務了大約二十年,包括兩次擔任大使,從1999年到2004年   ,  從2009年到2017年去世。 他還   曾在德里  服役於

在這個職業生涯的三年前。 (1992年至1997年,卡達金第一次擔任大使是在隔壁的尼泊爾。 卡達金在MGIMO讀書時就開始了他的印度專攻,並作為一口流利的印地語和烏爾都語, 在1970年代蘇聯總理列昂尼德·勃列日涅夫(Leonid Brezhnev)正式訪問印度期間擔任翻譯。 卡達金通過引用印度文學和寶萊塢經典作品的能力而受到印度人的喜愛,在他去世后,他被授予印度第三高的平民榮譽,德里的一條街道被重新命名以紀念他。319

有趣的是,俄羅斯外交部門並不認為這種專業化與在外交部晉陞高級管理職位不一致。 現任外交部副部長米哈伊爾·波格丹諾夫(Mikhail Bogdanov)擔任這一職務已有11年,他還擔任俄羅斯中東問題特別代表。 波格丹諾夫能說一口流利的阿拉伯文,他的大部分職業生涯 都在中東度過,擔任駐埃及和以色列大使,此前他曾在黎巴嫩、敘利亞和 葉門任職。

毫無疑問,這種專業化程度代表了競爭優勢。 在2014年一篇題為「俄羅斯的迪普洛馬特人正在吃美國的午餐」的嚴厲文章中,前美國外交官員詹姆斯·布魯諾(James Bruno)評估了俄羅斯在吞併克里米亞後的幾個月里在整個歐洲動員的深厚外交經驗和專業知識,與美國的大使並列,其中許多是非外交官,作為對他們成功成功的獎勵。 政治籌款:「俄羅斯大使正在利用他們與大陸精英的許多密切聯繫來推動普京的案件,尋求扼殺或限制經濟制裁,並促進華盛頓與其盟友之間的分歧。在大多數情況下,這些俄羅斯特使在他們的外交生涯中大部分時間都與他們被派往的國家打交道,並且擁有長達數十年的通信,他們可以與之交談,通常使用後者的母語。這給了他們一個決定性的優勢。321 布魯諾列舉了德國的例子,美國大使約翰·愛默生(John Emerson)是一名娛樂律師(也是多產的民主黨籌款人),他不會說德語,而他的俄羅斯同行弗拉基米爾·格裡寧(Vladimir Grinin)在德國的多次巡迴演出,除了擔任駐奧地利大使四年外,還在德國服役了17年。 根據布魯諾的說法,俄羅斯駐北約28國首都的大使總共有960年的外交經驗(平均34年),而美國大使總共有331年,平均12年。

培養主題專業知識作為影響手段也反映了俄羅斯外交部以外的傳統。 早在20世紀50年代,美軍就注意到蘇聯在利用外語能力作為國防外交工具方面的優勢。 一位美國高級軍官回憶起蘇聯需要在印尼降落一架轉機的情況:“直到飛機上的最後一個人 – 一名看門人 – 每個人都說一口流利的印尼語。印尼人感到震驚,在創紀錄的時間內處理了乘客。雅加達領導層從未忘記這種精心策劃的善意姿態。321

俄羅斯還對其主題專長給予了對機構記憶和經驗的深切尊重。 大使和其他高級外交官的任職時間通常比其他外交部長得多,這既增加了培訓投資(例如外語)的回報,又加深了他們的豐富聯繫。 俄羅斯外交部長謝爾蓋·拉夫羅夫(Sergei Lavrov)自2004年以來一直擔任這一職務,並在他被任命為俄羅斯駐聯合國大使十年之前。 (他的蘇聯時代的前任之一安德列·葛羅米柯(Andrei Gromyko)擔任外交部長長達28年的深不可測。 這種對連續性的強調使俄羅斯「對某些國家和組織具有深厚的機構記憶和工作知識」,使其「比大多數同行更願意培養長期的工作關係」。。322

然而,與中國一樣,俄羅斯的外交部門——更重要的是,它所服務的政府——也存在一些殭化,破壞了其外交官積累的豐富專業知識的價值,留下一個整體在某種程度上小於其各部分的總和。 一位曾在俄羅斯和前蘇聯共和國任職的美國外交官指責俄羅斯的官僚文化“阻礙創新和冒險”。 另一位代表指出,儘管俄羅斯外交官具有跨文化和語言能力,但他們“傾向於將聯繫     限制在  他們所服務的國家的外交部  ,而忽略了像美國外交官那樣與社會各階層的接觸。例如,俄羅斯外交官在社交媒體參與方面明顯薄弱。

這種文化似乎  反映了一種傳統,這種傳統在普京總統的領導下得到了加強,即俄羅斯外交部僅僅是源自克里姆林宮的集中的、自上而下的外交政策決策的執行者。 一位學者將俄羅斯外交部描述為「一個快速接受和執行總統及其行政辦公室命令的等級制度,而不是一個有能力提出新舉措的機構。324 歐洲外交關係理事會的一份報告發現,「近年來,特別是自2015年吞併克里米亞和俄羅斯開始在敘利亞的軍事行動以來,外交部對政策制定的重要性遠不如過去。總統行政當局及其安全理事會越來越突出。在這些機構中占上風的不是外交官,而是情報部門和國防部的官員。326

根據對俄羅斯年輕外交官的採訪,ECFR發現俄羅斯2014年吞併克里米亞的聲望嚴重下降,這已經“軍事化”了俄羅斯外交的基調。 一位俄羅斯外交官指出,在俄羅斯,討論克里米亞的回歸也是刑事犯罪  ,他透露,  “這使得  討論與世紀之交的情況截然不同,當時一切都可以討論。一位俄羅斯專家說,外交部沒有培養解決問題的人,而是越來越多地生產  宣傳人員。326    . 報告  指出,因此,

外交服務在莫斯科國立國際關係大學的畢業生中失去了興趣,轉而從事其他國際職業。在2022年2月俄羅斯入侵烏克蘭后,許多歐洲國家禁止俄羅斯國家支援的多語言媒體(如《今日俄羅斯》和《Sputnik》)使用俄羅斯外交官作為純粹的宣傳代理人,這一比例顯著增加。 德國馬歇爾基金會發現,俄羅斯外交使團的Twitter帳戶在如何推動有關烏克蘭戰爭的虛假資訊方面變得更加好戰“,並且在放大虛假內容和陰謀材料方面更加濫交。一位前俄羅斯外交官最近寫道:「俄羅斯的孤立可以被認為是俄羅斯外交政策的失敗,現在只說一種語言:宣傳」。。327.雖然俄羅斯外交官傳統上在社交媒體上表現出沉默的態度,但他們似乎正在嘗試自己版本的“戰狼外交”,這與中國的經歷又是一個相似之處。

美國外交官員亞倫·加菲爾德(Aaron Garfield)最近寫了一篇關於保持公正、專業外交服務的重要性的文章,他認為,“人們只需要看看普京在烏克蘭的歷史錯誤,就能欣賞一個適當獨立的國家安全官僚機構,這個官僚機構可以用細微差別、經驗豐富的判斷和冷酷的現實來緩和政治領導人的首選政策處方,以避免出現分歧。  俄羅斯和中國的案例研究表明,在高度集中和專制的體系中,外交職能——無論多麼專業和專業——都可以迅速簡化為簡單地執行在沒有專業知識的情況下做出的決定。 或者,正如一位英國學者所說,“外交官的專業知識和技能只能為外交政策戰略服務,但不能取代它”。327



–未來 聯邦儲備組織, 2015年

在日益加劇的全球不確定性和強大的新威脅下,各國外交部面臨著前所未有的壓力,要求它們取得成果。 他們不再只是被賦予管理國與國關係的任務,而是被賦予了支援領導人的合理建議,以在“充滿文化、語言、宗教和歷史以及經濟、人道主義、政治和安全利益的不可預測的環境中預測和解決一系列看似無休止的危機”。329 除了這一政策角色外,他們還  有望在行動上靈活,能夠   在短時間內在全球範圍內部署  ,以營救其公民或提供援助,並實施數百萬美元的發展計劃(現在有這麼多人)各部委已與以前不同的發展機構合併)。所有這一切都發生在24/7全天候媒體審查的超關鍵環境中,新的國內利益相關者激增,包括日益自信的僑民通信聯合體,以及一系列新的非國家行為者,包括公民外交官,私人基金會,在線機器人和巨魔的模糊網路以及跨國私營部門。

這項研究發現,在所審查的所有國家中,外交部在過去幾十年中經歷了地位和影響力的喪失,因為外交官和大使館的傳統信使職能已被通信技術所消除。 國際議程已經從狹隘地關注國與國之間的關係轉向一系列更加模糊的全球性問題,如氣候、能源和移民,這賦予了國內職能部委在這些主題上的專業知識。 這些部委現在已經花了數年時間建立自己的國際事務局,並爭奪在過去幾十年中會被外交部門吸引的人才,他們不再需要大使館來促成與國際同行的討論。 正如一位大使對一位以色列學術界所說:“過去,如果我的[非英語]國家的農業部隨員被派往美國或加拿大,他將沒有操作工具,他不會知道語言或如何建立關係。 今天,他  很可能已經  在國外學習或生活了一段時間,他可以獨立運作。329

職能部委的這種授權加劇了外交政策重新集中(或“總統化”)的趨勢,包括通過國家安全委員會式的結構  ,其中   外交部只是與其他利益相關者的一個利益相關者  (特別是

