SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

Global Challenges: Science Diplomacy (Online Module)

Module Code:
15DISD233
Credits:
30
Year of study:
Any

This module explores the relatively new field of Science Diplomacy. Although the term science diplomacy may seem new, science has played an influential role in society and international relations since the Age of Enlightenment. It is a topic particularly pertinent to the trans-border problems such as climate change that the world faces today.

The module investigates the role of science diplomacy within a three part typology that has become widely adopted within the research field. Firstly, Science in Diplomacy concerning informing foreign policy objectives with scientific advice. Secondly, Diplomacy for Science relating to facilitating international science cooperation with diplomatic means. Thirdly, Science for Diplomacy which draws on the soft power of science cooperation to improve broader international relations between states. Each of these areas of SD is explored through in-depth case studies, including climate change, the Arctic, research at CERN, and space exploration

In addition, the module focuses on a study of the key traditional building blocks of science diplomacy – public diplomacy, soft power, and globalisation – to enable students to gain an in depth understanding of where science diplomacy fits within the larger international affairs arena. 

Students additionally gain an understanding of both the state led and non-state actor led practice of science relations and the key actors engaged in this field. Various national approaches to science diplomacy and important international organisation in the field are explored.

Overall, the module builds knowledge and skills to equip students on the road to become science diplomacy practitioners.

All modules are subject to availability and are subject to change from session to session.

Suggested reading

  • Turekian, V.C., et al, 2005, The Emergence of Science Diplomacy. Chapter 1 in Davis, L. S., and Patman, R. G. [eds] Science Diplomacy; New Day or False Dawn. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, pp. 3-24.

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