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Applied Diplomacy

“We impart basic knowledge on international relations, but above all applied diplomacy. This includes the protocol as well as other skills to progress in international relations.”

Dominique Ursprung, Deputy Head Center for Global Competitiveness

Today, diplomacy is no longer the preserve of professional diplomats alone. Many key players such as cantons, regions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), multinational companies, and private individuals interact on the international stage.

Focus Areas

Continuing education

In the age of globalization, politics and the economy are more closely connected than ever.

The DAS Applied Diplomacy teaches practical and up-to-date knowledge in the areas of diplomacy, international relations, communication, and information security and instructs practitioners on how to deal with the increasing complexities of interrelationships between the public and private sectors.

The DAS Applied Diplomacy consists of three courses:
the CAS Foreign Affairs and Applied Diplomacy, the continuing education course in Diplomacy in the Digital Age, and the continuing education course in Diplomacy & Information Security – as well as a final diploma thesis. These individual course elements can also be completed independently.


Non-Career Diplomats – Underestimated Actors in Foreign Policy?

12 February 2024
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the CAS Foreign Affairs & Applied Diplomacy, the Center for Global Competitiveness organizes an event on 21 March, 2024, which will focus on the importance of non-career diplomats today.

Learn more

Hybrid Diplomacy: Building Bridges to Big Tech

20 September 2022
The digital transformation has changed the requirements for diplomats. Increasingly, people with an understanding of new technologies are being sought as bridge builders to big tech companies.

Report in the ZHAW Magazine Impact (German)

"Tech Ambassadors" as a new working reality in diplomacy (German)

Stratos – Military Science Journal of the Swiss Armed Forces

06 July 2022
In Switzerland, the form and departmental affiliation of the new Federal Cybersecurity Office is being debated. Nicolas Zahn and Dominique Ursprung argue in a new article for Stratos - the magazine of the Swiss Armed Forces - that this is a shadow battle: What matters is not the form but the implementation capacity.

Article as a PDF(PDF 515,7 KB)
Stratos Magazine (online, German)

The Consequences of the Withdrawal from Afghanistan

08 September 2021
Christopher A. Hartwell and Dominique Ursprung explain in the NZZ why US President Joe Biden's foreign policy failures have made the world a more dangerous place: Not only in Afghanistan, but also in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, the ongoing loss of importance of the United States is visible. This will not remain without consequences.

Article in the NZZ(PDF 1,4 MB) (German)
Article in the NZZ (online, Pay-Wall, German)

Becoming a diplomat for fugitives

01 December 2020
A portrait of Christina Gräni, responsible for PR at Powercoders and Alumna of CAS Foreign Affairs and Applied Diplomacy.

Report in the ZHAW Impact(PDF 91,4 KB) (German)

Current State and Outlook for Swiss-EU Relations

27 November 2020
H.E. Petros Mavromichalis, Ambassador of the European Union to Switzerland talked at the International Business Podium to students and faculty of SML about Swiss-EU relations and current developments in Brussels.

“I Want Swiss-EU Relations to Thrive”
ZHAW International Business Podium


05 November 2020
A portrait in the Handelszeitung of ZHAW lecturer Dominique Ursprung and his journey to the ZHAW School of Management and Law via Tokyo, Shanghai, and Seoul.

Article in the Handelszeitung(PDF 259,5 KB) (German)

Analysis of the EU’s Response to COVID-19

29 April 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge for many states around the world. The ZHAW International Management Institute and its unit for Foreign Affairs & Applied Diplomacy have invited experts to discuss how the European Union is responding to this crisis.

ZHAW International Business Podium

What is the Role of the Visegrád Four in Europe?

30 September 2019
Highlevel representatives of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia participated in the first ZHAW International Business Podium event in Winterthur.

What is the Role of the Visegrád Four in Europe?

Foreign Policy Discussions in the Volkart Building

6 September 2019
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis wants the work of his diplomats to be better anchored and understood by the people. On 3 September, the extensive tour of the Suisse led 10 FDFA employees for a day to their home canton of Zurich, or more precisely to Winterthur. 

Foreign Policy Discussions in the Volkart Building (German)

Swiss Diplomats Visiting Winterthur

3 September 2019
For Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis it is essential to anchor Swiss foreign policy more firmly in domestic policy. A Tour de Suisse under the motto "Meet the Ambassadors" is now to stimulate exchanges between Swiss diplomats and the population in their respective home cantons.

Swiss diplomats visit Winterthur (German)

Understanding the Mechanisms of Diplomacy

28 Mai 2019
In spring 2019, the fourth CAS Foreign Affairs & Applied Diplomacy took place for two months. Participants from various industries and disciplines used the opportunity to deal with the functioning of international relations.

