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International Relations: on diplomacy and negotiations


Deze informatie is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar.

Admission requirements:

This course is an (extracurricular) Honours Class: an elective course within the Honours College programme. Third year students who don’t participate in the Honours College, have the opportunity to apply for a Bachelor Honours Class. Students will be selected based on i.a. their motivation and average grade.

Key words:

Skills: Negotiation, self reflection

Topics: International relations, diplomacy, The Hague Peace Conference, Negotiation

Disciplines: Public Administation, International Relations, Pscyhology.


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 and EU 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.

Especially for the Honours Academy group of 15 people the course will start with a meeting with the teacher and the students to meet and greet and to discuss the character of the course and the special programme for the Honours Academy.

After this meeting, the lectures will be attended by 55 students in total, including 40 students of Tackling Global Challenges. In the week before The Hague Peace Conference there will be extra meetings to prepare for the specific negotiation topic in the conference.

For the group in total, 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 from 2-5pm.

Friday 13/3 the group will now practice the learnings in the context of EU negotiations. In this simulation the member states of the EU need to decide on a blue-card directive. The simulation will again be discussed, debriefed and analysed.

Collaboration honours track Tackling Global Challenges

In addition to the 15 Honours Class students, 40 students from the Tackling Global Challenges track will participate in this course. So unlike the other Bachelor Honours Classes this class is not small-scaled. This group size is necessary to for the The Hague Peace Conference Simulation.

A special kick-off meeting and closing session by Paul Meerts will be organized for the 15 Honours Class students. Attendance is mandatory.

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:

The program will look as follows:

  • 07/2 from 12-1 pm: Meet the group and the teacher, discuss the programme (only your honours Class group of 15 persons)

  • 07/2 from 1-6 pm: Lecture, exercise and two bilateral negotiations (55 students)

  • 14/2 from 1-6 pm: Range of individual and collective exercises

  • 18/2 from 6-9 pm: Guest lecture

  • 20/2 from 5:30-8:30 pm: Guest lecture

  • 21/2 from 1-6 pm: A multilateral UN simulation with ten parties

  • 21/2 from 5:15-8:30 pm: Guest lecture

  • 22/2 from 10-8 pm: The Hague Peace conference Simulation

  • 28/2 from 1-6 pm: An analyses of this multilateral intermezzo (the Peace Conference)

  • 06/03 from 2-5 pm: hand-written exam

  • 13/03 from 1-6 pm: Multilateral Negotiation simulation EU (only your Honours Class group of 15 persons)


The Hague, Wijnhaven. Room to be announced.

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 (The assessment methods will be further explained in the first session of the Class):

  • 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 will be used in this course. Students can register for the Blackboard page one week prior to the start of the course.

Registration process:

Enrolling in this course is possible from 4 November up to and including 14 November until 23:59 hrs through the Honours Academy. The registration link will be posted on the student website of the Honours Academy.

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.