10 February marked the start of the latest round of Economics for Foreign Policy training courses designed and delivered by LSE Custom Programmes for the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Structured by LSE Enterprise, this also marks the winning of a fourth consecutive tender since 2003. Well over a hundred courses of this multi-level programme have been delivered to date, attended by more than 1,200 participants from across the British foreign service and diplomatic corps.
And on 14 March, the Level 1 course participants added another overseas delivery location to the roster – making it the 17th – with the programme being delivered at the British Embassy in Paris. Initially held at the FCO facilities in London, since 2010 the programme has also been delivered on demand at British Embassies and High Commissions around the world including Brasilia, Washington DC, Accra, Dar es Salaam, Dubai, Moscow, Beijing and Tokyo.
The Paris participants also received a special talk by Professor Christopher Coker of LSE’s International Relations Department on the topic of 'Europe at a Geopolitical Crossroads: The Next Cold War?' This was a very timely addition, in light of current international affairs, and all Embassy staff were invited to attend, with a welcome by the British Ambassador. “While a solid footing in economic fundamentals is essential for effective foreign policy making, the importance of geopolitics has been rising rapidly in the recent past,” said Professor Coker. “Latest developments in both Asia and Europe highlight the need for new analytical approaches to global affairs, particularly where national security is involved.”
Participants’ comments from the course delivered in Paris included: “Enthusiastic presenters who master the subject,” “Gave an amazing overview and insight into the world of economics,” and “The whole course is relevant to my job”. “For over a decade we’ve been working with the FCO to deliver this bespoke programme,” noted Yury Bikbaev, Director of LSE Custom Programmes. “We are very pleased to see this collaboration continue and expand to new geographies, bringing new, relevant and timely expertise from LSE to meet the needs of the FCO.”