Learning to understand the mechanisms of diplomacy (German)

Foreign Minister of Nepal visits ZHAW

25 January 2019
The ZHAW welcomed a delegation headed by the Nepalese Foreign Minister, Pradeep Kumar GYAWALI, to Winterthur. In addition to the visit of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, various aspects of the role of civil society for an independent foreign policy as well as possible fields of cooperation were discussed in an open exchange.

Foreign Minister of Nepal visits ZHAW (German)

Post-Brexit Study for the Scottish Parliament

14 November 2018
How might the division of responsibilities within the United Kingdom look after withdrawal from the EU? And how can Scotland bring its interests to bear on UK foreign policy? A new study by the ZHAW School of Management and Law demonstrates the Swiss approach and has met with great interest in Edinburgh.

Post-Brexit Study for the Scottish Parliament (German)

Foreign Policy in the Council of States

6 November 2018
Graduates of the CAS Foreign Affairs & Applied Diplomacy met for lunch with Swiss Councillor of States Damian Müller to discuss the contentious issue of Swiss foreign policy.

Foreign Policy in the Council of States (German)

Applied Diplomacy in Bern, Brussels, and Geneva

16 March 2018
Prof. Kurt Spillmann, a renowned expert on international relations, addressed the third intake of students CAS Foreign Affairs & Applied Diplomacy.

He succeeded in an impressive way in explaining and classifying current phenomena, such as the old-new American diplomacy approach and ongoing tensions between Europe and Russia.

Applied Diplomacy in Bern, Brussels, and Geneva (German)


Ursprung, Dominique, 2022. Die hybride Diplomatie : ein Berufsbild im Wandel. Impact. (58), S. 52-53. Available at:

Ursprung, Dominique; Zahn, Nicolas, 2022. Schattengefecht um Schweizer Digitaldepartement : entscheidend ist nicht die Form, sondern die Umsetzungskapazität. stratos. 2022(1), S. 84-89. Available at:

Hartwell, Christopher A.; Ursprung, Dominique, 2021. Nach uns die Sintflut: die Konsequenzen des Abzugs aus Afghanistan. Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

Ursprung, Dominique, 2021. Zeit für Standardlösungen in der Schweizer Europapolitik. Ökonomenstimme. Verfügbar unter:

Keller, Florian; Pfister, René; Ursprung, Dominique, 2020. Diskrepanzen in den bilateralen Handelsstatistiken der Schweiz. Ökonomenstimme. Verfügbar unter:

Ursprung, Dominique; Ziltener, Patrick, 2019. Freihandel : was der Deal mit Japan brachte. Handelszeitung. 2019(35), S. 15. Verfügbar unter:

Keller, Florian; Ebnöther, Christoph; Ursprung, Dominique, 2018. Common frameworks in Switzerland : cantonal autonomy in a confederation. Winterthur: ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften. Verfügbar unter:

Keller, Florian, 2017. Aussenpolitik . In: Ebnöther, Christoph, Hrsg., Leitfaden durch das politische System der Schweiz. Zürich: Orell Füssli. S. 171-181.

Keller, Florian, 2017. Botschafterporträts: Schweizer Botschafter in den «Zentren der Macht» zwischen 1945 und 1975. 1. Auflage. Zürich: Chronos. ISBN 978-3-0340-1353-6.

Keller, Florian, 2017. Zwischen Österreich und Welthandelspolitik . In: Inauen, Josef; Metzger, Franziska; Furrer, Markus, Hrsg., Geschichte und Beruf: eine Festschrift für Urs Altermatt von seinen ehemaligen Studierenden. Zürich: LIT. S. 149-152.  Geschichte und Bildung ; 7.

Keller, Florian, 2015. Österreichs Vorpreschen. In: Schweizer, Max; Ursprung, Dominique, Hrsg., Integration am Ende?: die Schweiz im Diskurs über ihre Europapolitik; ein Lesebuch. Zürich: Chronos. S. 161-167.

Ursprung, Dominique, 2014. Start ins schweizerisch-japanische Jubiläumsjahr 2014 in Winterthur. Japanmarkt. 2014(3), S. 34-35.

Rios-Morales, Ruth; Schweizer, Max; Gamberger, Dragan; Ursprung, Dominique, 2013. The impact of international investment agreements on foreign direct investment: the Swiss experience [Paper]. In: Confronting contemporary business challenges through management innovation. 6th Annual Conference of the EuroMed Academy of Business, Estoril, Portugal, 24 September 2013. Conference of the EuroMed Academy of Business; 6.