After completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
Analyse how different factors influence the process and outcome of international negotiations, multilateral in particular;
Understand and assess both the advantages (opportunities) and limitations of using negotiation as a means to tackle global societal issues;
Independently identify problems and questions concerned with the theory and practice of international negotiation, multilateral in particular;
Employ and integrate, independently and critically, different perspectives on international negotiation in their own analyses of particular cases.
The course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of international negotiation. The focus is on different approaches to understanding what drives process and explains the outcome, particularly of multilateral negotiations. Why do these sometimes succeed, while at other times they are very slow-moving or keep failing in terms producing effective action? Among the topics covered in the course are the roles of new actors, leadership (notably the chair) and group dynamics, issues of power and justice, and decision-making procedures. Case studies for analysis are taken from multilateral talks over global societal challenges. Examples of such talks include negotiations over arms control and disarmament, environmental issues (such as climate change), human rights, and the international trade regime.
The course is taught through lectures followed by discussion, seminars and exercises.
The final course mark will be based on performance in fulfilling the following three requirements:
Attending and actively participating in all teaching sessions.
Do an oral presentation, and act as a discussant on another student’s presentation.
Complete a Final Essay. This should use a concept, theory or model covered in the course to analyse and explain a specific case of multilateral negotiation.
Grades: Pass with distinction (VG), Pass (G), Fail (U). Two retake opportunities are offered every year the course is given.