國防部和情報機構)資源充足得多。 這項研究還發現,外交部經常受到結構性改革的影響,例如合併,這導致了經驗和主題專業知識的流失,並分散了他們的注意力,使他們無法應對其他人才管理挑戰,例如如何將外交部定位為適合21世紀的知識組織。

如果外交部不能表現出足夠的主題專門知識和影響力網路來支持行動和政策,它們就有可能受到相對優勢的質疑,並看到它們的作用縮小到僅僅是一個服務提供者:領事、簽證和護照服務的提供者,以及他們國家大使館網路的房東, 對外交政策的影響逐漸減弱。 顯然,一些外交部的高級官員滿足於僅僅參與而不是領導機構間外交政策進程的期望降低。 然而,如果沒有  主題專業知識的附加值   和  由此產生的可信性,外交部可能不會被視為政策制定不可或缺的。

在這種混亂中,各國外交部正在努力確定未來幾十年所需的人才。 所有人都在以這樣或那樣的方式與「專家」和「通才」技能組合之間的經典辯論作鬥爭。這兩個群體的優勢和弱點在公共行政理論的背景下進行了長時間的辯論,通常是在漫畫中。

專家們被指責為視野狹隘,並專注於業餘愛好的馬匹:「他們可能不僅僅是致力於一個主題,而是致力於其中的一個思想流派,甚至不被所有的專業同事所分享。331 據說他們對實際和政治現實不敏感,對“大局”視而不見。 在美國,國務院的專業幹部遭受了更糟糕的誹謗:1950年代初,外交部的專家漢學家因“失去中國”而被麥卡錫派抨擊,隨後的 清洗使外交部門到1981年只有12名講普通話的人。同樣,該部門的阿拉伯人經常面臨反猶太主義的隨意指控 。331

F.F.雷德利在1960年代寫到英國政府的趨勢時,為專家辯護,寫道:“當然,沒有證據表明通才阿維斯逃脫了對一系列特定提案的過度認同……通才的精神是有教養的業餘愛好者,懷疑和超然 – 並且完全不適合現代,複雜和有目的的政府。 用來反對特殊ts的論點可以轉向對他們有利的:通過他們的召喚,他們更有可能是有目的的。333.他補充說,通才經理必須管理某件事,“並且知道某事是高級行政級別的必要資格”。334 Ridley對當時流行的觀念提出異議,即在公共行政中,’專家應該在水龍頭上,而不是在頂部’,反駁道:“    如果一個人不能理解結果,   打開水龍頭就沒有多大意義。 這


歷史上充斥著  外交官利用他們的主題專業知識取得變革性成果的例子。 例如,喬治·凱南(George Kennan)根據他前一年發送的電報(稱為“長電報”)於1947年寫了“蘇聯行為的來源”。這種對俄羅斯思想的分析,為冷戰期間指導西方戰略的遏制戰略奠定了思想基礎,“基於凱南對俄羅斯、其語言、文化和人民的深刻理解——這些專業知識是通過在該地區的反復旅行和長期的職業研究獲得的。336 阿拉伯局——英國政府在開羅的政治和情報辦公室,負責從1916年到1920年向倫敦提供關於中東的專家,包括通過對T.E.勞倫斯和格特魯德·貝爾等阿拉伯人的傳奇功績——留下了複雜的遺產,但它無可爭議地促成了阿拉伯人對英國的支援。 並在關鍵時刻反對奧斯曼帝國。 阿巴·埃班(Abba Eban)是一位多語言的以色列外交官(他會說十種語言,包括完美的英語),後來成為外交部長,他利用他與美國近乎兩文化的親密關係 – 包括從1950年到1959年同時擔任駐美國和聯合國大使近十年  – 來鞏固  新以色列國的現狀。 根據  他的傳記作者的說法,「埃班的演講才能,語言技能和有效的外交風格增強了以色列在美國公眾和與華盛頓官方關係中的形象。埃班在美國取得了一定程度的名氣,這有助於克服早期對以色列的懷疑,併為今天無與倫比的戰略援助關係奠定基礎。一份猶太裔美國期刊得出結論,埃班  在  大會  和

 美國   國務院值得「以色列軍隊的  一個士兵師,如果不是  更多的話」。 338

同樣,重大的地緣政治失誤也是由於未能彙集其他社會的主題知識造成的。 英國對1979年伊朗伊斯蘭革命視而不見后,FCO委託編寫的一份內部報告指出,“英國政策執行中的失敗”源於“對伊朗歷史和文化某些方面認識不足”等因素。338人(在同一場危機中,52名使館工作人員和美國公民將在幾個月後被扣留——美國駐德黑蘭大使館的60名外交官員中只有9人會說波斯語。339 同樣,2015年的一項研究發現,開羅的大多數主要大使館都沒有認識到導致穆巴拉克總統公開嘲笑的抗議活動的重要性,只有少數大多數是初級的“遠征外交官”,他們“說阿拉伯語和埃及語; 經常與普通人互動; 會見  非政府組織、活動人士

 亨利·基辛格在談到埃班時說:“我從來沒有遇到過任何符合他英語水準的人。句子以複雜的結構湧出,足以測試聽眾的智力,同時讓他被演講者的精湛技藝所震撼。 埃班的阿拉伯語也不懶惰:他出版了埃及劇作家陶菲克·哈基姆(Tawfiq al Hakim)最著名作品之一的第一本英文譯本。

  和反對黨成員在  規則的基礎上; 去了  解放廣場; 和

監控 社交媒體 。339

最近,阿富汗戰役的失敗凸顯了在資訊上處於劣勢的陷阱。 英國陸軍上校威爾·大衛斯(Will Davies)在為查塔姆研究所撰文時認為,部署在複雜而陌生的人類地形中的人員,通常是短途輪換,無法通過“在職”學習積累足夠的專業知識,並且有可能永遠不會超過“敷衍的分析水平,導致隨之而來的風險,即他們的進度評估過於樂觀,毫無意義或具有誤導性”。341 Davies認為,因此,國防參與角色應由“具有超越戰鬥和作戰主流學科的專業知識、技能和經驗的操作員”來填補,包括“由語言技能、文化智慧和人際網络提供的區域專門知識”。342 大衛斯接著強調了影響力的競爭性質——甚至在盟友之間——以及與投資於跨文化有效性有關的機會成本,並引用了法國人在利比亞的優勢,因為擁有一名國防武官,「一年的情報培訓,兩年的阿拉伯語培訓,一年在埃及參謀學院, 在開羅3年,在阿布達比3年,現在在的黎波里擔任DA2年“。342



–納爾遜· 曼德拉 (虛構)

語言與外交之間的歷史關係是密切的。 在該行業的早期,在中世紀,外交官被選中主要是因為他們在文化之間進行解釋的能力。 無法理解不同的語言可能是災難性的:1870年的普法戰爭造成近50萬人死亡,可以說是由電報中一個詞(軍銜)誤譯引發的。 344 在現代,精通外語只是預期有效的外交官將帶來的主題專門知識的一個子集。 英國議會認為,“語言是外交的基礎,如果不能在外語方面表現出色,就會破壞我們的外交官可能發展的任何其他技能。345. 這反映了語言能力的概念,即語言能力是一種力量倍增器,可以提高外交官其他更常規人才的效力和可信度。 查塔姆研究所的一份報告詳細闡述了:“個人對語言和文化的掌握程度越高,他們與合作夥伴的關係,信任程度和相互理解程度就越好,這反過來又    會增強洞察力和決策能力。 如果在   

人類的地形只能以『信任的速度』移動,那麼熟練的語言和文化能力必須是優先事項。346. 從根本上說,以東道國語言進行外交對於在下一代環境中運作至關重要,這種環境不依賴於外交照會的交換,也不僅僅是與講英語或法語的當地精英互動:從社交媒體時代的公共外交到與非國家行為者合作,不能以靈活和當地共鳴的方式進行交流的外交官將產生不是信號,而是噪音。

本研究涵蓋的外交部在外語能力方面都有獨特的優勢。 中國和俄羅斯人訓練他們的一些外交官,使其具有口譯員級的流利程度,並專注於職業生涯的區域重點,並重複有計劃的任務。 這位法國新兵將語言學家作為進入外交服務的兩條主要途徑之一。 美國人提供終身語言培訓機會,並將   至少一門外語的fluency作為晉陞到高級職位的條件。 英國人  投入鉅資,並巧妙地計劃,  以確保  他們的大使 – 英國在國外的公眾形象 – 能夠流利地使用當地語言。 澳大利亞人先驗地將亞洲語言能力放在主要地區首府,並依靠  在各個國家/地區具有多年經驗的大使 – 通常是通過多次任職。

加拿大也有其優勢。 Global Affairs已經指定了大約433個海外職位,要求一定程度的外語流利程度 – 幾乎與英國的一樣多,英國的服務大約是英國的兩倍。 對於最困難的語言,如普通話,韓語和阿拉伯文, 它提供了長達24個月的全日制培訓(英國最近才將普通話的培訓時間增加到22個月)。 加拿大的獨特之處還在於將大量職位(433個職位中的197個)指定為“外語命令”,這意味著從理論上講,在達到該職位的目標熟練程度之前,不允許員工繼續任職。 接受調查的其他外交部都沒有這麼嚴格。

