Institute for Diplomatic Studies
Doctor of Diplomacy Program

Larry Peery
Director, Institute for Diplomatic Studies

When the Institute for Diplomatic Studies (IDS) was first established more than a quarter of a century ago; one of its primary purposes was to establish a program to promote the improvement and expansion of the Diplomacy hobby.

As part of its effort to do this the IDS designed a comprehensive program to educate both new and experienced Diplomacy players and hobbyists. This program was modeled on a university's home study course program. It was primarily intended for new players, new hobby custodians, and those without a local Diplomacy hobby network to interact with.

The IDS program included a three part series designed to equal the baccalaureate, master's, and doctor's degrees of a university. The first part of the program was specifically intended for novices and was intended to teach them "everything you need to know about the game and hobby." To do so required the use of a text, readings, exercises, examinations, etc. The text was published as An Introduction to the Strategy and Tactics of Postal Diplomacy, a 300+ page, five pound mind-breaker of a text. The entire course included 800 pages of material. It was expected that it would take an average, part-time student two years to complete.

Subsequent portions of the program were designed at the master's level (intended to show that the player or hobbyist had, indeed, mastered his subject) and at the doctor's level (to demonstrate an ability to make a significant, original contribution to the development of the game or hobby).

Throughout the program it was intended that strict academic standards would be met; and the "degrees" awarded for the completion of the appropriate course would actually represent a documented real achievement.

The highest level of the program was, of course, at the doctoral level. This portion of the program was designed after consultation with both members of the hobby and members of the local academic community. The emphasis was, as I have said, a demonstrated ability by the candidate to contribute a significant and original contribution to the game and hobby. The program was also intended to allow those whose expertise was not on the playing board to also gain a measure of recognition for their achievements as a Diplomat. The program expected and demanded documented proven performance of the highest caliber from the candidate before any consideration for the degree would be given.

Seven basic requirements were established that had to be fulfilled before anyone could be considered for the Doctorate of Diplomacy. These were minimal requirements and it was hoped that the successful candidates would have achieved even more. Because of changes in the game and hobby in the past twenty-five years the original requirements have been slightly modified (and made harder). The current minimal requirements for consideration for the Doctorate of Diplomacy diploma are:

When the doctoral portion of the program was instituted in 1996; it was decided that for the first four years of the program the examination requirement could be waived under exceptional circumstances. Thus, until 1 January 2000, candidates for this degree who satisfactorily meet all other requirements will not be required to take an examination.

The Board of the Institute believes these requirements are fair and reasonable, difficult but not impossible, and do represent the highest level of attainment possible in Diplomacy. Modifications and exemptions are, at the discretion of the Board, possible, but not likely.

The process involved in the awarding of the doctorate of Diplomacy is fairly simple. Here's a brief summary of how it works. A candidate must submit a petition to enter the program. The petition should explain his participation in the hobby to date, along with proof of any completed requirements of the program. Candidates may nominate themselves, but a second is required. A third party may also nominate someone for the program. Normally the candidate will have, by the time of his petition, satisfied the first five requirements of the program. His petition and supporting documentation will be reviewed, any questions asked and answered, and then submitted to the Board for acceptance into the program. Upon acceptance and after mutual agreement, the candidate will be assigned a topic for a thesis equivalent. Upon completion and acceptance of his thesis, the candidate will be assigned a to-be-determined date, time and place for his examination (if required). The examination may be FTF, by post, or by email as convenient for all concerned. Upon satisfactory completion of the examination, the Board's Executive Committee (Edi Birsan, Francois Rivasseau, and Larry Peery) will review the petition and all evidence in support of it to determine that all of the requirements not waived have been fulfilled. If the Executive Committee unanimously approves the petition and accepts the evidence in support of it, the doctorate is approved. If one member of the Executive Committee does not approve, two additional members of the Board will be asked to review the petition and evidence. If they both approve, the doctorate will be approved. If either of them does not approve, the petition will not be approved, and the doctorate will not be awarded. Presentation of the diploma will normally be at the next major Diplomacy event the candidate attends, or by other arrangement. Publication of the thesis and diploma in the hobby press are customary.

To date the following individuals have been awarded the Doctor of Diplomacy diploma by the Institute: Bruno-Andre Giraudon, of France (1996); Pitt Crandlemire, of the United States (1997); Bjorn von Knorring, of Sweden (1997); and, as part of a "train the trainers" program, Edi Birsan and Larry Peery, of the United States, and Francois Rivasseau, of France (all in 1997).

Individuals interested in this program should contact me, Larry Peery, by email (see below) or by writing to me at 6013 Malcolm Dr., San Diego, CA 92115, USA.

Larry Peery

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