Diplomacy and Challenges

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Michael Cox TW1.9.01A


This course is compulsory on the MSc in International Strategy and Diplomacy. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course looks at six key aspects of diplomacy: the tools of diplomacy and negotiation; new international security and policy challenges, such as climate change; global flashpoints, such as Brexit, the South China Sea and Syria; policy assessment on a major current international problem; simulations on crisis management and diplomatic negotiations; the future of diplomacy and international affairs.


30 hours of lectures, 20 hours of seminars and 20 hours of workshops in the LT.

Formative coursework

One formative policy paper (2,000 words) with a pre-arranged task. Feedback will involve a meeting with each student to discuss their formative policy paper. We will aim to ensure that students are able to: critically evaluate different kinds of evidence; assess the strengths and weaknesses of competing policy options; formulate arguments and policy recommendations in a coherent and balanced fashion.

Indicative reading

1. Bayne, N.; Woolcock, S. (eds.) (2012), The New Economic Diplomacy: Decision-Making and Negotiation in International Economic Relations, Third Edition.

2. Berridge, G. R.; Keens-Soper, M. (2001), Diplomatic Theory From Machiavelli To Kissinger (Studies in Diplomacy).

3. Burgess, P. (2010), Routledge Handbook of New Security Studies.

4. Cohen, R. (1997), Negotiating Across Cultures, Rev.ed.

5. Cooper, A.; Heine, J.; Thakur, R. (2013), Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy.

6. Croker, C.; Hampson, F.; Aall (2004), Taming Intractable Conflicts.

7. Crocker, A.; Hampson, F.; Aall, P. (eds.) (2015), Managing Conflict in a World Adrift.

8. Freeman Jr, C. (1997), Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy.

9. Lebow, R.N. (1996), The Art of Bargaining.

10. Suhrke, A.; Berdal, M. (2011), The Peace In Between: Post-War Violence and Peacebuilding.

11. Taleb, N.N (2008), The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.

12. Watkins, M.; Rosegrant, S. (2001), Breakthrough International Negotiations: How Great Negotiators Transformed the World's Toughest Post-War Conflicts.

13. Zartman, W.; Rubin, J. (2000), Power and Negotiation.


Project (100%, 3000 words) in the LT.

3.000 word assessed policy paper setting out a detailed strategy to implement a policy.

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 20.4
Merit 65.6
Pass 14
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2016/17: 32

Average class size 2016/17: Unavailable

Controlled access 2016/17: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information