Download the full list of case summaries here.
353. Circumventing the Foreign Policy Bureaucracy: Henry Kissinger, Anatoly Dobrynin, and Back-Channel Diplomacy
Moss, Richard A.
ISBN: 978-1-56927-019-6 | Published: 2021
This case study explores the back-channel relationship between Henry Kissinger, who served as Nixon’s national security advisor (and later secretary of state), and Anatoly Dobrynin, the Soviet Union’s ambassador to the United States from 1962 to 1986. During the Nixon administration (1969-1974), the Kissinger-Dobrynin channel became the primary forum for candid discussion of the major issues in superpower relations, often to the exclusion of the traditional diplomatic bureaucracy of the U.S. Department of State.
The case, which is derived from the author's book, Nixon’s Back Channel to Moscow: Confidential Diplomacy and Détente (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2017), combines a detailed historical account of the Nixon-era back-channel diplomacy with interactive teaching resources
352. Ireland's Election to the UN Human Rights Council: Power, Influence, Reputation
ISBN: 978-1-56927-040-0 | Published: 2021
Elections to UN bodies provide an important window into the work of the world’s largest and most important international organization. This case examines the role of a comparatively small state, Ireland, and its successful election to the UN Human Rights Council in November 2012.
The case begins with background on the role of elections at the United Nations, both for the Human Rights Council and the Security Council. While elections to the Security Council traditionally attract the most attention, the Human Rights Council is an increasingly important venue for electoral competition among member states, and a site of significant controversies. This increasing importance also highlights that the United Nations, despite its size and mammoth bureaucracy, is far from a static organization. Therefore, this case enables students to consider changes in the UN over time—as well as prospects for future reform—through the lens of UN election processes, mechanisms, and resources.
The case’s discussion of the resources required to succeed in UN elections provides a practitioner’s insight into the nuts and bolts of day-to-day campaigns for seats on UN bodies, and the ways in which diplomats’ choices are constrained by the resources made available to them by their capitals. In addition to the perennial question of UN Security Council reform, instructors may also wish to use this case study to explore questions of legitimacy and hypocrisy at the Human Rights Council, and criticisms that the Council provides a platform for a rogues’ gallery of human rights abusers to undermine the UN’s values.
351. The 2011 NATO Intervention in Libya
Heffern, John A.
ISBN: 978-1-56927-058-5 | Published: 2020
This case examines NATO’s decision to intervene in Libya in 2011. Drawing on the author’s experience as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission to NATO, the case assesses the decision-making processes in Washington, New York (the UN), and Brussels (NATO) that led the international community to launch a military operation in Libya under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. Through engagement with this case, students will develop an understanding of the opportunities and constraints of multilateral approaches to military intervention. The Libya crisis enables students to see the pros and cons of NATO-led operations and so-called coalitions of the willing in humanitarian intervention.
350. The Customer is Always Wrong: The Airbus A220 and U.S. Trade Law
ISBN: 978-1-56927-056-1 | Published: 2020
The case focuses on the events leading up to the January, 2018 ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) overturning anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) on imports of the CSeries commercial jet, produced by Bombardier, Inc., a Canadian company.
The decision—and the imposition of the initial duties by the U.S. DoC—fundamentally reshaped the global aerospace industry. It led the two largest manufacturers (Airbus and Boeing) to essentially take over significant portions of the third and fourth largest manufacturers (Bombardier of Canada and Embraer of Brazil, respectively).
349. Universal Jurisdiction and the Rwandan Genocide: Global Justice or Vigilante Politics?
ISBN: 978-1-56927-054-7 | Published: 2020
On June 8, 2001, a Belgian court found Alphonse Higaniro, Vincent Ntezimana, Sister Gertrude, and Sister Maria Kisito guilty of crimes committed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Although all of the accused lived in Belgium at the time of their arrest, none of the Butare Four (as they are commonly known) were Belgian citizens, none of the victims were Belgian citizens, and none of the crimes were committed on Belgian soil. The trial and prosecution of the Butare Four appears to be a case of pure universal jurisdiction; one of the few in human rights’ legal history. The unique nature of this trial and the subsequent political fallout makes this an interesting case for understanding what the future of international justice might look like, along with an examination of sovereignty and authority in the global community. This case explores questions of international law and politics in response to one of the most horrifying episodes of the 20th century.
