Negotiating National Interest in an International Context

Negotiation can help you understand international relations better than theory. After all, there cannot be any international relations without negotiations. Foreign policy is often based on the developments and outcomes of negotiations. This raises the question about which role does the national interest play? On the topic, Simon Anholt states in his book the Good Country Equation, “Putting your own country first without putting everybody else last isn’t as difficult as it sounds: there are many examples to show how learning from and collaborating with other countries can actually produce better policies, not just compromise or self-sacrifice”. But when do you chose international interest over national interest?

Countries, and their leaders, seem to think that a policy that is good for the world by definition goes against the national interest. During this summer school speakers like Glenda Sluga, Tim Butcher, and André Gerrits alongside Simon Anholt will provide in-depth insights into nationalism vs diplomacy. At the same time former Dutch minister of defence prof. dr. ir. Joris Voorhoeve, international negotiations experts dr. Paul Meerst and founder and president of the Young Diplomat Hans van den Berg together with other negotiation experts will provide training and insights into international negotiation and diplomacy. Challenging you in a two-day simulation at the end of the course to put your newly acquired skills and knowledge to the test.



You will be challenged to gather theoretical insights in the rapidly developing field of nationalism and diplomacy from leading figures in the field.


Gain valuable skills through a proven combination of applying theoretical knowledge in high end simulations. During the summer school, you will develop skills for public speaking, speech writing, doing research for negotiation and reporting.


Build your international network through the Young Diplomat community and meet with diplomats from different disciplines. The Young Diplomat community offers you the opportunity to find new contacts within the field.

Verenigde Naties


CEST (Amsterdam Time)

Sunday 4th of July 2020


20.00 - 21.00’ish

Online welcome and introductions


Monday 5th of July 2020


10.00 - 12.00

Opening Speech & Introductions to International Relations & Diplomacy

Prof. Dr. Ig. J.J.C. Voorhoeve (Prof. International Relations & Peacebuidling and former Dutch Minister of Defence)


13.30 - 17.00

Introductions to International Negotiation & Diplomacy

Dr. P.W. Meerts (International Negotiation Analyst, Clingendael Institute & College of Europe)


Tuesday 6th of July


10.00 - 12.00


Prof. G.A. Sluga (Professor of International History and Capitalism at the European University Institute, in Italy, where she is Director of the European Research Council Project ECOINT and Joint Chair of the Department of History and Civilisation and the Robert Schumann Centre for Advanced Studies. She is on secondment from her post as Professor of International History at the University of Sydney)


14.00 - 16.00

Grand Strategy

Prof. Simon Anholt (Independent policy advisor to Heads of State, Hon. Professor UEA)


Wednesday 7th of July


10.00 - 12.00 & 13.00 - 15.00

Power & Strategies in International Diplomacy & Negotiations

H.B. van den Berg, MSc. (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Department of Public Administration & Sociology, President of The Young Diplomat)


16.00 - 17.30

Speed-dating with NGO’s

Speed-dating event digitally with several NGO’s to be announced.


Thursday 8th of July


10.00 - 11.30


Tim Butcher (English author, broadcaster and journalist. He is the author of Blood River, Chasing the Devil and The Trigger, travel books blending contemporary adventure with history)


13.00 - 17.00

(times may differ per workshops, definite times will be communicated by trainer)

Workshops by POINT (Process On International Negotiation Training). Each participant can pick 1.


Ida Manton - European integration as a possibility for tempering the Balkan nationalisms? - Interactive Zoom Workshop


Sami Faltas - Negotiating between cultures - Interactive Zoom Workshop


Dr. Tariel Sikharulidze - Introductions to Mediation - Interactive Zoom Workshop


Drs. Rob Boudewijn (Training director at www.europa-instituut.nl) - Scenario-analysis: qua vadis Europe? About the institutional and geographical future of the EU - Interactive Zoom Workshop


Dr. Mark Young (President of Rational Games, Inc.)  - Negotiating Playfully - Interactive Zoom Workshop


Friday 9th of July


10.00 - 11.30

Developing the Rule of Law

W. van Nieuwkerk (director of the Center for International Legal Cooperation (CILC))


13.00 - 17.00

(times may differ per workshops, definite times will be communicated by trainer)

Workshops by POINT (Process On International Negotiation Training). Each participant can pick 1.


Joana Matos - Managing Difficult Conversations - Interactive Zoom Workshop


Frans Schram (Negotiation and Mediation trainer, POINT) - Title of workshop to be announced - Interactive Zoom Workshop


Lena Salamé (Lawyer, conflict management and mediation specialist; Trustee, Water Witness International) - “Water Message Game” an interactive role play - Interactive Zoom Workshop


Dragos-Cristian Vasilescu (Lecturer and consultant on negotiations, management and innovation at the Technische Universität Wien; founder of vasilescu.pro Solutions) - Designing wise agreements: the path to long-term success - Interactive Zoom Workshop


Saturday 10th of July


The Young Diplomat Digital Cocktail & Surprise Party

Further details to be announced


Monday 12th of July


10.00 - 12.00

Is Nationalism at odds with International Interests?

Prof. dr. A.W.M. Gerrits (Professor of International Studies and Global Politics, and Chair of the BA Urban Studies, at Leiden University)


13.00 - 15.00

Panel discussion with diplomatic with Max Valstar (Head South and Southeast Asia Division, Asia and Oceania Department at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and representatives of the Embassy of the United States of America and the Embassy of the Republic of Finland


Tuesday 13th of July


10.00 - 17.00

Digital Negotiation Simulation 


Wednesday 14th of July


10.00 - 15.00

Digital Negotiation Simulation


15.30 - 17.00

Evaluation and feedback on performance and experiences within the Digital Negotiation Simulation


17.00 - 17.30

Closing and Goodbye’s



This summer school gave the perfect balance between theoretical learning and practise. It is both challenging and fun, in this way it keeps the focus on the most important aspect which is learning. If I could, I would attend every summer.

This summer school really brought me forward in my academic and professional career. The lectures and the simulation games did not only give me skills I need for that, but especially the motivation to pursue my dream of becoming a diplomat! If you are looking for insights from people of the diplomatic field, for better negotiations skills and for incredible inspiring participants from all over the world - I can only recommend The Young Diplomat Summer School!

I could feel the love for the discipline of diplomacy through my screen. Even though we couldn't see each other in real life in The Hague, the Young Diplomat team did  manage to give a good insight into and lessons from the world of diplomacy by sharing knowledge, skills and anecdotes from real-life by involving both practitioners and professors from the field. In doing so, it has brought me closer to reaching my goal for which I am thankful.

A magnificent experience. I found that its strong point is the opportunity that gives you to prove what you have learned through workshops and simulations. An approach that goes beyond the mere theory.



Left with any burning questions? Feel free to contact us!

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