The article provides an analysis of the role of personalities in the academic diplomacy of the first quarter of the XIX century on the case of the Imperial Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum. Using the materials of the Foreign Policy Archive of the Russian Empire alongside specialized literature with recourse to the prosopographic method, the author outlines the impact of professional diplomatic background of the above school’s first directors and teachers on their academic and pedagogic activity. As the most prominent and elitist academic institution of the period in question, the Imperial Lyceum initially did not have an explicitly stipulated specialization. Still, many of its alumni upon graduation embraced a career in diplomacy and became civil servants at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Such a choice was to a considerable extent influenced by the professional skills and values transmitted to them by ex-diplomats, who used to be their headmasters and pedagogues. The analysis looks into the particular features, on the one hand, and similarities, on the other hand, of the respective career paths of the latter. It reveals that most of them shared certain values and ethical principles typical for the diplomatic professional community, i.e. patriotism, defense of the State’s national interests and networking. At the same time, a lot of attention was paid to technical training in terms of working with archives, as well as acquiring mastery in foreign languages. The author concludes that in the aggregate these factors shaped a unique educational environment for future diplomats and experts in international relations.
Source: Raynkhardt R.O. (2020) Personal Factor in Russian Academic Diplomacy of the 1810s – early 1820s: Experience of the Imperial Lyceum’s First Pedagogues. Bylye Gody. Vol. 58. Is. 4: 2427-2436
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