當然,還有一些地方需要改進。 Global Affairs只將其外交官訓練到「一般專業熟練程度」的水準,這往往不足以進行更細緻或敏感的對話,或自信地與媒體接觸。 (相比之下,英國和美國都對一些外交官進行「高級熟練程度」的培訓,其中包括25%的英國大使。 鑒於加拿大外交政策通常以溝通為重點的性質,這似乎不協調,一種更雄心勃勃的方法可能表明,該部門在國外工作的某些關鍵流- 無論是全球安全報告計劃,我們的公共事務官員,我們的特使,還是我們的代表團團長,他們是加拿大在國外的公眾形象 – 都應該盡可能做到完全流利。 正如一份 think-tank 報告所建議的那樣,“如果廣泛的人與人之間的接觸成為未來外交的標誌,那麼高度發達的語言技能將更加   寶貴。347 雖然全球事務部已經嘗試了   更多的培訓

  由於  人員配置  不足,導致  官員無法獲得所需的培訓時間,  因此緊急職位的合規率目前僅為32%。

高級水準,包括2009年左右推出的外語獎學金計劃,旨在將現有外語流利程度的選定員工提升到高級水準,這些努力已成為削減成本的受害者。更廣泛地說,加拿大在用具有所需流利程度的  官員填補指定職位方面也遠遠落後於其同行。 2021年,整體合規率為23%,而高管職位僅為18%,遠遠落後於澳大利亞、荷蘭、紐西蘭、瑞典、美國和英國的同行,這些國家的合規率都高於50%。 (今天,英國的總體合規率為72%,其使命負責人為74%,而美國的合規率為75%。

圍繞保留專業知識和培訓投資回報的討論的一個關鍵方面與現場服務有關。不言而喻,區域主題專業知識(包括語言技能)的發展可以通過在該領域花費更多的職業生涯而不是在總部工作來增強。 在致力於在這方面追求卓越的組織中,「個人應該在同一地區長期和反覆地工作,以加深專業知識,並建立與其網路和現有合作夥伴的連續性,熟悉度和信任度,同時改善機構記憶和專業知識。348 雖然中國和俄羅斯(有時有長達十年的大使任期的傳統)已經把這一點放在心上,但本研究報告所涵蓋的其他外交部也開始適應。 在過去幾年中,加拿大和英國已將大多數帖子的標準長度增加了一年,而美國正在考慮效仿。然而,加拿大是一個異常值的領域是,其做法是將允許的在國外的執行服務時間限制在七年(此時官員必須返回渥太華在總部執行任務)。 相比之下,美國國務院允許其外交官在國外連續服務長達15年。

根據本文所考察的其他國家的經驗,全球事務部在外語習得和保留方面的表現將受益於明確使這些技能成為有意義的晉陞證書(就像在美國外交部門一樣);D部門可以通過在其任務負責人中設定更雄心勃勃的外語流利度期望來類比期望的行為, 正如英國和越來越多的澳大利亞正在做的那樣;它可以將語言困難者優先考慮交叉發佈,包括通過計劃的任務,以及免除將連續海外服務限制在七年的規則;它可以確保員工績效管理評估實際評估他們對語言技能的使用,並將其與員工評級聯繫起來;(它可以更有創意地看待與長期語言相關的“職業懲罰”的其他方面。 培訓,例如解決既不講英語也不講French的國家的配偶就業限制。 雖然有些人懷疑財政激勵計劃是否是靈丹妙藥,但加拿大是唯一一個不向外交官提供外語能力獎金的G7國家,這一事實是關於管理優先事項的信息,無論是否有意為之。

值得考慮的是,外語在情報和軍事等平行職業中的重要性,可以追溯到導致2001年9月11日恐怖襲擊的情報失敗,據報導,由於語言能力不足,美國情報部門截獲的與陰謀有關的對話中有三分之一無法及時翻譯。 隨後西方在阿富汗和伊拉克的不幸事件促使一些軍事專業人士得出結論:「及時性和準確性是情報的一切,因此,語言學家的技能比火力更重要。有了前者,你可能就不需要後者了。349 不幸的是,這些技能直到很晚才被優先考慮。 2005年,五角大樓的國防語言轉型路線圖得出結論:


然而,儘管轉型路線圖敦促逐步將掌握一門外語作為提高一般軍官的標準,但一年後,國會授權的伊拉克研究小組報告得出結論,“我們在伊拉克的所有努力,無論是軍事還是平民,都因美國人缺乏語言和文化理解而受到阻礙。   它發現,在130,000人的  佔領軍中,只有大約130名美國軍人擁有任何阿拉伯技能。350

2011年,隨著伊拉克 冒險的結束和阿富汗戰役的逐漸減少,國防部長在給五角大樓領導層的一份備忘錄中強調 ,語言技能、區域專業知識和文化能力的重要性是“持久的 作戰能力,對當今不斷變化的全球環境中的任務準備至關重要”。352 英國陸軍《2010年戰略防務與安全評估》同樣將語言能力確定為國防外交和影響力行動的“關鍵推動因素 ”,認為“如果以母語開展海外活動,目標將更快、更有效、更高效、更持久地實現”。353 . 聯合王國國防部現在尋求將成員在主流戰鬥學科中積累的多面手知識和經驗重新用於專業交戰任務,並創建了一所國防參與學校,以培訓語言、文化、情報和安全方面的人員。353

具有諷刺意味的是,一些堅持「通才」技能模式的外交部發現自己的表現優於國防同行。總部位於柏林  的全球公共政策  研究所2018年的一份報告批評了德國外交部,

   它  認為這是「嚴格堅持  所有外交官都應該是通才並能夠輪換到任何職位的想法」。  德國軍隊經常派遣軍官在國外之前參加為期一年的語言課程,「德國外交官很幸運,  在開始  在中東工作之前有三周的阿拉伯語課程,而且沒有 保證他們將有機會再次使用他們在任職期間獲得的技能和區域專業知識。 該研究所的結論是,「關於外交官不應該有很強的專業化的通知已經過時了,在21世紀不再可行」。。

正如本專案中的案例研究所表明的那樣,對於一個理想的外交官應該是什麼樣子的問題,沒有一個單一的答案, 退休的印度外交官和學者基尚·拉納(Kishan Rana)提出了一個值得詳細引用的觀點:


本研究報告審查的大多數外交部都承認,外交官的技能工具包需要  超越  傳統的區域或語言專門知識領域。正如一個藍絲帶小組所建議的那樣,“在一個複雜而國際化的公共政策環境中,僅具備傳統外交技能的傳統外交官已不再足夠。356 這表明,氣候變化、移民、網路安全和虛假資訊等挑戰國家間關係傳統框架的全球性問題在國際議程上日益佔據主導地位。 例如,拜登政府在2021年3月宣佈的八個外交政策優先事項以全球健康和新興技術等主題問題  為主,僅包括一項雙邊關係(中國)。357 正如加拿大前外交官達里爾·科普蘭(Daryl Copeland)所說,“外交官,由於傳統上接受過培訓和發展,因此在診斷或治療日益擴大的政治、經濟,特別是基於科學的全球性問題方面準備不足,這些問題已成為不斷變化的國際格局的一個突出特徵。358.COVID大流行使人們的注意力集中在外交官至少需要擁有健康和科學問題的基礎上,沒有這些基礎,“他們甚至可能不知道有一個關於特定外交政策挑戰的科學問題要問   ”。359 雖然     期望  外交官使用

主要在人文和社會科學方面的背景可以重塑自己作為科學家,在一 系列全球問題上至少達到廣泛的“因果素養”似乎是現實的。359

擴大外交知識的一個明顯挑戰是大多數外交部的傳統孤立性。 這已被確定為一個問題,在某些情況下需要激進處理,例如法國解散了其兩名最高級的外交幹部。其他國家則主張外交官與其他部委(包括表面上是國內的部委)進行更頻繁的交流,但卻在接受非正統任務所涉及的職業懲罰方面苦苦掙扎。 在加拿大外交部,與其他部委一樣,績效和人才管理評估面向組織內部的服務,並且不適應評估外部專業經驗。 前外交部副部長莫裡斯·羅森伯格(Morris Rosenberg)告訴加拿大參議院:“我認為,如果當人們從職位上回來時,至少他們中的一些人會在其他地方尋找職位,而不是在這個部門找工作,那將是有説明的。它可能是另一個政府部門,一個非政府組織,一個公司或一個省政府。然後e應該是激勵措施。如果你這樣做,當你考慮晉陞或考慮下一個任務時,應該重視這一點。361. 減輕外交部門以外間歇所認為的「職業懲罰」的一個方法是強制要求它們——這是美國外交部現在正在考慮的一種選擇。361

滲透性的一個相關且更具爭議性的方面是橫向進入外交部門的問題。 本研究報告所審查的大多數部委的高級管理人員 都認為,需要補充輪換職業外交官的知識和技能,有針對性地徵聘具有所需能力的職業中期專業人員 ,或僅僅是“新觀點”。 正如莫裡斯·羅森伯格(Morris Rosenberg)對加拿大參議院所說:“應該有更多機會從其他部門和其他政府部門進入外交部門進入外交部門。此外,如果在其他部門找到有關氣候,流行病或網路等新興全球問題的專業知識,那麼這些專家應該有更多的機會成為加拿大駐外使團的一部分 。362

