An intensive two-day workshop, 19 and 20 April, in mediation, negotiation and diplomacy, with training in methodology and a practical focus on generating ideas and action proposals for preventing, de-escalating and mitigating tensions between the Western World and China.
Training: Participants learn about evidence-based conflict mediation and negotiation tools. They apply them in several exercises and develop related skills.
Ideation: Participants use these tools to generate practical ideas and action proposals to address existing tensions between the so-called Western World and China. How could these tensions be reduced and managed and further escalation be avoided? How can we ensure diplomatic stability, open communication, and productive cooperation on key global issues, such as climate change or mutually agreed on principles, while managing differences productively? How can we ensure transparency, predictability and reciprocity in the relations between the West and China, productive cooperation on issues where interests align and a fairer and more disciplined competition on issues where they do not?
In this context the participants are invited to look at possible actions by civil society, politicians, businesses, and government institutions.
Agenda and “products”
Day 1: Participants gain an overview of the practice — and theory — of peace and conflict mediation and negotiation. Several roleplays help them fine-tune key techniques for reaching agreements that work in the real world. Participants explore, for instance, best practices for mediation on the international, national and grassroots level (tracks I, II and III).
Day 2: Participants team up and develop innovative “products” aimed at de-escalating and mitigating current tensions in the West-China relationship and preventing a further deterioration. These products may, just to provide some examples, comprise:
● Design of a negotiation or dialogue process: Proposals outlining the goals and procedures for multi-step and multi-party processes
● A mapping of positions, interests and needs of both sides for a particular contentious issue or a policy area where greater cooperation could be possible
● Mediation and negotiation briefings, which explore for example the tangible and intangible interests of countries involved and negotiation checklists for addressing them
● Concepts for dialogue events, which could bring citizens, civil society representatives and government employees from China and the Western World together and foster mutual understanding and dialogue
● Plans for social media campaigns that encourage a public discourse about “common ground” and shared goals.
The participants may later offer their products free of charge to members of parliament, think tanks, foundations, media organisations, or UN agencies. Such dissemination of products may happen at the decision of each workgroup and in their own name.
The role of the two trainers on Day 2 consists in helping participants refine their own ideas and connect them to the mediation and negotiation concepts explored on Day 1.
Who can apply?
Students, academics, and practitioners. Besides students, in particular professionals from the following areas are encouraged to apply: government, civil society, the business world, faith-based organisations, NGOs, and the media.
Fees and workshop hours: A subsidy from the Oxford Peace Research Trust allows the fee to be just £50 for students, £100 for academic staff, and £300 for practitioners £300 with the voluntary option to help subsidise the student fee by paying an additional £100.
The fee includes teas, coffees, and a sandwich lunch, but please note that accommodation is not included. The course organisers are not able to help participants to find accommodation, which is expensive in Oxford and needs to be booked well in advance (there is a reasonably priced EasyHotel on the Banbury Road, a bus route to St John’s). The workshop will run from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm each day, possibly with an additional evening activity.
To apply please send a brief statement (up to 200 words) saying why you would like to participate, and a brief CV (including your current course if you are a student) any dietary needs, and contact details (email, phone, and postal address) to the Assistant Organiser, Mallory Matheson, at: firstname.lastname@example.org Please apply as soon as possible. We will reply as quickly as possible.
Trainers: Martin Albani is the Head of the Peace Mediation and Dialogue Sector in the Foreign Service of the European Union (European External Action Service). He has more than 15 years experience in foreign affairs, crisis response and peacebuilding. In addition to his diplomatic career he regularly teaches and holds workshops on international relations and peacebuilding for universities and international organisations.
Dr Valentin Ade teaches negotiation at the University of St. Gallen, for the UN, and for a wide range of businesses, government organisations, and civil society actors. He is founder of The Negotiation Studio (www.negotiationstudio.com).
OxPeace (Oxford Network of Peace Studies)
Dr Liz Carmichael MBE, St John’s College, Oxford;
Dr Harry Bregazzi, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford
Assistant Training Workshop Organiser: Mallory Matheson, St Antony’s College, Oxford: