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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 the summer school of 2021 speakers like Glenda Sluga, Tim Butcher, and André Gerrits alongside Simon Anholt provided 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 provided training and insights into international negotiation and diplomacy. Students were challenged in a two-day simulation at the end of the course to put their newly acquired skills and knowledge to the test.


I am thankful to join from Africa and exchange different perspectives on negotiation and diplomacy along with young professionals across the world. The Summer School was inclusive and enlightening. Although my academic and cultural background, I was able to adapte and feed my curiousity on diplomacy versus nationalism. To be honest, everything was beyond my expectation and I recommed it to discover the uniquess of the program, the team behind the great work, and the quality of the sessions.

Rachida El Rhdioui

This Summer School truly lived up to its principle that the world can advance when knowledge is shared. The program encompasses both theory and practice promoting the art of making them work together. In a informative but nonetheless personal atmosphere, you get the great chance to interact with outstanding personalities in the field of diplomacy and to make friends with people from all over the world. It is an exceptional opportunity to discuss current issues that the world is facing and possibly finding ways to solve them. Take it!

Elisabeth H. Knetsch

Do you aspire to a career in international relations? Then, the Young Diplomat summer school is definitely the ideal place to improve your diplomacy and international negotiation skills. You will have the opportunity to attend high-quality lectures and workshops by top experts and professors who will give you the tools you need to be a successful player in diplomacy. To show you what the life of a diplomat is like, the Young Diplomat organises a panel discussion with field diplomats who are ready to answer all your questions, however personal they may be. In addition, you will have the opportunity to network with aspiring, multicultural, motivated and young diplomats - just like you. I am sincerely grateful for the unique and invaluable experience gained during the time at the Young Diplomat summer school.

Aisosa Erhahon

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 - 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 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 Stability?

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

Summer School of 2021 (APPLY NOW): Over ons
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