Being the first woman elected as the United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright has gained the reputation one of the most influential women leaders in the world today. Defying the odds of gender discrimination and prejudice in American politics, Madeleine Albright tenure as a leader in both domestic and international planes shows her exceptional capacity in using the concept of non-violence and diplomacy in dealing with world issues and international matters. But more importantly, Albright served as a living testimony to the fact that there is always another way.
Biographical Sketch Born in the capital city of Prague, Czechoslovakia to Jewish couple Josef Korbel and Anna Spiegelova, Madeleine Albright originally went by her birth-name Marie Jane Korbelova. From 1936-1939, Albright and her family resided at the Serbian capital of Belgrade, her parents Josef and Anna converted from Judaism to Protestantism in order to avoid the Nazi Regimes straightforward resentment and impending decision to eradicate Europe and the world of the Jewish people (Dobbs, 2000, 14-15).
By 1939, the Korbels were moved to London to avoid all the conflict in Eastern and Central Europe brought about by the Nazi Occupation (Dobbs, 2000, 16). Returning to Czechoslovakia after the Second World War, Albright and her family were once again prompted to leave Czechoslovakia due to the insurgence of Communist powers in the country. Finally settling in the United States in 1948, America proved to be fortunate for Albright and her family as the University of Denvers Department of International Studies selected Josef to be the founding dean of the Graduate School of International studies (Dobbs, 2000, 125).
Academic Background Albright spent her formative high-school years at Kent Denver School in Cherry Hills Village in Colorado. In 1959, Albright graduated from Wesley College in Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts degree and honors in political science under a scholarship grant. That same year, Albright joined Joseph Medill Paterson Albright, a member of the Medill newspaper-publishing family, in holy matrimony, together they raised three daughters; twins Anne and Alice, and Katie (Dobbs, 2000, 185-192).
While raising her three daughters, Albright also earned Masters and Doctoral post-graduate degrees in Public Law and Government from Columbia University. Acquiring a certificate from the Universitys Russian institute during her pregnancy, Albright further received education from Johns Hopkins Universitys School of Advanced International Studies in 1968 (Dobbs, 2000, 194). Major Contributions to the field of Human Rights, Womens Rights, and International Studies
In 1981, she co-founded and presided the Center for National Policy; a non-profit organization in Washington which was considered as a think tank for Democracy (Blood, 1999, 157). The organization emphasized on coordinating with government officials, other political and social figures as well as the American masses with feasible solutions to existing flawed government policies that challenged the United States such as policies on national security, foreign relations, reconstruction programs for disaster-stricken areas, American economy, and education.
Albrights major contributions to the field of international studies and to women empowerment began with her employment as a professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University in 1982. Narrowly focusing on providing women with opportunities of becoming knowledgeable, competent professionals in the field of international affairs, Albright profoundly gave light to women as members of American Society. While employed as an educator, Albright also served as a Director of Women in Foreign Service Program at the universitys School of Foreign Service.
Here she taught International Studies, U. S. foreign relations, Russian foreign policy, and central and eastern European politics to undergraduate and graduate students (Dobbs, 2000, 314-16). Albrights advocacy to bring violent wars to a screeching halt were highlighted during her tenure as the American Ambassador to the United Nations in 1993, Madeleine Albright aimed to uniting all the nations of the world by speaking to world leaders, to her fellow diplomats, and to the American public about equality and the rationality of peace talks.
Albright called for the advancement of peace among conflicting nations and the inclusion of and Japan in the Security Council (Dobbs, 2000, 353-56). Her election as the first female Secretary of State amplified Albright as a peace advocate through international relations procurement. Mainly, she used her power and authority to start a peace mission in the Middle East. Albrights first meeting with Israeli Prime Ministe Benjamin Netanyahu r to contemplate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict revealed the apparent conflicts of interest between the Clinton Administration and the Israeli government (Dobbs, 2000, 369-71.
While trying to talk the Israeli leader to consider concessions, Albright also talked to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to advance the concept of peace talks between Palestine and Israel (Dobbs, 2000, 371). However, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict challenged Albrights state of mind and her objective approach to mediating as both parties refused to come to a ceasefire agreement. In addition to her work in the Middle East, her influence on American policy in Bosnia East furthered the sincerity of her advocacies.
