UCL European Institute


UCL hosts UK and French diplomats as part of an FCDO-led joint training exercise

26 May 2023

UCL experts shared insights on topical issues from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to the impact of new technologies on geopolitics with new diplomats from France and the UK.

Crowd faces a panel of UCL experts at a FDCO event.

On 24 May 2023, a cohort of new French and British diplomats visited UCL to take part in a training session convened by UCL European Institute and supported by UCL Global Engagement and UCL Public Policy.  

The session showcased the depth and diversity of region-specific and cross-cutting expertise at UCL, across faculties. A first panel, featuring Prof. Kristin Bakke, Dr Ben Noble, Dr Inken von Borzyskowski, and Dr Julie Norman explored topics relating to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, from the challenges of war-time polling to Russian domestic politics and the response of international organisations. A second panel, featuring Dr Melanie Garson, Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, Dr Jean-Christophe Mauduit, and Dr Aparna Ravi highlighted a range of wider global challenges likely to shape geopolitics and the practice of diplomacy in the 21st century, from new technologies to climate change. The following day, Dr Melanie Garson also delivered a session on how new technologies will change the face of diplomacy and geopolitics in plenary at the Durbar Court in King Charles Street.

Melanie Garson lectures to a crowd of French and British diplomats
As UCL Pro Vice Provost International Professor David Coen highlighted in opening the event, this initiative highlights UCL’s wider commitment to shaping and informing public policy, both in the UK and internationally, and builds on longstanding engagement with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, including UCL’s Centre for Teaching and Learning in Economics (CTaLE) recent success in securing a contract to provide a bespoke Economics for Foreign Policy course to UK diplomats.  
A warm thank you to all of those who took part.  

If you are at UCL and have expertise specific to a particular country or region, take part in an ongoing Commission on Policy Engagement by Area Experts and help shape future support in this area, by attending a consultation workshop or by filling out this short survey.

If you are interested in finding out more about UCL’s international policy engagement, you can browse case studies and access dedicated guidance and resources here.