不出所料,要求增加橫向入境的呼聲往往會遭到外交官員及其工會的抵制,他們認為這種做法削弱了職業外交官的晉陞機會,並削弱了該手藝的專業性。  美國臭名昭著的非職業大使的例子經常被  引用為  這種滑坡的合乎邏輯和不令人羨慕的結果。 對公關行為的反對意見經常被駁回為“行會心態”的證據,這是一種保護主義反應,由具有可疑資格和弱者聲稱自己是一個獨特職業的成員。  在這種  觀點下,外交官只不過是   文職的。

一 位學者說,“與其他國家相比,似乎有更多關於美國大使完全偏離軌道的恐怖故事,但這可能也歸因於美國在這些問題上的更大透明度。(拉納, 當代E·姆巴西,第26頁)

碰巧住在國外的僕人,因此與其他部委的官僚高度互換。 這種觀點的一些宣導者甚至呼籲取消   外交部門,  轉而支援整個公共服務部門進行海外派遣的資格。

用  印度外交官基尚·拉納(Kishan Rana)  的話來說:“外交是一種職業,即使  並不總是被承認為職業。它缺乏一個既定的資格認證程式,不像特許會計師或律師,但它需要相同的領域知識,學徒制和技能積累的元素。364 美國雙倍體墊子亞倫·加菲爾德(Aaron Garfield)更簡潔地說:“外交官既不是天生的,也不是受過訓練的。他們長大了。365 加拿大退休大使艾比·丹恩(Abbie Dann)解釋了長期承諾的累積好處:“外交不是’找一個聰明人,加水,攪拌’。[…]作為一名外交官,你的聲譽和網路與你一起傳播,你在國際圈子裡建立了知識、聯繫和信譽。這種專業包袱成為加拿大的資產。366 雖然外交部不能倖免於勞動力市場從終身就業轉向,但更混雜的人才管理方法(例如,圍繞借調人員和承包商建立)的概念尤其不利於網路的核心外交技能,這需要耐心地積累通過信任建立的關係, 通常在幾個任務的過程中。

雖然他自己不是職業外交官,但前外交部副部長伊恩·舒加特(Ian Shugart)雄辯地談到了他對外交技巧和貿易的尊重:「我們必須能夠在正常和危機情況下使用它。這不是一門  可以在一夜之間學會的語言。它不能迅速增加  。 這是  一種必須培育,保留和持續使用的資源。367. 這突出了外交的一個關鍵區別,即它需要的遠見卓識和先發制人的投資,有時是提前幾十年。 一位法國外交官強調了多年來在COVID緊急情況下為確保必要的飛行許可以疏散數千名國民而建立的關係和實用知識:「與我們的外國對話者的這些密切聯繫是通過對外國文化的詳細瞭解而用當地語言編織的,這在幾個月內是無法學習的。368 與這一成功形成鮮明對比的是,西方政府未能在2001年之前預測到阿拉伯世界或阿富汗對專業知識和語言技能的迫在眉睫的需求是臭名昭著的。 (用前外交部副部長彼得·哈德的話來說,“當我們開始在阿富汗時,沒有人說阿富汗的部落語言,特別是普什圖語。這損害了我們的能力。

這些挫折突出表明,外交工作是一種保險形式,“根據定義,除非有需要,否則外交工作不會變得明顯”。369. 它們還強調了專家外交在利用時間價值方面的重要性。 如前所述,中國和俄羅斯指示其外交官將多年的注意力集中在各個國家和地區,以便詳細掌握其檔案,就像他們的一些高級大使和部長在幾十年內衡量其任期一樣。 然而,在民主國家,外交官被期望  成為長期  國家利益的守護者。

單個管理的生命週期較短,分配週期甚至更短。這就是競爭專家可以幫助創造公平的競爭環境的地方。通才可能傾向於將精力集中在與東道國外交部內部的傳統聯繫人建立關係(其相關性可能被證明是短暫的),而 具有高度跨文化 悟性的專家更有可能成功地接觸到精英圈子以外的非傳統受眾,其重要性可能需要數年或數十年才能實現。 在英國的傳說中,正是外交部的克里姆林宮專家精明地挑選了米赫·艾爾·戈爾巴喬夫和弗拉基米爾·普京作為值得培養的後起之秀,然後才在大多數其他外交官眼中佔據上風 。370 同樣,根據他的傳記作者的說法,阿巴·埃班利用他對 美國政治舞臺的深入瞭解,培養了他與邊緣人脈的人際關係,他預計有朝一日可能會影響美以關係。“我希望任何可能成為總統的人成為一個曾經在他卑微的日子里在我家吃飯的人,”埃班回憶道。371

如果說時間弧線的緩慢彎曲說明瞭在世界需求尚不明顯或緊迫的地區保持能力,包括主題專業知識的智慧,那麼它也表明從重要性似乎已經減弱的地區或O片劑中撤資是愚蠢的。 一位前英國駐美國大使認為,到2014年烏克蘭危機時,「英國冷戰專家的老骨幹,以其歷史分析能力,根本不在那裡提供所需的洞察力和清晰度。冷戰後,俄羅斯和東歐FCO資源的縮減使外交部失去了重要的專業知識,因為整整一代外交官已經退休,並獲得了寶貴的經驗和與他們在一起的知識,鑒於與俄羅斯   重新出現緊張局勢和緊張局勢加劇,現在  比以往任何時候都更需要  這些資源。 在黑海各州。372 同樣,FCO在英國脫歐後不得不爭先恐後地重建其在貿易法方面的專業知識。這突出表明,一旦喪失了專門知識,重建工作就可能非常耗時,而且有利於在大多數問題上保持一支不同級別專家隊伍  。

補償專門知識損失的一個適度辦法是調動退休外交官的知識。 2011年,英國外交大臣威廉·黑格(William Hague)宣佈成立「洛迦諾集團」,這是一個特設諮詢論壇,將允許他“利用在職或前外交官在歐盟和軟實力等問題上的專業知識”。 (然而,它只開了幾次會,並沒有超過海牙的任期。同樣,法國偶爾授予大使榮譽稱號   ,這是一種名譽地位,標誌著退休大使繼續為外交部提供特殊服務   ,並    擔任  協商委員會的成員。

 2018年至2020年在國家安全委員會任職的亞歷山大·文德曼中校在美國也提出了類似的觀察結果,他發現“很少有官員對該地區有專業知識,更不用說烏克蘭了”。他將此歸因於蘇聯解體后學術界地區研究的減少,這導致“缺乏發展區域專業知識所需的語言和專業知識的資金”。 (亞歷山大·文德曼,“停止在俄羅斯踮起腳尖”,外交事務,2022年8月8日。

Affaires étrangères.373 名退休的美國外交官可以在長達半個日曆年的時間里重返工作崗位,而不會危及他們的養老金,這有助於填補知識和經驗的空白。 此外,自1986年以來,非營利性外交研究和培訓協會記錄了1,700多名退休的美國高級外交官的口述歷史,創造了一個獨特的獎學金語料  庫。  在中國,大約20名退休大使在外交部1998年成立的諮詢“智者”小組中任職,該小組每月舉行一次會議,討論我們的主題問題並撰寫論文。374 相比之下,儘管加拿大    大使校友會(AmbCanada)願意與加拿大全球事務部建立特別關係,但加拿大沒有利用這一機會  利用退休外交官積累的專業知識。 2015年底,前大使羅伯特·派克(Robert Peck)領導了一項名為“工作中的幾代人”的倡議,該倡議研究了動員  退休特派團負責人的專業知識的方法。 其中一項提案將  按照英國洛迦諾集團的路線建立一個由退休大使組成的諮詢委員會,但這一建議幾乎沒有受到全球事務管理層的熱情。 

值得肯定的是,在國外的em bassies當地僱用的員工為連續性和當地專業知識的積累做出了貢獻。 雖然外交官通常每3-4年輪換一次,但當地工作人員(有時在大使館工作數十年)提供了永久的知識體系以及當地語言的流利程度,並且是通過定期調動派往使團的外交官與當地利益相關者保持關係的關鍵。 當地工作人員的費用也低得多,因此,在削減費用期間,將外交官職位轉為當地僱用的職位一直是一個受歡迎的舉動。 但是,這種方法存在局限性。 當地工作人員不會放棄對本國的忠誠,這限制了他們無情追求繼承人雇主利益的能力。 他們通常也不被視為代表他們所服務的大使館的國家的權威性發言,這可能會限制他們的影響力。 正如一位加拿大部長級工作人員所說,「一個加拿大商人會希望得到一個diplomat的簡報;當地員工將沒有他需要的首席執行官級別的聯繫人。375 當地工作人員在安全問題的困難環境中  可能是  一個脆弱性,因為他們沒有得到《維也納外交關係公約》的充分保護。 此外,當英國聯邦事務部在2000年代的頭十年將許多外交官職位(主要是初級職位)轉換為當地僱用職位時,它造成了一個官員的瓶頸,他們被告知他們可以期望有一個職位被派往國外,在倫敦擔任each one,而以前這一比例往往是二比一。376. 英國議會批評這一“迅速削減成本的措施,這可能會對英國的長期外交能力產生破壞性後果。FCO必須將英國初級工作人員的職位視為下一代英國高級外交官繼任戰略的一部分。377 因此,雖然當地工作人員永遠是當地知識的寶貴來源,但能否利用這些資訊,使館追求國家利益,必然要落在有能力  掌握關係雙方細微差別的外交官身上。

