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International Relations: on diplomacy and negotiations (HC TGC)


Admission requirements

This course belongs to the Honours College Tackling Global Challenges

Maximum number of students: 40


In 1899 and 1907 two international conferences – The International Hague Peace Conferences – took place with the aim to promote disarmament and peace. Unfortunately they did not prevent The Great War from 1914-1918. Despite the fact that the aims were not met at that time, the conferences are usually seen as the start of international cooperation in promoting and regulating disarmament and peace. Later on the cooperation resulted in the establishment of bodies like the United Nations

Including interactive lectures and The Hague Peace Conference Simulation, this course is about understanding and handling international negotiation processes, applying simulation- and other exercises in order to get to grips with theory and practice of handling disputes between people, companies, ministries and countries, resulting in organizational changes and the resolution of conflicts in a national and international context.

The course will start on Friday 7/2/2020 with an introduction of the subject matter, followed by an exercise to define it. After this bilateral bargaining will be practiced and debriefed. The second Friday afternoon will focus on strategy and tactics, skills and styles, culture and conflict, interest and emotion. At the third Friday afternoon multilateral negotiation (UN) will be practiced as a preparation for The Hague Peace Conference Simulation on Saturday. The Friday after The Peace Conference will be the concluding session for this part of the course, in which both the UN multilateral and the peace conference will be discussed, debriefed and analysed. This includes a film of a real diplomatic negotiation process.

On Friday 6/3 the written exam will take place.

Course objectives

Students will learn how to prepare, navigate and conclude complex and complicated processes. They do so by getting acquainted with the difficulties supranational and intergovernmental organizations face in getting their interests in-line: the problem of managing complexity. Moreover they will learn about the tension between competition and cooperation in the in-between models and reflect on their own behavior. You will not only analyze the procedures followed in The Hague Peace Conference Simulation, but also the process.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Have a better understanding of international political and diplomatic negotiation

  • Have a better understanding of their own behavior and that of their fellow students/negotiators.

Programme and timetable

On the right side of the programme front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Blackboard.

Reading list

The students will have to read ‘Diplomatic negotiation, Essence and Evolution. This book will be – electronically - made available for free.

Other academic literature will be announced in class or via Blackboard.

Course load and teaching method

This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours.

  • Introduction meeting of one hour with the teacher and the students of the Honours Academy class

  • Seminars: four seminars of five hours each (participation is mandatory)

  • Preparation seminars and workgroups for The Hague Peace Conference and participation in The Conference (mandatory)

  • Literature reading

  • Final exam: several questions, six pages with answers

Assessment methods

The assessment methods will look as follows: * 10% participation in the seminars and The Hague Peace Conference Simulation

  • 90% final exam
    This written exam contains of one page-sheet with questions, to be answered in three hours. The student is responsible to manage his, or her time. Together all answers to the questions will cover six pages.

Students can only pass this course after being present at all (four) seminars, The Hague Peace Conference and after the successful completion of the final exam.

Blackboard and uSis

Blackboard will be used in this course. Students will be registered for the Blackboard page and in Usis by the administration.

Registration process

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Bachelor Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally after successful completion of the Bachelor Honours Class.


Tags: multilateral negotiation, simulation, The Hague Peace Conference Simulation, diplomacy, reflection on process and relations, written exam

Skills: negotiation, multilateral negotiation, reflection on process, reflection on own behavior in negotiation, analytical skills


Teacher: Dr. P.W. Meerts