Negotiation module with online simulation game designed for an online Master at FU Berlin

Online, offline, theoretical and practical

Blended learning at its best! International negotiations are highly complex – with a huge array of different actors, positions, interests and power relationships. This extensive module combines theory and practice of international negotiations and enables students who are completing a Masters degree in International Relations while in employment to get an understanding of this complexity. An online simulation game is part of the module, as are two on-site phases featuring face-to-face exercises and discussions.

How do I negotiate well? Which actors and structures are relevant for the analysis of international negotiation processes? How could the classic theories on international relations contribute? How do I chair negotiations, and how do multilateral negotiations differ from bilateral negotiations?

Our module on theory and practice of international negotiations has been an integral part of the international Relations Online Masters programme at Freie Universität Berlin (FU). Participants from all over the world gain 8 ECTS credits in 12 extensive learning units as well as in two on-site phases that are dedicated to practical exercises.
For the last two academic years the online simulation game has been the highlight of the module: students take part in the so-called sherpa negotiations on our own online platform, i.e. they conduct negotiations in which large-scale international negotiations at an international UN climate summit are prepared (a first impression you may get visiting our demo version). The actual summit then takes place as a “regular” simulation game during the on-site phase of the module. But the computers remain switched on for this phase, with the online platform aiding the negotiations, be it for delegation-internal votes or for informal talks behind closed virtual doors.

Facts + Figures

Target group

International students of the Masters in International Relations Online at Freie Universität Berlin (FU)

  • Theoretical basics on international relations
  • Training of negotiation skills
  • Understanding interrelations in international climate politics

Center for Global Politics, Freie Universität Berlin


3 months, with 2 days on-site in Berlin

Number of participants



Berlin and global





  • The module on international negotiations within the International Relations Online Master Programme at Freie Universität Berlin successfully combines the most relevant theory of international negotiations with its practical application on a simulation game. This allows students to reflect on the theory while enhancing their negotiation skills on a very well structured and stimulating module. The excellent work done by Björn Warkalla and Simon Raiser reflects both their professional demeanour and masterful delivery of the material.

    Pedro Fernandez, Instructor at NATO School, Germany

  • I remember the module on negotiation as one of the most memorable and inspiring of my online studies at the Center for Global Politics at Freie Universität Berlin. While presenting students with current international cases of negotiation, our tutors always included the necessary academic background to help pull the pieces together. I can recommend planpolitik to anyone who would like a hands-on insight into international negotiation.

    Catrin Stibbe, German General Consulate, Toronto

  • Thank you both for an incredibly informative and useful module! I've learned an enormous amount about negotiations and have a wealth of material that will serve me well in writing my thesis next year. This module has given me a much deeper understanding of the negotiating process and another framework which to analyze ongoing international conflicts.

    Participant, Class of 2017

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