本報告所審查的個案研究表明,如果外交部要成功地將自己改造成政策卓越和專門知識的中心,它們就需要更有目的性,有時甚至是果斷的人力資源管理。雖然俄羅斯人和中國人的高度指導性人員配置方法(其中diplomats被告知,而不是被問及他們的職業重點應該是什麼)在西方民主國家中並不適合,但  在加拿大系統和其他地方,自由放任的職業發展方法需要注入紀律,承認主題經驗,包括外語技能, 是一項具有價值且需要謹慎管理的企業資產。 不亞於前外交部副部長兼樞密院書記員伊恩·舒加特(Ian Shugart)告訴參議院的數位:

我們應該根據外交部門的需求,對職業管理採取專業化的方法,這樣,例如,如果我們投資於學習一門困難語言的人,我們就會從學習該語言的人那裡獲得價值。我們不應該向他們保證他們已經做到了亞洲,現在他們可以做歐洲了。然後,他們對南美洲感興趣,所以他們可以做到這一點。在實現我們投資的好處和尊重前景之間有一個平衡 ,如果你做得好並且有效,你將有一條職業道路。377

英國和澳大利亞等外交部越來越多地傾向於「職業錨」的概念,其中外交官將被敦促確定互補的專業領域,在這些領域中  ,他們將發展專業知識,並在原本通才的輪換職業生涯中反覆分配到這些領域。在法國,     外交部人力資源部採取了積極主動的政策,只向其專業地區任命東方軌道顧問。378

美國國務院與美國外交服務協會合作制定的外交服務核心戒律,是一個值得注意的做法,值得讚揚。 該規則每三年更新一次,「反映了   在整個  外交服務生涯中對成功服務最關鍵的能力,並包括最基本的晉陞能力」。。380 他們明確表示,期望美國外交官發展幾個專業領域,包括熟練掌握至少一門外語,作為進入高級外交部門的條件。

在加拿大的案例中,正如在早些時候的一個章節中所論證的那樣,缺乏書面的人才管理戒律已經產生了非正式職業指導的傳統,強調通才軌跡的職業利益,以及相反,與作為專家“鴿子洞”相關的風險。 對於許多雄心勃勃的外交官來說,非正式的教義是聖經,它也反映了在定義所需的領導技能時向管理主義的轉變 – 在所有所研究的外交部中都觀察到。 這是  前英國人所闡述的

外交官和發展部長羅里·斯圖爾特(Rory Stewart),用這句話可以很容易地適用於加拿大和英國:

過去15年或20年來,外交部的一大變化是強調管理和  行政技能,  而不是硬語言  和政治知識。你可以在過去10年的促銷活動中看到這一點。 你從外交部大使館聽到的是那些特定語言和國家的專家,他們覺得自己被邊緣化了,取而代之的是相當光滑的管理術語提供者,他們毫不費力地上升到頂峰。 這些人實際上沒有資格挑戰伊拉克和阿富汗的政策,因為他們根本沒有那麼深的瞭解。380

本報告所審查的案例研究發現,在1990年代和2000年代初影響大多數外交部的預算削減伴隨著斯圖爾特所描述的“管理主義”文化的興起,這種文化優先考慮抽象的績效概念- 通常用通用的公共行政“指標”來衡量 – 以犧牲核心外交技能和主題專業知識為代價。 這也是一個外交部重組的時代,包括通過與援助機構合併,進一步使這些資產貶值。 用一份英國報告的話來說,「如果意味著工作人員不能廣泛部署到其他角色,那麼語言或領域專業知識等專業技能    可能是一個劣勢,特別是在重組時期。382 如果加拿大外交部門要從2015年Future FCO報告的座右銘「更多外國,更少辦公室」中汲取靈感,這將需要從任何結構性變動中持續緩解,承認全球事務不能像國內職能部門一樣管理,並有意識地決定重新投資核心外交技能。

受訪者就外交專業知識的組成分享了一系列觀點。 莫裡斯·羅森伯格(Morris Rosenberg)將其描述為包括文化和語言的基礎領域知識,從這些知識中推斷出對事件和趨勢對加拿大影響的理解的能力,以及最終在政府內部導航以確保由此產生的建議被視為可信的能力。383. 所有人都同意,未來的外交成功將需要具有多種互補技能的多樣化團隊,能夠產生行動效果和強有力的、以社會責任為基礎的政策。 雖然加拿大外交部門的規模表明,它將始終以通才為核心,以滿足海外輪調任務的絕對人口需求,但需要世界大部分地區以及關鍵全球問題,不同資歷級別的小專家幹部, 如果我們要在渥太華保持相關性並在全球範圍內保持競爭力,這是不可避免的。 本報告審查的其他外交部更加重視加拿大所從事的領域專業知識,並認識到他們因失去這些技能而面臨的問題。 在加拿大,對此的反思較少,早就應該做出改變。

在反駁投資人需要進行客體專業化時,經常遇到的一個論點是,隨著時間的推移,徵聘日益多樣化的外交官員的趨勢自然會使外交部門更好地掌握區域知識和熟悉語言。 然而,對於任何嚴重依賴招聘具有所謂“遺產”技能的個人(如第二代加拿大人)的方法,都存在重要的保留意見。在某些特定情況下,將個人發佈到他們的家庭區域可能會使他們的工作複雜化,並使他們對自己公正運作的能力產生不必要的疑慮。還有一種風險是圍繞該人的預期職業發展做出不公平的假設:例如,並非每個講烏爾都語的人都希望在巴基斯坦工作。 雖然該部門在期望從其為獲得語言技能而支付的受訓人員那裡獲得投資回報方面具有一定的股權,但它有可能為其招聘的具有本土能力的人才創造種族預定的職業道路。 僱用具有預先存在的專業知識或語言能力的招聘人員應包括各種各樣的來源,包括那些在大學獲得這些知識或語言能力的人,來自國外以前的工作實習,就像我們作為那些由於家族史而具有本地能力的人一樣。但是,定向徵聘並不能消除進行大量投資的必要性,以進一步提高這些徵聘人員的語言技能,並在徵聘后培訓對區域專業化感興趣的警官。

但是,加拿大外交部門正在利用世界上最多種族的人口之一作為其人才庫,並且因此迅速變得更加多樣化,這一事實使加拿大比大多數同行具有獨特的競爭優勢,更不用說它的對手了。 “不同能力的可敬之人”的時代正在讓位於大膽的新可能性。 如果我們不能利用我們的優勢來建立世界上最具跨文化知識,網路化和精明的外交服務   ,那將是  一種選擇的  失敗。


這項研究的重點是加拿大和其他六  個國家 – 其中四個是盟國,兩個目前屬於對手陣營。 這一選擇主要是由紀錄片來源和採訪物件的可用性推動的。 但本研究範圍未涵蓋的其他國家也有想法可以提供。例如,挪威作為以色列 – 巴勒斯坦,斯里蘭卡,南蘇丹,瓜地馬拉和哥倫比亞等各種衝突中的第三方調解員  積累了數十年的經驗和專業知識。384 紐西蘭儘管外交部門規模很小,但選擇通過一項名為“中國有能力”的倡議,集中精力  加強其公共服務中的中國知識和語言能力聯繫。385 德國在2014年由外交部長施泰因邁爾領導的審查之後,  決定    通過  建立  一個新的  英才中心,投資於系統學習和彙集危機預防和穩定方面的專業知識。

人道主義援助、危機預防、穩定和衝突后重建總局。386 在荷蘭,外交部於2010年決定引入職業’巡迴賽’系統,以促進關鍵政策方面的專業知識;這一想法在2014年得到了荷蘭外交部門現代化的高級別諮詢小組的認可,該小組的結論是,外交部應採取“一項側重於評估和發展的晉陞和安置政策, 非常重視所獲得的專業知識和專業知識”387 雖然這一概念從未真正實施,但一位荷蘭高級外交官得出結論認為,外交部成功地建立了“在特定的歐盟巡迴機構內明確的專業化” ,以應對歐盟一體化對專業知識的需求。387

 這項研究  有望證明,大多數  外交部  正在嘗試各種形式的創新,以加強傳統雙語技能或新的多學科工作領域的專業化和專業知識。 相比之下,加拿大外交部仍然堅持通才模式,這種模式自創建以來就定義了其外交服務的精神。 加拿大有可能成為其同行和競爭對手中的一個失敗者,並錯過其外交服務現代化的機會。 雖然這項研究沒有規定具體的方法,但它突出了我們志同道合的夥伴中發現的一些優勢,這些優勢可以作為未來改革努力的靈感來源。

本研究的訪談對象始終如一地提出最後的關鍵點,這最終超出了本文的範圍,值得完全,單獨處理:如果決策者對專業知識不感興趣,那麼專業知識就沒有什麼意義。 用外交部前副部長莫裡斯·羅森伯格的話來說,在外交部,“你需要一種受體能力來尋求可用的專業知識”。389 前副部長伊恩·舒加特·艾克懷斯告訴參議院:“權力的真相經常被說出來,這沒有任何區別。[…]人們可以很容易地假設,我們所需要的只是人們,無論是同事的部長,還是上級和部長的公務員,向權力說出真相,一切都會好起來的。第一個假設是他們是對的。第二個假設是,如果他們只是說話,這個建議就會被採納。這兩個假設都不能被認為是理所當然的。389

本研究報告所涵蓋的許多國家最近都有外交部建議被高層忽視的經驗。 據一位退休的高級官員說,在澳大利亞,“在過去十年中,一些政府在沒有聽取外交部建議的情況下遇到了麻煩 ,想著’外交有多難?’”;391 .特朗普政府對職業外交官的蔑視是傳說,在英國,FCO顯然因對英國脫歐的懷疑而與歷屆保守黨政府失去了地位,在法國,馬克龍對高級外交幹部的改革,無論正確與否,都被許多人視為試圖將外交服務置於適當的位置。許多政府認為外交官  過度 分析, 規避風險 ,  遠離 國內 優先事項 ,也可能

