Immerse yourself in the wonderous world of international relations, diplomacy, and mediation and explore their manifold connections to water. Partake in an international mediation role-play and get initiated to how international negotiations and cooperation over the transboundary distribution of water resources can work!
This seminar is intended for students curious about current international affairs who would be interested in better discovering what international cooperation is and how it works. It will seek to help you foster your creative thinking about pressing global problems and to equip you with the basic analytic tools, language expertise, and cross-cultural understanding that will guide you in this process.
A particular focus will be given to the exploration of negotiation and mediation practices, where special attention will be paid to the central theme of hydro-politics or, as some prefer to call it, “water and peace”. Together, we will explore water-related diplomatic exchanges: their particularities and key initiatives (among which the “water diplomacy framework”, the “blue peace” or the international and transboundary cooperation for the management of water resources), and we will delve into how the supply of water has been identified with the potential to influence geopolitics, diplomacy and even conflict. Because water can be many things, as said.
Mixing theory and practice, this seminar will not only be calling upon the expertise of scientists and practitioners, whether they are historians, researchers, or mandated negotiators in the field of international cooperation, but it will also be encouraging participants to “learn by doing” with the help of an international negotiation role-playing game on mediating water-related conflicts specially developed by the Harvard Law School. The city of Geneva will be the ideal setting for this exploration. With a long tradition of hosting international and non-governmental organizations, academic actors, and civil society working together to find solutions to the global challenges of our societies, it is known, not without reason, as the “International Geneva”. What better way to take international relations and the role that water-related issues can play in it up than in one of the largest centers of multilateral diplomacy?
Coordination: Marta Zaragoza, Swiss Study Foundation Beneficiary, Stefano Aloise, Swiss Study Foundation Scientific collaborator
Administration: Michelle Hug, Swiss Study Foundation
Working language: English
NB: the seminar will be postponed if the sanitary situation prevents it from being held.
Only a short preparation will be required from the participants of this seminar, equivalent to the reading of a small file with factual explanations of the role play in which they will partake. Optional readings will also be provided in advance for students wishing to get better acquainted (or further explore afterwards) some of the topics that will be introduced during the seminar.
Remarks: Occasion with certificate obligation. No prerequisites are required to participate in this seminar, only an interest in international affairs.