International Crisis Diplomacy: Theories, Challenges, Opportunities

This seminar is designed to explore the intricacies, challenges, and possibilities of international diplomacy during crises between states or within states in a theoretical and applied manner. The international system has experienced crises which have in the past emanated from the disintegration of the bipolar blocs, from ethnic rivalries, leadership ambitions, power politics, globalization, and economic-strategic interests. Particularly since the terror attacks on United States territory, the ensuing “War on Terror” and militant fundamentalism have influenced international crisis management and related diplomacy. Arguably this has – within the framework of intensified global integration and institutions – given rise to new challenges in dealing with local and regional problems, conflict, or other disasters. Issues such as the specific causes, the role of leadership and negotiators, external interests, as well as geopolitical and historic context of the crisis scenario are of relevance. The seminar will analyze some selected international and intra-state cases which developed into crises and will develop lessons and suggestions of their management.

The schedule is divided into four sections. The first and second parts deal with the fundamentals of international and private diplomacy, historic lessons, the relevant theoretical dimensions, negotiations, and the preparation for the case studies. The reading and discussion will cover conceptual issues such as sovereignty, borders, great power interests, and asymmetrical crises, with an emphasis on mediation, private diplomacy, and negotiation techniques. In the second part six cases will be examined: the situation in Kashmir; the crisis in Afghanistan and its region; the Coalition Operation in Iraq; The “War on Terror” and non-proliferation; Chechnya and the crisis in the Caucasus; and the nonviolent crises of Tibet and Diego Garcia. Whenever possible and appropriate outside experts will be invited to participate in the discussion. Finally, we will try to outline important criteria – and look for new ideas – concerning effective crisis diplomacy and anticipatory strategies in that emerging international system.

Course Code: 
WWS 471
Term : 
Spring 2005
Course Attachements: