nl en

International Negotiation



One of the major tools in interstate decision-making are international diplomatic negotiation processes, both bilateral and multilateral. The instructor will offer participants an opportunity to examine the theoretical and practical aspects of negotiations, conference diplomacy and decision-making in international governmental organizations. Students will read and reflect on the prescribed literature, analyze actual cases, practice and enhance their negotiation skills in simulation exercises. Among the main topics of this course are the dynamics of the negotiation process and the impact of different types of interests on international decision-making, the role of rules and procedures in diplomatic negotiations, the behavior of actors and the various levels of the negotiation process. The course will draw on the long-standing experience of the Clingendael Negotiations Team and the work of the Processes of International Negotiation (PIN) research network, based at the Clingendael Institute (

Course objectives

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain main theories on negotiations and their relationship to wider international relations theory;

  • Describe the key principles underpinning a successful negotiation or (conflict) mediation;

  • Have a better understanding of their own skills and competencies in negotiations via simulations and role-plays;

  • Increase their effectiveness in (international) negotiations;

  • Create strategies for negotiation processes;

  • Recognize bargaining tactics and respond correspondingly.



Mode of instruction

The following methods will be used:

  • Interactive lectures;

  • Individual and group assignments;

  • Discussions, including reflection in groups on lessons learned;

  • Multiple bilateral negotiation simulations;

  • Multilateral negotiation simulations;

  • Interview carrousel;

  • Individual negotiation profile and self-assessment.

Course Load

5 EC

Central to the teaching methodology is the conviction that reading about negotiation theory is better after experiencing similar negotiation processes. The course consists of six sessions, each lasting a full day. The sessions are based on negotiation simulations. With the help of self-assessments and group discussions, students will reflect on their own behavior and of the other negotiators. Each workshop will start at 9 and last to roughly 17, but this will depend on the speed of which some of the simulations will be played out. It might run to 17.30.Students need to prepare for simulations outside of class and also hand in strategy papers and reflection sheets. The literature is provided during the course. Some of it needs to be read during the weeks that the course takes place. Mostly though it is for the exam which wraps-up the course. This is a take home exam that needs to be handed in three weeks after the final class. There are roughly 350 pages of literature, 48 contact hours, 18 hours for reflection sheets and preparation of simulations, 15 hours writing the exam, 59 hours for reading the course materials.

Assessment method

Participation during class and reflection: 40%
Two strategy papers: 10% each, 20% in total
Exam: 40%



Reading list

No purchases of specific books or literature are necessary.