解釋他們在其他部委   手中  失去的影響。 一位澳大利亞官員表示,政客們越來越被情報機構而不是DFAT的分析所吸引,“因為他們在沒有評論的情況下得到了分析”。391

政府中反智主義的更廣泛時尚源於最近的社會趨勢,湯姆·尼科爾斯(Tom Nichols)在2017年發表的一本發人深省的著作《專業知識的死亡:反對既定知識的運動及其重要性》中對此進行了徹底的探討。 這些趨勢在商業世界中得到了流行的書籍的加強,例如《範圍:為什麼通才在專業世界中獲勝》和《筒倉效應》。 更接近外交政策的世界,菲力浦·泰特洛克(Philip Tetlock)2005年出版的《專家政治判斷》一書諷刺了一些專家做出的糟糕預測,以詆毀一般的專業知識。 行為經濟學家丹尼爾·卡尼曼(Daniel Kahneman)有一句名言:“在長期政治戰略預測中,專家並不比擲骰子的猴子好”。393(當然,有能力的外交官通常更願意避免做出預測,正是因為他們的專業知識使他們熟悉所有不確定性的來源,無論是看得見的還是看不見的。

受訪者雄辯地指出,外交界人士需要改善其公眾形象和在政府中的聲譽。 莫裡斯·羅森伯格(Morris Rosenberg)建議,加拿大外交部門“需要在加拿大進行一些公共外交”,例如在國內展示其大使,以便y可以更好地解釋他們在海外的工作如何為國內議程服務。 在他的內部改革計劃中,法國外交官傑羅姆·博納豐特(Jérôme Bonnafont)同樣主張進行溝通閃電戰,以展示外交卓越的價值,將現任和紅色大使更突出地置於有關世界事件的公開討論中,並將該  部的更多  高品質分析產品置於公共領域。  為了說明后一點,英國國防部每天發佈有關俄羅斯入侵烏克蘭的非機密國防情報更新,被譽為成功反擊俄羅斯的宣傳,似乎激勵加拿大武裝部隊效仿。393

在公共資訊 日益惡化的公共資訊環境中,導致媒體和政府的信任度創下歷史新低,外交官將需要在國內和國外進行鬥爭,以捍衛自己的信譽。 與此同時,我們的對手正在越來越多地轉向他們的外交官,作為這種虛假資訊的新載體。如果我們要成功地爭奪信息空間並贏得可信度之戰,我們將需要比事實更好的掌握,以及更有效的手段來接觸我們文化上不熟悉的聽眾。 這將使外交官比以前更加重視,他們對社會有細緻入微的深刻理解,這是觸及心靈和思想所必需的,以及以保護我們利益的方式改度和行為所需的技藝。


 在四大洲   的60多名現任和前任外交官,其他政府官員和學者的慷慨説明下,我得到了這個專案的幫助,他們同意接受採訪。     他們提供了寶貴的見解和鼓勵。 為了讓他們能夠毫無節制地發言,所有人都得到保證,他們的評論不會被歸於他們,只有少數人選擇被點名引用。

我特別感謝加拿大全球事務部的三位尊敬的退休大使和高級官員——邁克爾·斯莫爾閣下、派翠夏·福蒂埃閣下和約翰·麥克尼閣下——以及前外交部副部長莫裡斯·羅森伯格閣下,他們友好地審查了本報告的草案,並提供了明智的建議。 任何仍然存在的錯誤或缺陷都是我一個人的。

我衷心感謝渥太華大學公共與國際事務研究生國際政策研究中心主任麗塔·亞伯拉罕森博士,感謝她為我提供了加入CIPS的機會,擔任2021-2022年的研究助理,並感謝她對這個項目的支援,包括作為本報告的審稿人。 還要感謝William Messier,他提供了寶貴的研究支援,是我在耶路撒冷的家和渥太華大學圖書館之間的虛擬橋樑。


Ulric Shannon是加拿大外交部門的職業外交官,主要在阿拉伯和穆斯林世界專門從事穩定化和衝突問題。 他於2019年至2021年擔任加拿大駐伊拉克大使,負責監督加拿大最大的發展,人道主義,穩定和軍事援助計劃之一,他之前的職位包括埃及,巴勒斯坦領土,巴基斯坦和土耳其,在那裡他於2016年至2019年擔任加拿大駐伊斯坦布爾總領事。

作為加拿大外交部門中最流利的阿拉伯文人士之一,烏爾里克因其在公共外交領域的開創性努力而聞名。 他能夠通過傳統和社交媒體用阿拉伯語吸引當地觀眾,這大大提高了加拿大在伊拉克和中東其他地區的形象,使他在希爾時報的2021年“影響加拿大外交政策的50強”名單中被列為“有影響力的外交政策聲音和思想家”。 他目前從加拿大政府休假,住在耶路撒冷,在那裡他擔任國家民主黨C研究所西岸和加沙的高級區域主任。

   本報告不  反映加拿大全球事務部的觀點。


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“澳大利亞與非洲國家的貿易和投資關係”,2018年6月: d_Trade/貿易投資非洲/報告

 皇家外交服務  條件  委員會(麥克杜格爾委員會)。加拿大供應和服務部,1981年。

 皇家政府組織委員會  (格拉斯科委員會)。 女王的印表機,1963年。

薩瓦, 唐納德· 政府:  總統和總理是否誤診了  病人? 麥吉爾-皇后大學出版社, 2022

西尼弗,阿薩夫。 阿巴·埃班:傳記。 俯瞰達克沃斯,2015年。

Skotte,Phil.“什麼國家應該帶到桌面上:文化和語言專業知識”。 《外交服務雜誌》,2018年5月: 文化和語言專業知識

斯勞特,安妮-瑪麗。 “重塑  國務院”。 民主雜誌,2020年  9月15日:

史密斯, 克裡斯托弗· “外交官  與國家”。 外交  服務雜誌,2020  年5月:

斯圖爾特,沃爾特。 “我們應該  在亞的斯亞貝巴拖下  國旗嗎? 麥克萊恩,1969年12月


察利基斯,凱薩琳。 “值得為  之奮鬥的外交服務”。  加拿大公開賽,2017年7月26日: 

美國和平研究所。“網络外交III:2015年及以後”,2005年8月:和%20百年 d_Pt3.pdf

韋斯特,中校  D. 新浪網.    “如何用1001種語言說’國家安全’”,《航空航天動力雜誌》,2011年秋季:

溫圖爾,派翠克。 “傑里米·亨特(Jeremy Hunt)將網络擴大到  招募頂級外交官”,《衛報》,2018年10月31日: – 語言技能 – 英國外交官

澤亞, 烏茲拉 · 和 喬恩· 費納。 振興   國務院  和美國 外交。  外交關係委員會,第89號特別報告,2020年11月


1 科普蘭, 遊擊 外交, 帕西姆。

2 加拿大全球事務部,「概念說明——外交的未來  :改變加拿大全球事務部  ,在不斷變化的世界中取得成功」。。

3 拉朗德,第36頁。

4 卡迪厄,第60-62頁

5 霍金,第35頁。

6 皇家 委員會 (格拉斯科), 第103頁

7 皇家 委員會 (格拉斯科), 第113頁

8 霍金,第35頁。

9 基恩利賽德, 第53頁

10 基恩利賽德,第56頁。

11 基恩利賽德, 第55頁

12 基恩利賽德,第52頁。

13 基恩利賽德, 第66頁

14 基恩利賽德 p.71

15 引自  斯圖爾特, 第35頁。

16 多納希,第54頁。

17 皇家 委員會 (麥克杜格爾), 第247頁。

18 埃塞克斯, 第13頁

19 庫珀,第45頁。

20  外交政策秘書處,第1頁。

21  外交政策 秘書處, 第4頁

22 諾薩爾, 第275頁

23 迪翁, 同上 同前。

24 加拿大外交部  ,《國際政策聲明》,第30頁。

25  審計長辦公室   ,第1-2頁

26 加拿大 外交 學院 , 「商業 案例: 外 語 津貼」, 2018年, 第5頁 (未出版)

27 同上。

28 見 全面性  經濟委員會集體談判 協定, 第68頁: 集體協定.pdf

29 加拿大外交學院,「外語的衰落」,2020年,第1頁(未出版)

30 同上。

31 Gilroy, Goss, Inc.,“說他們的語言:國外的外語習得和使用  ”,加拿大外交、貿易和發展部,2014年(未出版)

32 朱諾, 第109頁

33 採訪  時任  穩定與重建工作隊總幹事埃利薩·戈爾貝格,2022年4月5日

34 鐘斯,第236-7頁

35 全, 同上 同前。

36 舒加特參議院證詞,2022年6月16日: AEFA/55615-E

37 採訪  馬克·弗萊徹,2022年7月15日

38 在線提供  : 2018-9789264303560-.htm

39 在線提供  : https:// 評論-加拿大-2012_9789264200784-en

40 卡德爾, op. 同前。

41  前政治主任兼  駐北約大使克里·巴克(Kerry Buck)在CGAI會議上引述:加拿大在世界舞臺上的地位,2022年5月10日: e730430b048e

