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Being Diplomatic

How much emotion should you show if you are a diplomat, a news reporter or a conciliation expert? Anne McElvoy talks to Gabrielle Rifkind, William J Burns & Gabriel Gatehouse.

How much emotion should you show if you are a diplomat, a news reporter or a conciliation expert? Anne McElvoy chairs a Free Thinking Festival debate at Sage Gateshead with Gabriel Gatehouse, Gabrielle Rifkind and William J Burns.

In the world of international affairs, the overriding philosophy for global professionals has been one of restraint and rationality – whether you are negotiating, mediating or observing. So how is this traditional idea of “being diplomatic” and even-handed faring in a more emotional and expressive age?

Psychotherapist Gabrielle Rifkind works in conflict resolution in the Middle East. She directs The Oxford Process, a conflict prevention initiative specialising in managing radical disagreement. Her books include The Psychology of Political Extremism: What would Sigmund Freud have thought about Islamic State and The Fog of Peace: How to Prevent War.

William J Burns’ book The Back Channel - American Diplomacy in a Disordered World charts his career as an American diplomat for over 3 decades. involved in negotiations with President Putin and secret nuclear talks with Iran. He is now President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Gabriel Gatehouse is a BBC reporter whose work includes the Panorama programme Marine Le Pen: Who's Funding France's Far Right? (2017) and Our World A Tale of Two Swedens. His reporting has included investigations in East Africa, the Ukraine and Russia, Libya and Iraq and the BBC Radio 4 series The Puppet Master

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54 minutes

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