Chautauqua spends Week Seven 2013 examining history, practice of diplomacy

Sydney Maltese | Staff Writer

During Week Seven of the 2013 season, Chautauquans and visitors can look forward to a week devoted entirely to the theme of diplomacy, or the art and skill of conducting negotiations among states, groups or organizations.

“At a time when America’s place in global affairs is changing daily and becoming increasingly complex, Chautauqua will look into diplomacy as a central activity of global citizenship,” said Institution President Tom Becker. “We will look at the history of diplomacy, key dates and individuals in its development and hear from contemporary practitioners.”

Sherra Babcock, director of the Department of Education, said the inspiration for the theme stems from the overwhelming interest in foreign affairs on the part of Chautauqua.

“Chautauquans have always been interested in U.S. relations with other countries,” she said. “We sometimes fulfill these interests through an intense week on a specific country or region, or inclusion of diplomats in topics of current affairs and history.”

The Institution released the names of three morning lecturers who have already confirmed their participation in the week. Nicholas Burns, 2012 Chautauqua scholar-in-residence and director of the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; Robert Kagan, author of The World America Made and senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution; and Dennis Ross, former senior director for the Central Region for the National Security Council, will take the Amphitheater stage to discuss their experiences with diplomacy.

“All three of these are Chautauqua favorites,” Babcock said.

Also on the docket are special programs and educational opportunities for adults and youth, with Kati Marton, an author and former NPR and ABC News correspondent who works with the United States Diplomacy Center.

“Chautauqua families will leave this week with a better sense of how we make friends for our country around the world, what the challenges are and how diplomacy is changing,” Babcock said.