Accueil > Us diplomacy in an age of engagement: case studies and practical exercises

KINT 7520 - US Diplomacy in an Age of Engagement: Case Studies and Practical Exercises

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

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Course Description

Objective of the course: The objective is to reflect on the context for American diplomacy, examine the tools available for U.S. diplomats in pursuit of U.S. foreign policy goals, the requirements for successful policy implementation, and, finally, to build practical communication skills This seminar will be taught by a retired U.S. State Department Foreign Service Officer, most recently the Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. Students will explore contemporary U.S. diplomacy via the concept of engagement, while honing essential written and oral communication skills. Modern diplomacy is conducted in a world of rapidly evolving global challenges: the spread of weapons of mass destruction; new and more malignant forms of terrorism; regional and sectarian conflicts; failed and failing states; global economic dislocation; and transnational health, energy and environmental concerns. Rarely can these issues be addressed unilaterally. In addition, diplomacy has moved beyond state-to-state relations to include non-state actors, including private sector entities, international organizations and NGOs, criminal cartels, militant groups, and local and international media. The Obama Administration came into office stating that achieving U.S. foreign policy objectives requires global engagement: a new era of relations, based on “mutual interests and mutual respect.” What do they mean by engagement, what place does it have in American diplomatic history, and how has this policy tool been used in American diplomacy? Using case studies from American diplomacy, we will study new global realities for conducting foreign policy and U.S. strategies of engagement with various state and non-state actors worldwide. Through class participation, simulations, and short written exercises, students will hone critical communication and outreach skills. Students will take turns summarizing the week's readings in short, focused briefings and will be expected to take part in and drive lively classroom discussions based on assigned readings and current events. Students will produce a few short written products during the course of the semester to help develop their practitioner skills:


BREEDEN, Philip (Minister Counselor for Public Affairs (Press and Culture))

Pedagogical format

Lecture, student presentations, simulations, case studies

Course validation

Assessment & grading: Students will produce a few short written products during the course of the semester to help develop their practitioner skills: 1) 1-2 page op-ed or a speech for the President of the United States (or your country's president) on a current event; 2) 2 simulations are an important part of class, and policy memos, which tend to be 2-3 pages in length, will be written at the conclusion of the simulations. 3) 4-6 page cable written from the perspective of the Chief of Mission in an Embassy abroad, who is identifying for senior officials in the capital the issue, opportunities, or challenges for engagement, and a recommended course of action that could be used to further that country's foreign policy objectives. In keeping with SciencesPo's strict anti-plagiarism policies, all papers must be submitted through the Urkund system. Please submit hard copies to the instructor as well. - 35% Class Contributions and Simulation - 15% OpEd/speech - 15% action memo - 35% cable


Approximately 50 pages of reading from books and articles will be assigned weekly. Students are expected to keep up with the reading and be prepared to discuss and debate the articles in class. Students will take turns presenting the readings in class.

Required reading

  • Crocker, Chester. “Terms of Engagement” Op-Ed, New York Times, September 14, 2009.
  • Diplomacy in the 21st Century Context : Executive Summary (pages i-xiv) in “Global Trends 2030: A Transformed World,” National Intelligence Council, December 2012;
  • The U.S. Role in the 21st Century: Kiesling, John Brady. Diplomacy Lessons: Realism for an Unloved Superpower, 2006. Chapter 3 - The Sources of U.S. Legitimacy (pp. 47-65).
  • U.S. Foreign Policy Objectives : 2015 U.S. National Security Strategy, White House, Introduction, pp. 1-5.
  • Next will be announced

Plans de cours et bibliographies