International crisis management course – FPRI

Course Partners

Dan Whitman, PhD, Foreign Service Officer (retired)

In collaboration with

Foreign Policy Research Institute, Philadelphia (FPRI)

Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), George Washington University

Jack Zetkulic, United States Foreign Service Officer (retired)

The Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) and its partners are delighted to announce the upcoming International Crisis Management Certificate Course for Ukrainian University Students.


A committee of partner organizations will select 35 students, who will be candidates for certificates of participation.* The course is free and will take place online via Zoom. Others are encouraged to follow the sessions as listeners/observers. Registered students will attend sessions, take notes, maintain weekly readings, and submit 5-6 short reflection papers, an after-action report, and a short final project. Estimated preparation time of 4 to 6 hours per week outside of class. The course requires 8 hours of work per week, for 10 weeks.

To apply, please submit the following to [email protected] by August 19, 2022.

  • A brief statement of interest that includes the university of enrollment and level of English proficiency (500 characters maximum)
  • Resume/resume

*Please note that the ideal candidate is enrolled in a Ukrainian university and has a fluency in English.

Course description: Not all human and natural disasters provide a “resolution”. Effective planning requires a clear description of the challenge and a stated vision of the desired outcome, sometimes referred to as an “end point” or “end state.” In the event of a conflict, planners must understand the motivations of the opposing force, even when it commits criminal acts.

The course engages students in simulated workgroup operations, drawing on real-life situations suitable for the classroom. Scenarios will put the student in a position to analyze and deal with crisis situations within working groups. Active participation in class is essential.

We will follow the “American model” of active participation and experiential learning. While instructors will sometimes give “lectures”, the community benefit will be greatest with the active participation of students.

Course objectives:

  • Understand the nature and recent history of international politics and conflict.
  • Gain insight into the theory and practice of foreign policy formulation and implementation.
  • Develop the analytical skills needed to assess key global and regional foreign policy challenges.
  • Practice international legal advocacy in the peaceful settlement of disputes.
  • Conduct simulations drawn from recent crisis management approaches by the US, UN and other policy makers.

Program: Sessions will take place on Mondays and Thursdays at 5:00 p.m. Ukrainian time (1000 Washington), for 75 minutes. Alternate sessions will include lecture/discussion sessions, usually on Mondays; and selected speakers, usually on Thursdays.

Course steps:

  1. Conflict/strategy – Definition and examination of each. From the origins – Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, Tolstoy – to the great strategies of the Cold War (George F. Kennan and “The Long Telegram”) – to the present day (Sir Lawrence Freedman).
  2. Simulation – A real-time role-playing game requiring quick research in a simulated crisis. Courtesy of the National Museum of American Diplomacy of the United States Department of State.
  3. Public diplomacy – discussion of the history and objectives of the “PD” and demonstration of the public information strategy. “Hard, soft, smart power” (Joseph Nye).
  4. Disinformation – follow the history and technique of disinformation, with the technologies available to counter it.
  5. Principles of international law – which will be led by professors from Jaroslav Mudryj University, Kharkiv.
  6. Management of an Embassy – a brief history of diplomacy, protocol, intra-organizational communication, management. ICS (State Department Integrated Country Strategies for US Embassies Abroad) process.

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