Negotiation: Theory and Practice - POLI6004

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


Negotiations are essential in building and sustaining international cooperation and peace. This module will explore the linkages between negotiation theory and the practice of conflict resolution across a wide range of settings. The module involves a series of simulations each representing a unique case of negotiation, mediation and/or interactive problem-solving. These are drawn from leading negotiation programs or developed at the University of Kent inspired by global politics (e.g. the war in Ukraine) or popular movies (e.g. Bridge of Spies, Erin Brockovich). Students are introduced to techniques in teaching negotiations through open access resources and no prior knowledge of negotiation theory is necessary. Topics include the theory and practice of negotiations, conflict de-escalation and international peace mediations while specific emphasis will be given to developing essential skills in understanding the sources and resolving conflict non-violently. Students are exposed to the challenges of high-level mediation and develop their own practical skills and learning mindset in mediation and negotiation. The module will apply negotiation theory in the study of wide range of issues e.g. territorial disputes, gender and mediations, demographic and environmental conflict, property rights, institutional design and transitional justice. We will engage with the core literature in negotiation theory and employ interactive simulations aiming to improve our negotiation skills (e.g. identifying best alternatives, revealing or not preferences, building trust, exercising leverage and veto rights, mediating win-win arrangements). Finally, the module will provide key learning resources aiming at understanding the root causes of conflict; creating a constructive, vigorous, and participatory process to successfully foster inclusive dialogue; promoting democratic values and a culture of peace; and strengthening and expanding capacity building opportunities in mediation and other peace-based mechanisms.


Contact hours

Private Study: 128
Contact Hours: 22
Total: 150


Optional to the following courses:

• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations (Bidiplôme)
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Placement Year
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Foundation Year
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Year in Continental Europe or North America
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Language
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Year in Asia-Pacific
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with Quantitative Research
• BA (Hons) Economics and Politics
• BA (Hons) History and Politics
• BA (Hons) Philosophy and Politics
• BA (Hons) Sociology and Politics
• LLB (Hons) Law and Politics

Also available as an elective module and to short term credit students

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Reflective Report (1500 words) 30%
Research Paper (2500 words) 70%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Identify the key theoretical concepts and practices of negotiations and international mediations
2 Develop strong knowledge and understanding of negotiation theory, concepts and relevant cases
3 Acquire and apply mediation and negotiation skills to a variety of real life and political situations.
4 Adapt to the challenges and opportunities of negotiating online (e.g. via teams) and at the cyberspace as well as face to face.
5 Critically evaluate interactive simulations that provide a comprehensive understanding of major negotiation and mediation settings
6 Identify and assess the conditions under which international negotiations succeed or fail (e.g. in securing international cooperation and sustainable peace).


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.