Introduction of Geopolitical Scenario Planning Summer School

The 2020 edition of my Geopolitical Scenario Planning Summer School has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please contact me for an update on the 2021 edition.

As the sub-title of this course at Maastricht Summer School suggests, the focus is on national security, territorial/maritime conflicts and foreign policy strategy. You can read more about the course content, course objectives and recommended literature below. This page also offers you the preliminary timetable that may be subject to change later.

Student reviews of Geopolitical Scenario Planning

“Leonhardt’s class was really thought provoking as he pushed us to think and share our ideas and thoughts on the topics under discussion. Attending his class will surely allow you to develop your ideas and self confidence thanks to his continuous encouragement.” – Ady from Indonesia

“Leonhardt is capable to build an interactive environment by including everyone in the discussion and making the right questions as raising the appropriate problems in order to support you, through a critical thinking and analysis, to get by yourself to your own conclusions.” – Ramona from Romania

“Leonhardt is a very committed teacher who encourages critical thinking, embraces interpersonal and cross-cultural diversity and stimulates deep discussions.” – Jakub from Poland

Quotes taken from LinkedIn recommendations

Description of Geopolitical Scenario Planning Summer School

The melting Arctic ice cap, the disputed South China Sea boundaries and the tense situation in Kashmir underline the importance of territorial and maritime conflicts in international relations. This Summer School helps you to better understand and manage the related geopolitical uncertainty.

The central question is how scenario planning can help you imagine plausible futures of territorial and maritime conflicts. Interactive lectures and workshops teach you to identify the geopolitical drivers of inter-state conflicts, and use these drivers to write geopolitical scenarios. This Summer School also enables you to assess the impact of your scenarios on the foreign policy strategy of the involved states.

To do this, you learn to analyze common notions of national security and national interests in these states. To apply your newly developed skills, you do a few assignments about an inter-state conflict of your choice. Step-by-step, you become more familiar with a basic, yet effective approach towards scenario planning, which has proven to be an excellent starting point to study more advanced approaches after the course.

Goals of Geopolitical Scenario Planning Summer School

  1. Designing an analytical framework to study the role of geopolitical factors in foreign policy;
  2. Writing scenarios for areas that are contested by multiple states and exploring plausible foreign policy responses by these states;
  3. Understanding how national security as a key national interest can be defined by states;
  4. Developing your critical thinking skills by productively combining knowledge, assumptions and questions;
  5. Boosting your employability by acquiring valuable skills required for positions in business, government and academia.

Timetable of Geopolitical Scenario Planning Summer School

The 2020 edition of this course has been cancelled due to COVID-19 Pandemic. Please contact me for an update on the 2021 edition; Timetable may be subject to change, pending sufficient applications; Session Types: (IL) Interactive Lecture; (RD) Roundtable Discussion; (SP) Student Presentations; (WS) Workshop

Day Start Time End Time Title Type
Monday 9:00 10:00 1. Introduction of Convenor, Participants and Program RD
10:00 11:00 2. Your Assignments IL
11:00 12:00 3. Geopolitics, Geostrategy and Geo-Economics IL
12:00 13:00 4. National Security, National Interest and Global Security IL
(Lunch Break)
14:00 15:00 5. Geopolitical Scenario Planning 1: Driving Forces IL
15:00 16:00 6. Driving Forces of Egyptian-Ethiopian Rivalry over Nile Water WS
Tuesday 9:00 11:00 7. Driving Forces of Geopolitical Conflicts SP
11:00 12:00 8. Geopolitical Scenario Planning 2: Foreign Policy Strategy IL
12:00 13:00 9. Foreign Policy Strategy of Egypt and Ethiopia WS
Wednesday 9:00 11:00 10. Foreign Policy Strategy of Countries Involved in Geopolitical Conflicts SP
11:00 12:00 11. Geopolitical Scenario Planning 3: Writing Scenarios IL
12:00 13:00 12. Scenarios for Egyptian-Ethiopian Rivalry over Nile Water WS
Thursday (Working on Your Assignment)
Friday 9:00 12:00 13. Scenarios for Geopolitical Conflicts SP
12:00 13:00 14. Key Takeaways and Future Plans RD

Suggested literature for Geopolitical Scenario Planning Summer School

Dr Leonhardt van Efferink has based this course on publications in various languages (see overview below for some examples). You are not required to do pre-course reading. However, if you would like to do so, you are advised to select one of the publications below. You can also contact Leonhardt for tailor-made reading advice.

  1. Baldwin, D. (1997) The Concept of Security. Review of International Studies. Vol. 23, pp. 5-26.
  2. Beasley, R.K., Kaarbo, J., Lantis, J.S. and Snarr, M.T. (2013) Foreign Policy in Comparative Perspective. Domestic and international Influences on State Behaviour.
  3. Cattaruzza, A. and Sintès, P. (2016) Géopolitique des Conflits.
  4. Gourdin, P. (2010) Géopolitiques. Manuel Pratique.
  5. Jarvis, K. and Holland, J. (2015) Security. A Critical Introduction.
  6. Kelly, E. (2006) Powerful Times. Rising to the Challenge of Our Uncertain World.
  7. Lindgren, M. and Bandhold, H. (2009, 2nd ed.) Scenario Planning. The Link between Future and Strategy.
  8. Morin. F. and J. Paquin (2018) Foreign Policy Analysis: A Toolbox.
  9. Nye, J. S. Jr. and Welch, D.A. (2016, 10th ed.) Understanding Global Conflict and Cooperation. An Introduction to Theory and History.
  10. Schwartz, P. (1996) The Art of the Long View – Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World.

Keywords for Geopolitical Scenario Planning Summer School

Geopolitics ▪ National Security ▪ National Interest ▪ Global Security ▪ Territorial Conflicts ▪ Maritime Conflicts ▪ Boundary Conflicts ▪ Geopolitical Conflicts ▪ Foreign Policy Strategy ▪ Foreign Policy Analysis ▪ Scenario Planning ▪ Scenario Writing ▪ Analytical Skills ▪ Critical Thinking ▪ Employability

In-House Skills Training Session about Geopolitical Scenario Planning (National Security, Territorial/Maritime Conflicts and Foreign Policy Strategy)

Would you like to know how I can turn this Geopolitical Scenario Planning Summer School to an in-house skills training session that is tailor made for your organization? Then contact me to explore your options.

Geopolitical Scenario Planning Summer School (National Security, Territorial/Maritime Conflicts and Foreign Policy Strategy)

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