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
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
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
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.
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