Diplomacy and Challenges

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Chris Alden


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; international security and policy challenges, such as climate change; emerging security domains such as cyber and outer space security; 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.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information