K.P. Marczuk, 2020. Modern diplomats as civil servants: capabilities, competencies and education. A case study of the foreign service in Poland. In: H. Sullivan and H. Dickinson, eds. 2020. The Palgrave Handbook of the Public Servant. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan (to be published soon). Contemporary diplomats are on the front line of the efforts of various states or international organisations to pursue an effective foreign policy. To win in international negotiations, successfully represent a state’s interests or take care of the state’s own nationals abroad, foreign service officials should first of all be properly educated in order to carry out their duties. They need to acquire such capabilities and competencies as are of particular significance for the work of a diplomat in today’s world. The aim of the chapter is to provide answers to the main questions posed, namely, what capabilities and competencies are important for them now, and how they should be educated in order to acquire these. Cutting-edge practices in diplomacy, mainly including the use of digital technologies (digital diplomacy) but also other methods (public diplomacy), are explored. The main argument is that only those diplomats who are also public servants have a chance to be equipped with those capabilities and competencies, as a result of their educational background. So, a modern foreign service should be professional (meaning it should employ civil servants, with a small number of exceptions such as ambassadors, who can be scholars or former politicians) if it is to be effective and represent a state successfully. The example of the foreign service in Poland is given. Mostly, educational practices and legal instruments are analyzed.
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