This seminar is designed to explore the intricacies, challenges, and possibilities of international diplomacy during crises between states, or between state and non-state actors in a conceptual and applied manner. The course will build on the personal experiences in international diplomacy and politics of seminar faculty Wolfgang Danspeckgruber and Joschka Fisher, as well as on the expertise of outside policy experts who will be invited to participate in several of the seminar meetings.
The international system has seen significant crises which have emanated from the disintegration of bipolar blocs as well as from ethnic rivalries, leadership ambitions, power politics, the search for natural resources, and economic-strategic interests. In today’s interdependent world terror, weapons of mass destruction, poverty, militant fundamentalism, environmental dangers, and health crisis cause significant challenges. At the same time, the power and relevance of non-state actors continues to grow, and the efficiency of existing international institutions within this milieu to manage developing and actual crises has become a critical challenge. Further compounding these factors is the unipolar global strategic order which may begin to alter.
Within the framework of intensified global integration and interaction, new challenges in dealing with local and regional problems, conflict, and/or actual war have arisen. Key issues the course will investigate include the specific causes of crises, the role of leadership and negotiators, outside power interests, and the geopolitical context of crises scenarios. The seminar will analyze a select group of cases which represent important examples for international crisis management, will evaluate their successes and/or failures, and will draw potential lessons and suggestions from them.