January 21, 2016—The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has launched Model Diplomacy, a National Security Council simulation that engages college and high school students to understand the challenges of shaping and implementing foreign policy. Students learn through a combination of independent research using multimedia resources and direct interaction with their teachers and peers.
With an initial offering of ten case studies based on real-world issues and content informed by CFR experts, Model Diplomacy is the most comprehensive and authoritative simulation program available.
The scenarios are focused on topics ranging from climate change and international economic policy to drone strikes and humanitarian intervention. These cases offer a balance of policy relevance, geographical focus, and evergreen educational value.
Each Model Diplomacy case features extensive teaching notes, course guides, assessment exercises, supplemental research materials, videos, timelines, and maps. The teacher-led simulation can be tailored to accommodate individual classroom and student educational level and experience.
“Today’s students need to be globally literate in order to navigate our interconnected and complex world,” says CFR President Richard N. Haass. “Model Diplomacy is the first of several new educational offerings from our CFR Campus initiative, which will include online courses and additional resources for students, teachers, and lifelong learners.”
Model Diplomacy has been designed to teach all students—no matter their area of concentration—not just the basic concepts of international relations, but also critical thinking and reading, effective verbal and written communication, collaboration, and problem solving fundamental to a liberal arts education. Through participation in Model Diplomacy, students will also understand the institutions and processes through which U.S. foreign policy is made.
The simulation is already being implemented this semester in colleges across the country, including Middlebury College, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Clark Atlanta University, Arizona State University, Kapi’olani Community College, and Texas A&M University, as well as at a number of high schools.
“Having used CFR’s Model Diplomacy in seminars and working groups, I highly recommend this educational program to all teachers and students of international affairs,” says Nancy Walbridge Collins, research director at Columbia University. “CFR case studies are accessible and appealing, grounded in the realities and nuances of contemporary events, and fully vetted by the world’s top experts.”
The following initial ten cases will be updated regularly and up to six additional cases will be introduced each year:
- Collapse in Venezuela
- Dispute in the East China Sea
- Drones in Pakistan
- Economic Crisis in Europe
- Global Climate Change Policy
- Humanitarian Intervention in South Sudan
- Interrogation Policy
- Israeli-Palestinian Impasse
- Russia and NATO in the Baltics
- Unrest in Bahrain