GEO 51806– period 4
Organized and developed by Cunning Fox Consultancy, The Cultural Geography Group (GEO), and The Strategic Communication Group (COM)
This course engages students with theories on cultural geography, interpersonal relations and strategic communication in the context of geopolitics. It addresses geopolitics, its manifestations and the dynamics of negotiation processes and the verbal and non-verbal ways to influence, persuade or even manipulate other people. Students will discuss and experience the importance of different aspects like trust, framing, persuasion, and power-relations. These aspects play a pivotal role in negotiation and decision-making processes and are studied in a wide variety of disciplines such as policy making, geography, planning, communication, and international development. The course combines theoretical and experimental learning. Learning processes are enhanced through serious gaming and conscious reflections upon theory and practice. During the course knowledge about theories, concepts and different methods for observation, analysis and reflection will be provided through (guest)lectures and reading materials. Serious gaming will be used to link theoretical reflections and observation skills with practicing persuasive and negotiation skills. Playing the game Diplomacy will allow students to engage with students with the real practices of geopolitics and strategic communication. As the developer of the game stated, ‘‘The notion that a player may tell all the lies he wants and cross people as he pleases etc., make some people almost euphoric and causes others to “shake like a leaf”, as one new player put it, came up almost incidentally, because it was the most realistic in international affairs and also far and away the most workable approach’’ (Calhamer, 1993).