Executive training   Executive MPA  

Conflict prevention and crisis management

24-26 April 2023 | Executive Seminar

This seminar deals with multilateral diplomatic efforts to end conflicts in Wider Europe since the end of the Cold War. The first sessions will look at international responses to the outbreak of violent conflict in former Yugoslavia, with a particular focus on the efforts that led to the Dayton Peace Accords for Bosnia in 1995, as well as the NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999 and the subsequent negotiations on the status of Kosovo. Thereafter, we will deal with the management of more recent conflicts, including the ongoing war in and over Ukraine, and security challenges in the Middle East, including Iran and Syria. The seminar sheds light on the factors that shape international negotiations and analyses various dip-lomatic strategies to enable the peaceful (or, if necessary, forceful) ending of violent conflicts. Based on in-depth case studies, participants will learn how negotiators can deal with difficult counterparts, change the incentive structures of the actors involved, or devise face-saving measures that can pave the way for the first requirement of sustainable peace: a peace agreement.

Main topics and learning objectives

This seminar is essentially about understanding why conflicts between countries occur, why they turn violent and how to stop them.

After this course, you should have gotten a good understanding of:

  • How diplomacy works in practice
  • The limits of diplomacy
  • The role of military force in international relations
  • The most important actors in international relations today
  • Why it is more difficult to prevent a crisis than to stop one

Teaching methods:

I will introduce Each session will be introduced with a short input to set the scene. Afterward, we discuss the topic at hand together. This is not simply a Q&A. On the contrary, I want you to challenge me and each other in an open discussion. Thus, the seminar depends on the active participation of the students. We will be able to make the most out of our seminar discussions on the selected cases if you develop a good understanding of the various actors and conflicts beforehand.

This seminar is offered as part of the Executive MPA programme and in the open enrolment programme.


  • Wolfgang Ischinger , Professor Emeritus of Security Policy and Diplomatic Practice | Founding Director, Centre for International Security