European ‘conflict’ requires Stirling students’ negotiation skills

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Rising tensions between neighbouring nations will be the focus of a NATO simulation exercise involving University of Stirling students.

The Rt Hon the Lord Robertson of Port Ellen – former Secretary General of NATO – will launch the two-day, real-time event at the University today. The exercise, based on the theme of increasing tension between Russia and Ukraine, is part of Stirling’s MSc International Conflict and Cooperation – and Doctorate of Diplomacy – programmes.

Dr Megan Dee, Lecturer in International Politics, said: “This simulation, which is a centre-piece of the ‘international negotiation’ module, provides real, practical experience of international negotiation. It enables our students to not just apply their knowledge, but hone their skills in diplomacy and decision-making as well.”

Dr Megan Dee

Dr Megan Dee, Lecturer in International Politics

The exercise will see 21 postgraduate students form teams to represent the UK, USA, France, Germany, Canada, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Poland and Czech Republic during a simulated crisis event.

Students, who have been given a strategic assessment briefing ahead of the simulation, will be addressed – in their capacity as negotiation delegates – by Lord Robertson.

Dr Dee said: “While the simulation is, of course, fictional – based at a time when Ukraine has been accepted as a NATO member state – the context of the simulation nevertheless resonates strongly with the current geopolitical climate surrounding the North Atlantic region and its eastern neighbourhood.


“Our students will, therefore, get to experience international negotiation at its most fraught, while witnessing first-hand the very real challenges of international cooperation and conflict.”

Students on the Masters course consider the dynamics of international conflict and cooperation in light of major events such as the end of the Cold War, the 9/11 terror attacks and the Arab Spring. It explores conflict resolution, the role of international organisations, and the development and regulation of conflict in relation to factors such as natural resources and migration.

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