Director's Speaker Series
"Making States Sensible: Ritual, Symbols, and Feeling in Diplomatic Practice"
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43201
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Alisher Faizullaev is currently a 2011-2012 Fulbright visiting scholar at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. Previously, he was ambassador of Uzbekistan to the United Kingdom (1999-2003), Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg. He also served as head of mission of Uzbekistan to the European Communities, head of mission to NATO (1995-1998), and as deputy and first deputy minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan (1994, 1999).
In addition, Faizuallev spent many years in the academic field as director of the Institute of Management, director of the Negotiation Laboratory, and professor in the Department of Practical Diplomacy and at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He was also a distinguished visiting scholar at Western Washington University (1992) and a visiting scholar at the Centre of International Studies at Cambridge University (2005).
He is author of several scholarly and fictional books in Russian and Uzbek, including Diplomatic Negotiations and Politics of Interpersonal Relations. His articles have appeared in journals such as Review of International Studies and Diplomacy and Statecraft.
He holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the Institute of Psychology at the Academy of Sciences of the former USSR (Moscow) and a higher doctorate (D.Sc.) in political science from the University of World Economy and Diplomacy.
Symbols and rituals are essential parts of international diplomacy, and they play an important role in power and identity politics of states. In order to make sense of state affairs, diplomatic practice often addresses individuals' senses and uses collective forms of experiencing states and interstate relations through ceremonies and other symbolic actions.
The three most important symbols used in diplomacy -- symbols of identity, power and status (prestige and honor) -- help to sensualize the state's self, might, and dignity, and also serve as emotionally charged means for creating and maintaining people's sense of belonging to the state. Collective feelings caused by rituals, ceremonies, symbols, and visual and other images contribute to forming shared meanings of international politics and diplomacy.
Diplomats ought to master both discursive and non-discursive languages of diplomacy and "sacred affairs" of international politics. However, certain "cults of state" supported by diplomatic practices contribute to common-sense understanding and conventional wisdom of interstate relations.
Visiting Fulbright Scholar and Former Ambassador of