PIR-30153 - Diplomacy: Theory and Practice
Coordinator: Bulent Gokay Room: CBA2.002 Tel: +44 1782 7 33512
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2021/22


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2021/22

Diplomats are the instruments through whom states communicate and attempt to adjust their relations; diplomacy is the skill (or art) and techniques used in this endeavour. The practice of diplomacy is thus of considerable importance for the modern world and this module seeks to understand its practice. The tutorials concentrate on analysing the role of diplomats in the making and execution of foreign policy, examining at the evolution of diplomacy over the last century and the major challenges that face it in the twenty-first century. Those who are considering a career requiring diplomatic skills will be able to develop a deeper understanding of the field. It will also interest those interested in learning more about how states communicate with each other.

This module integrates the history, theory and practice of diplomacy with the aim of enabling students to explain and evaluate the practice of diplomacy, based on analysis of cases from the diplomatic services of multiple countries.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Critically evaluate key issues in the study of diplomacy: 1
Offer informed analysis of the challenges of diplomacy in practice: 1,2
Analyse theories of diplomacy and apply them to cases: 1,2
Communicate their own arguments effectively and clearly: 1,2

Study hours

20 hours tutorials
130 hours of independent study including seminar preparation, foreign policy memo, and negotiation.

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Report weighted 50%
Foreign Policy Memo
On the student┐s choice of one of several contemporary diplomatic challenges provided, students take the role of an embassy officer writing a briefing paper addressed to their government in which they interpret the position policy of their host country regarding the scenario and recommend a diplomatic course of action. The length of this memo is 1500 words.

2: Group Project weighted 50%
Simulated Negotiation
On a case study provided, and in small groups of 3-4, students prepare a negotiation brief (1000 words, 40%, group mark), engage in a simulated negotiation (20%, group mark), and write an individual reflective piece linking their experience to theories of diplomacy (500 words, 40%).