42  與前任總幹事   的訪談,2022年1月14日

43 丹恩參議院證詞,2022年4月28日: 441/AEFA/55615-E

44 薩瓦省, 第163頁

45 薩瓦省, 第161頁

46 拉希, 第36頁

47 拉希, 第三頁

48 拉希, 第35頁

49 拉希 p.67

50 愛德華茲參議院證詞,2022年4月28日: 委員會/441/AEFA/07EV-55484-E

51 參議院小  證詞,2022年4月7日: 委員會/441/AEFA/06EV-55465-E

52 巴克, 同上 同前。

53 採訪  前 GAC 高級官員,2022 年 1 月 18 日

54 拉希,第35頁。

55   下議院, 第48頁

56 拉塞爾, 哎呀 同前。

57 採訪  GAC 高級官員,2022 年 2 月 2 日

58 羅森伯格參議院證詞,2022 年 6 月 16 日: 441/AEFA/55615-E

59 斯科特, 同上。 同前。

60 哈欽斯, 第189頁

61 《外交事務  法》:第7頁。

62 屠殺, 作品 同前。

63 外交/

64 美國 科學院, 鍛造, 第29頁

65 哈欽斯, 第20頁1

66 美國 學院, 鍛造, 第29頁; 美國 科學院, 《風險》, 第59頁。

67 美國科學院,《風險》,第34頁。

68 美國 科學院, 鍛造, 第68頁

69 美國科學院,《風險》,第11頁。

70 美國 科學院, 鍛造, 第65頁

71 伯恩斯, 第6頁

72 哈欽斯, 第207頁

73    2022  年 4 月 7 日,美國外交服務協會  高級官員  訪談

74 伯恩斯, 第31頁

75 澤雅, 第26頁

76 美國 科學院, 鍛造 ,第39頁

77 貝克, 第92頁

78 科普, 第112頁

79 澤雅,第26頁。

80 美國 科學院, 鍛造 ,第37頁

81 加菲爾德, “外交官有什麼 好處  ?”, 同上。 同前。

82 澤雅, 第27頁

83 美國 科學院, 鍛造, 第36頁

84 科普, 第170-1頁; 美國 科學院, 鍛造 ,第36頁

85 採訪  外交學院前副所長   邁克爾·拉特尼,2022年7月5日

86 美國和平研究所  ,第4頁。

87 塔拉爾, 同上 同前。

88 美國科學院,《風險》,第43頁。

89   國務院,“  2022-2025年外交部門  任期和晉陞的決定標準(’核心戒律’)”:戒律.pdf

90 在高級水準上  掌握  一種語言也滿足了這一要求。 “(科普,第173頁)

91 科普, 第172頁

92 美國科學院,《風險》,第20頁。

93 美國科學院,《風險》,第15頁。

94 伯恩斯, 第7頁

95 澤雅,第21頁。

96 美國科學院,《風險》,第15頁。

97 美國科學院,《風險》,第51頁。

98 澤雅, 第21頁

99 《外交服務法:》,第20頁

100  「凱恩和布克重新引入立法  以加強對大使提名程式的監督和監督」。,2022年4月7日: 決議發佈/凱恩和布克重新引入立法以加強監督和豁免大使提名程式

101 美國 科學院, 鍛造, 第25頁

  102 另外  24%的人,被混淆地稱為“外交服務專家”,是   提供行政、IT和安全服務的支持人員。美國科學院,《加強》,第8頁。

103 美國 科學院, 《稀缺性》, 第24頁; 美國 科學院, 《風險》, 第45頁; 哈欽斯, 第198頁

   104 採訪    國務院全球人才管理局前官員,2022  年3月28日

105 美國和平研究所  ,同上。 同前。

   106  2020年4月7日,美國外交服務協會  高級官員  訪談

107 美國科學院,《稀缺性》,第28頁。

108 科普, 第45頁

109 伯恩斯, 第47頁

110 伯恩斯, 第32頁

111 美國  和平研究所,op. 同前。

112 澤雅, 第1頁

113 皮爾遜, 作品 同前。

114 同上。

115 伯恩斯, 第41頁

116 史密斯, 作品 同前。

117 要求提高人員配置透明度的壓力越來越大,也可能損害專業化。 最近,歐洲局吹噓說,其任務  中三分之二的職位是由該局  以外的官員填補的。採訪國務院全球人才管理局前官員,2022年3月28日

118 澤雅, 第24頁

119 加菲爾德, op. 同前。

120 斯科特, 同上 同前。

121  2020年4月7日   在美國外交服務協會接受  高級官員  的採訪

122 澤雅, 第25頁

123 哈欽斯, 第193頁

124 澤雅, 第15頁; 彭斯, 第7頁

125 澤雅, 第125頁。 3、 24

126 美國 科學院, 《風險》, 第9頁

127 哈欽斯,第214-5頁

128 哈欽斯, 第190頁

129 哈欽斯, 第216頁

130 波拉德, 第13頁。 五

131 東, 第229頁

132 海牙  國務卿的講話,「我們的外交網路是  英國在世界上影響力的重要基礎設施」,2012年10月17日: 政府/演講/外交大臣關於外交貿易的演講

133   下議院,《外交和聯邦事務部的作用》,第3頁。

134   下議院,《聯邦法規》,第22頁。

135 下議院  ,《外交和聯邦事務部的作用》,第71頁。

136   下議院,《聯邦法規》,第69頁。

137 海牙部長的講話,“世界上最好的外交服務:加強外交和聯邦事務部作為一個機構”,2011年9月8日: 外國和英聯邦辦事處作為一個機構

  138 海牙部長的講話  ,“我們的外交網络是英國在世界上影響力的重要基礎設施  ”,Otober 17,2012: 外交貿易

139 海牙 演講, “我們的 外交 網络”, 同上。 同前。

140 未來 聯邦法規, 第 140 頁。 3,5

141 未來 FCO, 第 21 頁

142   下議院, FCO 技能, 第9頁

143   下議院,FCO技能,第9頁

144   下議院, FCO 技能, 第15頁

145   下議院, FCO 技能, 第12頁

146   下議院, FCO 技能, 第13頁

147 迪基,第57頁。

148 “保羅·伯格內,有成就的語言學家和大使,曾任布萊爾駐阿富汗特使”。 這

衛報,2007年4月17日: 衛報訃告

149 採訪  FCDO高級官員,2022年7月6日

150 迪基, 第58頁

151 哈欽斯,第168-70頁

152 哈欽斯, 第162頁

153 英國學院,第23-24頁

154 英國 學院, 第24頁

155 英國 科學院, 第24頁

156 英國 學院, 第6頁

157 英國 學院, 第21頁

 158  下議院,英國對阿富汗和巴基斯坦的  外交政策方針,HC 514,第234段

159 赫胥黎, 作品 同前。

160   下議院,FCO表演,第55段

161 英國 學院, 第11頁

162 英國 學院, 第32頁

163   下議院, FCO 技能, 第1頁。 17

164   下議院, FCO 技能, 第1頁。 17

165 溫圖爾, op. 同前。

166   下議院, FCO 技能, 第19頁

167 英國學院,第26-27頁

168 英國 學院, 第27頁

169 採訪  FCDO高級官員,2022年7月6日

170   下議院, FCO 技能, 第20頁

171   下議院, FCO 技能, 第21頁

172 彼得·里基茨,引自倫敦國王學院,“  英國外交狀況”,2022年6月29日: 手錶?v=x84b3E8UELE

173   下議院, FCO 技能, 第17頁

174 迪基 ,第16頁, 第224頁

175   下議院,《聯邦事務部的作用》,第66頁。

176   下議院,《  聯邦法規》,第23頁。

177   下議院,《聯邦法規》,第67頁。

178 “羅里·斯圖爾特:失敗,以及   西方在阿富汗戰役的惡棍”,RUSI,2021  年8月18日: 戰役阿富汗

179   下議院,《聯邦法規》的作用,第4頁。

180   下議院,《聯邦法規》,第70頁。

181 哈欽斯 和 蘇里, 第174頁

182 哈欽斯, 第173頁

183 採訪  FCDO高級官員,2022年6月9日

184 未來 FCO, 第 24 頁

185 未來 FCO, 第 24 頁

186 採訪  FCDO高級官員,2022年6月9日

187 同上。

188 未來 FCO, 第 26 頁

189 彼得·里基茨,引自倫敦國王學院,“英國外交狀況”,2022年6月29日: 手錶?v=x84b3E8UElE; 引用的213名員工的數位: 102427#:~:文本=誰%20已經替換%20第20位%3F,- 按%20William%20Worley&text=關閉%20至%20100%20技術%20顧問,部門%20合併%    20in%20920年9月%2020年9月。2020年9月10日。