Due to her active participation in the Kosovo war and Bosnian war policy of the United States, her anti-war efforts were introduced to the Serbian region (Dobbs, 2000, 374-75). Although she was much hated by the Serbs in the former Yugoslavia because of her non-violent ways and means, Albright remained firm with her decisions of advancing peace negotiations even arguing about Americas constant use of military force to achieve its goals (Dobbs, 2000, 376). Styles, Tactics, and Strategies of Negotiating
As a former American Ambassador to the United Nations and Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright has a myriad of techniques that contribute to her distinction as a global mediator and as a leader. Primarily Albright stresses on the importance of the respect. Through her adherence to the belief that there is equality among people regardless of race, gender, or culture, and that the differences among people can serve as a unifying element in creating a better society and a better world for everyone (Albright, 2007).
Albright (2007) furthers that respect allows an individual to look at issues in a more diverse manner. Albrights strength and confidence pose as another important element in her success as negotiator and international relations promoter, she believes that confidence as negotiators and as advocate of world peace; people should trust themselves and their opinion with conviction and heart (Albright, 2007). The pressure of expectations from the people who support and doubt her served as the driving force behind Albright determination and persistence as an international relations advocate.
As such, female leaders will be able to think rationally without the threat of being overpowered by the domineering tendencies of male opinion and methodologies. Apart from personal qualities, Madeleine Albright also says that effective communication is an advantageous tactic in negotiations and international relations. On one hand communication can help resolve issues without resulting to violent and destructive means (Gibbs, 1996).
On the other hand, effective communication gives both parties time to think thoroughly of the issue and possible resolutions to the issue (Gibbs, 1996). That way, Albrights effective communication strategy morally and peacefully as both parties are given the opportunity to come up with an agreement that would benefit one another. . Albright significantly believes in ideal-driven foreign policy while Rice employs a realists view. Her ability and desire to combine diplomacy and force was her ultimate weapon to achieve her goals and success.
Albright justified her combination of diplomacy and force through in a speech asserting that force is an essential element for the purpose of Americas defense, but force alone can be a blunt instrument, and there are many problems it cannot solve. To be effective, force and diplomacy must complement and reinforce each other. For there will be many occasions, in many places, where we will rely on diplomacy to protect our interests, and we will expect our diplomats to defend those interests with skill, knowledge and spine.
Given Madeleines perspective and background in diplomatic methodologies, she putin mind the elements of process, behaviour, and substance in her negotiations. Through her use of her personal qualities and strategic procedures, Albright takes note of the parties involved, the framework of the negotiation, the series of events that give direction, and the frailty of the negotiation process itself. Albright puts consideration on the aspect of behaviour on her emphasis on communication and its effects on the negotiation process between the parties.
While she values the importance of substance through the diplomatic approach in giving resolve to a particular issue. Furthermore, emphasis on substance is manifested by the manner of how she presents matters at hand and giving an objective approach to the particular issues being discussed. Albrights positive outlook provides an avenue for her confidence in negotiations for peace and international relations. Her diplomatic background implies a cooperative strategy in dealing with concerns and leaders of other nations.
Although Albright does not always find success in her negotiations, her methods provide opportunities for negotiating parties to come up with a mutual compromise that would offer promising results to end a conflict. Being an advocate of the cause of peace and non-violence, Albright advances the cause of peace and non-violence tries to attain the most favourable response possible. Consequently, Albright exerts an effort in determining the extent of how much the other party is willing to give, Albright then adjusts her options in accordance with the demands for the negotiations to have other alternatives.
While Albrights positive outlook contributed to her success as an international relations liaison, her character flaws also constitute as a contributing factor in negotiating. The effect of anger in the context of negotiations, for instance, similarly reflects how an unstable mind leads to impulsive thinking. In the case of Albrights intervention on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the lack of cooperation between the negotiating parties suggest Albright utilized forceful, competitive means.
Likewise, the resentment of both parties toward each other contributed to the reason behind the parties refusal to cooperate even in the presence of the mediator. The life and experiences of Madeleine Albright adds up to how she became an advocate of international relations. Her upbringing, her academic background, and her job experiences in government and educational institutions guided her to have the right state of mind and the right perspective in doing her duties as a government official, an educator, an international representative, and as a peace advocate.
But apart from her educational attainment and in-depth knowledge in international affairs, the life and experiences of Madeleine Albright suggests that every endeavour in life can be achieved if perspective does and mental discipline is not applied. No matter how educated and well-learned a person is, if he or she does not apply the virtues necessary top successfully achieve a goal, all the attempts and exerted efforts will only result to a dismal failure.
References M Albright, Interview, February 26, 2007. Blood, T. (1999). Madam Secretary: A Biography of Madeleine Albright. New York: St. Martins Griffin Dobbs, M. (2000). Madeleine Albright: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey. New York: Henry Holt & Company. Gibbs, N. TIME. (1996, December 16). Madeleine Albright: The Voice of America. Retrieved December 20, 2007, from http://edition. cnn. com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/analysis/time/9612 /16/gibbs. html