This research project’s unique combination of theory and practice allowed the development of a Masters-level course on ‘Strategic Diplomacy in the 21st Century: Rethinking Strategy and Statecraft’. This course is relevant to advanced graduate students who want to engage in out-of-the-box thinking on how to usefully disaggregate the extremely complex policy problems the early 21st century faces, and how to develop strategies to address those problems.
The two project leaders taught two iterations of the course (in 2015 and 2016), receiving important feedback and support from many students who are now working in government agencies. Prantl delivered the third iteration of this course in July 2020, taking into account significant developments since 2019 such as the climate crisis, Australia's disastrous bushfire season, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The fourth iteration was successfully completed in November 2021; the fifth iteration is slated for August 2022.
“The Strategic Diplomacy course was academically and professionally enriching. The way the course linked theoretical concepts to policy ideas through the lens of complex system analysis changed the way I thought about problems in international affairs. I’ve applied this knowledge time and time again whilst working for the Australian Government, particularly in thinking about Australia’s interests in Asia, where security, economic, environmental and other factors intersect.”
– Ms. Rohana Prince, Policy Officer, DFAT (class of 2015)
“As Australia steps up its support to the Asia-Pacific region, and ‘Strategic Diplomacy’ continues to enter the policy vernacular, this course should become a staple for future problem solvers seeking to work in government. With a focus on embracing complexity, this course forces you to re-frame how we think about emergent challenges we continue to engage with – especially in the national security space.”
– Mr. Greg Ley, Australian federal government official (class of 2015)