190   下議院,  《聯邦法規》,第21頁

191 未來 FCO, 第 21 頁

192 哈欽斯, 第173頁

193 英國  外交政策 小組, 第5頁

194   下議院,《  聯邦法規》的作用,第23頁

195 哈欽斯, 第47頁

196 哈欽斯, 第46頁

197 勒尤肯 和 海爾布隆, 《高級 外交官》, 第274頁

198 哈欽斯, 第47頁

199 年 勒尤肯 和 海爾布隆, 《高級 外交官》, 第271頁

200 勒尤肯 和 海爾布隆, 《高級 外交官》, 第279頁

201 勒尤肯和海爾布隆,《高級外交官》,第279頁。

202 勒尤肯, 《民族志》, 第47頁

203 勒尤肯和海爾布隆,《高級外交官》,第275頁。

204 勒尤肯和海爾布隆,《高級外交官》,第273頁。

205 勒尤肯 和 海爾布隆, 《高級 外交官》, 第278頁

206 勒尤肯和海爾布隆,《高級外交官》,第276-7頁

207 勒尤肯和海爾布隆,《高級外交官》,第276頁。

208 勒尤肯 和 海爾布隆, 《高級 外交官》, 第284頁

209 波米爾, 作品 同前。

210 哈欽斯, 第49頁

211 勒尤肯 和 海爾布隆, 《高級 外交官》, 第283頁

212 勒尤肯, 《民族志》, 第57頁。 勒克斯內, 迪普洛韋, op. 同前。

213 勒克尼, 迪普洛韋, op. 同前。

214 迪基, 第45頁

215 哈欽斯, 第49頁

216 哈欽斯,第47-48頁

217 哈欽斯, 第50頁。

218 勒克森, 《民族志》, 第82、 121、 135、 143頁。

219 勒克斯內, 迪普洛韋, 同前。

220 勒克尼,《民族志》,第280頁; 採訪  前大使奧利維爾·達席爾瓦,2022年7月4日

221 勒尤肯和海爾布隆,《高級外交官》,第280頁。 勒尤肯,《民族志》,第47頁。

222 工會  援引   了2009年的一項法令,  其中規定,使團團長  必須在A級軍團中擁有10年的經驗,包括在海外至少三年。(勒尤肯, 民族志,第60頁)

223 哈欽斯,第48頁。

 224  外交部,MAEDI 21,第23頁

225 博納豐特報告,第29頁。

               226 《外交軍團、法國外交軍團和法國軍團》的管理委員會

Monde» (樂拉普波特·博納豐特),2020年11月27日。 未發表,秘密獲得  。

227 加菲爾德, op. 同前。

228 Le Monde, « l’Appel de 500 agents », op. 同前。

229 波米耶, 同前。

230 同上。

231 勒奎斯內, 《民族志》, 第86頁

232 波米爾, 同前。 勒尤肯 和 海爾布隆, 《高級 外交官》, 第283頁。 勒尤肯, 《民族志》, 第85頁

233 《世界報》,《巴黎聖母院》,op. 同前。

234 哈裡斯, 第29頁

235 哈裡斯, 第25頁

236 同上。

237 哈裡斯, 第35頁

238 澳大利亞公務員  制度委員會,第14頁。

239 澳大利亞公務員  制度委員會,第14頁。

240 澳大利亞公務員  制度委員會,第13頁。

241 洛伊研究所,外交赤字“,第49頁。

242 澳大利亞政府,“我們的  公共服務”,第205頁。

243 奧利弗,「澳大利亞不斷加深的外交赤字」。,第16頁。

244 奧利弗,“偏重優先事項的預算”,同上。 同前。

245 Oliver,「澳大利亞不斷加深的外交赤字」。,第16-17頁。

246 奧利弗, “DFAT 預算”, 同上。 同前。

247 多貝爾, 同上 同前。

248 奧利弗,「澳大利亞不斷加深的外交赤字」,第20頁。

249 奧利弗,“偏斜優先事項的預算”,同上。 同前; 奧利弗,“DFAT預算”,同上。 同前。

250 朗莫爾, 第44頁

251 同上。

252 摩爾,第27頁; 澳大利亞政府,“我們的  公共服務”,第240頁。

253 摩爾, 第22頁

254 古拉賈尼, op. 同前。

255 摩爾, 第4頁。

256 採訪   前DFAT高級官員,2022年4月20日

257 摩爾, 第2頁

258 摩爾, 第17頁

259 同上。

260 洛伊 研究所, 外交 赤字“, 第27頁

261 同上。

262 奧利弗 和 希勒,

263 議會, 「拳擊」, 第79頁

264 哈里斯 p.31

265 採訪   前DFAT高級官員,2022年4月20日

266 引用 於: 語-20150429-1mvz74.html

267 加拿大 外交 事務 研究所, 「商業 案例: 外 語 津貼」, 2018年, 第6頁

268  2022年8月11日在DFAT採訪  前高級官員

269 議會, 「拳擊」, 第79頁

270 議會,“拳擊”,第79-80頁

第271 條 參議院, 第十頁

272 參議院, 第100頁

273 採訪  前駐澳大利亞大使  邁克爾·斯莫爾,2022年1月27日

274 朗莫爾, 第28頁

275 洛伊研究所,外交赤字“,第48頁。

276  2022年8月11日在  DFAT採訪  前高級官員

277 澳大利亞  公務員 制度委員會, 第277頁。 23

278  2002年8月11日在DFAT採訪  前高級官員

279 澳大利亞 政府,  白皮書, 第18頁

280 Oliver,“澳大利亞不斷加深的外交赤字”,第20頁。

281 澳大利亞公共服務  委員會,第12-13頁

282 拉納,《亞洲外交》,第18頁。

283 Rana,《亞洲外交》,第18-19頁。

284 哈欽斯, 第26頁

285 拉納,《亞洲外交》,第19頁。

286 拉納,《亞洲外交》,第32頁。

287 馬丁, 第144頁

288 拉納,《亞洲外交》,第20頁。

289 貝裡奇, op. 同前。

290 馬丁, 第144頁

291 馬丁, 第144頁

292 拉納, 「多邊 培訓」, 同上。 同前。

293 拉納,《亞洲外交》,第36頁。

294 哈欽斯,第22、27頁

295 哈欽斯, 第28頁

296 哈欽斯, 第29頁

297 伯恩斯, 第29頁

298 美國 科學院, “鍛造”, 第42頁

299 哈欽斯, 第22頁

300 拉納,《21世紀外交》,第254頁。

301 哈欽斯, 第26頁

302 拉納,《亞洲外交》,第39頁。

303 莫克里, 同上 同前。

304 馬丁, 第227頁

305 莫克里, 同上 同前。

306 《 經濟學人》, 專欄 同前。

307 拉納,《亞洲外交》,第21頁。

308 馬丁, 第182頁

309 馬丁, 第182頁

310 莫克里, 同上 同前。

311 馬丁, 第1頁。 228

312 馬丁, 第15頁

313 鮑爾斯-裡格斯, op. 同前。

314 馬丁,第15頁。

315 列克, 第16頁

316 哈欽斯, 第131頁

317 哈欽斯 p.133

318 Liik, 第23頁

319 斯科特, 同上。 同前。

320 傳記細節引用於: 訃告

321 布魯諾  同前。

322 西方, 第50頁

323 哈欽斯, 第130頁

324 比伯曼,第680頁。

325 利克, 第22頁。

326 Liik, 第14頁

327 鮑諾夫, op. 同前。

328   下議院,FCO技能,第7頁

329 美國科學院,《風險》,第30頁。

330 弗雷德曼, 第12頁

331 雷德利, 第199頁

332 卡普蘭, 第112頁; 羅蘭, 第153頁

333 雷德利, 第200頁

334 雷德利, 第206頁

335 雷德利, 第207頁

336 史密斯, 作品 同前。

337 西尼弗, 第199頁

338   下議院,《  聯邦法規》的作用,第47頁

339 羅蘭, 第153頁

340 科努特, 第398頁

341 大衛斯, 第18頁

342 大衛斯,第2-3頁

343 大衛斯, 第19頁

344 這裡引用的  關於這一事件的相關背景: 帝國/文章/電報,即開始普法戰爭/

345   下議院, FCO 技能, 第19頁

346 大衛斯, 第25頁

347 美國 科學院, “鍛造”, 第36頁

348 查塔姆, 第31頁

349 西部片, 第 50 頁

350   國防部,第1、5頁

351 吉代爾,第26頁。

352 英國 學院, 第50頁

353 英國 學院, 第35頁

354 大衛斯, 第17頁

355 拉納,《21世紀外交》,第253頁。

356 洛伊研究所,外交赤字“,第37頁。

357  布林肯國務卿講話中宣佈的優先事項:美國人/

358 科普蘭, 第4頁

359 皮爾遜, 作品 同前。

360 大衛斯, 第24頁

361 羅森伯格參議院證詞,2022 年 6 月 16 日: 441/AEFA/55615-E

   362   美國外交服務協會董事會   的正式建議,在

 2022年  春季,是“進入     老年人的強制性專業發展之旅”

外交服務“。 (“AFSA外交服務改革優先事項摘要”,由  AFSA高級官員  分享。2022年7月5日,與外交學院前副所長邁克爾·拉特尼合影

363 羅森伯格參議院證詞,2022年6月16日:森/委員會/ 441/AEFA/55615-E

364 Rana, 當代 大使館, 第26頁

365 加菲爾德, op. 同前。

366 丹恩在  茨利基斯(同前)和參議院證詞中引用,2022年4月28日: en/Content/Sen/Committee/441/AEFA/55615-E

367 舒加特參議院證詞,2022 年 6 月 16 日: 441/AEFA/55615-E

368 《 世界報 》,op. 同前。

369   下議院,《  聯邦法規》,第49頁。

370 迪基, 第99頁

371 西尼弗, 第132頁

372 英國外交政策  小組,第17頁。

373 勒尤肯, 《民族志》, 第76頁

374 拉納,《亞洲外交》,第38頁。

   375 採訪   加拿大外交部長前參謀長,2022年5月19日

376   下議院,《  聯邦法規》的作用,第73頁。

377 同上。

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