Diplomacy and Challenges

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Michael Cox PAN.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. Alden, Chris; Aran, Amnon (2017), Foreign Policy Analysis: New Approaches, Second Edition (Abingdon: Routledge).

2. Bayne, N.; Woolcock, S. (eds.) (2017), The New Economic Diplomacy: Decision-Making and Negotiation in International Economic Relations, Fourth Edition (London and New York: Routledge).

3. Bercovitch, J.; Kremenyuk, V.; Zartman, I.W. (2008), The SAGE Handbook of Conflict Resolution (London: SAGE).

4. Chinkin, C.; Kaldor, M. (2017), International Law and New Wars (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

5. Coker, C. (2015), Future War (Cambridge: Polity Press).

6. Constantinou, C.M.; Kerr, P.; Sharp, P. (eds.) (2016), SAGE Handbook of Diplomacy (Los Angeles: SAGE).

7. Cox, M.; Stephen, F.; Guelke, A. (eds.) (2006), A Farewell to Arms: After the Good Friday Agreement (Manchester: Manchester University Press)

8. Crocker, A.; Hampson, F.; Aall, P. (eds.) (2015), Managing Conflict in a World Adrift (Washington, D.C. : United States Institute of Peace Press).

9. Flockhart, T. (2016), ‘The Coming Multi-Order World’, Contemporary Security Policy 37(1): 3-30.

10. Kaldor, M.; Rangelov, I.(eds.) (2014), The Handbook of Global Security Policy (Chichester: Wiley Blackwell).

11. Lin, K.C.; Gertner, A.V. (2015), Maritime Security in the Asia-Pacific: China and the Emerging Order in the East and South China Seas, Chatham House Research Paper.

12. Martill, B.; Staiger, U. (eds.), (2018), Brexit and Beyond: Rethinking the Futures of Europe (London: UCL Press).

13. Phillips, Christopher (2016), The Battle for Syria: International Rivalry in the New Middle East (New Haven: Yale University Press).

14. Roberts, I. (2017), Satow's Diplomatic Practice, 7th Edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

15. Sakwa, R. (2015), ‘The Death of Europe? Continental Fates after Ukraine’, International Affairs 91: 553–579.

16. Sending, O.J.; Pouliot, V.; Neumann, I.B. (eds.) (2015), Diplomacy and the Making of World Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).


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

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 22
Merit 65.9
Pass 12.1
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2017/18: 1

Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable

Controlled access 2017/18: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information