348. Curbing Iran's Nuclear and Regional Ambitions: An ISD International Negotiation Simulation
Institute for the Study of Diplomacy
ISBN: 978-1-56927-050-9 | Published: 2020
This negotiation simulation is designed to help students understand the dynamics of international nuclear negotiations. Student copies provide background details on Iran’s nuclear program and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which students will use to negotiate at a hypothetical arms control conference. In this scenario, Iran has threatened to withdraw from the Non-proliferation Treaty. Student teams will represent the major players involved in the JCPOA, negotiating the possible avenues to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, as well as its ballistic missile program and support for proxy groups across the Middle East.
347. Resolving the Syria Conflict: An ISD International Negotiation Simulation
Institute for the Study of Diplomacy
ISBN: 978-1-56927-032-5 | Published: 2019
This negotiation simulation is designed to help students understand the dynamics of international peace talks. Student copies provide full background details of the conflict in Syria, which students will use to negotiate at a hypothetical peace conference. In this scenario, the civil war in Syria ends with President Assad still in power. Student teams will represent the major players involved in the conflict, negotiating the possible avenues for Syria’s future governance and leadership as well as the role the Kurds and other opposition groups can play in a peacetime country. The negotiation simulation is most suitable for groups of between 28 and 35 students divided into 7 teams. Instructor copies include schedules and other details to run the simulation exercise.
346. The Colombian Peace Process: An ISD International Negotiation Simulation
Institute for the Study of Diplomacy
ISBN: 978-1-56927-052-3 | Published: 2020
This negotiation simulation is designed to help students understand the dynamics of international peace talks. Student copies provide background details of the conflict in Colombia, which students will use to participate in several rounds of negotiations held in Havana. The simulation is designed to be split over two sessions, but could be divided into three or four shorter blocs. In this scenario, participants operate within the framework of the 2015 peace talks aimed at solving the decades-long conflict between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Student teams will represent the major players involved in the conflict, negotiating over issues including transitional justice and disarmament.
345. Whitewashing and Confronting Hungary’s Antisemitic Past: The Bálint Hóman Statue in Székesfehérvár
ISBN: 978-1-56927-030-1 | Published: 2019
In 2015 the Hungarian government announced it would fund a statue in the city of Székesfehérvár to honor Bálint Hóman, a pre-World War II historian and government minister. Hóman had a long history as an antisemite, and had co-authored legislation to undermine Jewish citizenship in Hungary. After World War II broke out, Hóman continued to serve in Parliament under the Nazi regime, and had been an advocate for the deportation of Hungarian Jews. This case study examines the controversy that ensued over the Hóman statue, the local and foreign reactions, and the US government decision to lead a coalition to oppose the statue project. The case will challenge students to consider the issue from various perspectives. Why did Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government feel it was necessary to honor such a controversial figure? Why was the Hungarian Jewish community so opposed to the statue—and what was the broader global reaction? And what was the US diplomatic response?
344. From Civil War to Civil War: The Struggle for Peace in Sudan and South Sudan
Lyman, Princeton N.
ISBN: 978-1-56927-028-8 | Published: 2018
Since independence in 1956, Sudan experienced two major civil wars, a genocidal conflict in Darfur, secession of the southern part of the country, and civil war in the newly independent South Sudan. This case study focuses on the tools and actions of diplomacy, and US and international efforts to resolve these conflicts. The author, Special Envoy Princeton N. Lyman, provides fascinating insights into the long and complex diplomacy in the case of Sudan, and the quiet but effective moves beyond the public eye to bring parties to the table. This case study also offers a rare look at the role of special envoys in the peace process, and details the areas where US and other international partners were able to push forward on agreements, with an assessment of what prevented the emergence of a stable and long-lasting peace in Sudan and South Sudan.
343. The 2014-2015 West Africa Ebola Outbreak: The Diplomacy of Response and Recovery in Guinea
ISBN: 978-1-56927-019-6| Published: 2018
The 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia killed more than 11,000 people, and offered a stark reminder that viruses do not recognize international borders. The global public health community and local health officials scrambled to respond quickly to help those infected with Ebola, and stop the spread of the disease. This case study looks at the global response in West Africa, as well as efforts to build laboratory capacity in Guinea. Students will examine the political factors and diplomacy governing global assistance in the context of the outbreak of a deadly disease and the transition from urgent response to longer-term capacity building and development needs. The case reviews how these factors, and the overall tragedy of Ebola in West Africa, offering lessons for the global response to public health emergencies.
342. Global Governance of Disease
ISBN: 978-1-56927-018-9 | Published: 2017
The movement of people, animals, and goods have facilitated the spread of disease throughout history, but the fast pace of globalization in the 21st century increases the danger of pandemics that transcend national borders. This case study traces the historical evolution of global disease governance structures from the first International Sanitary Conference in 1851 to the creation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the ratification of the International Health Regulations (IHR) in 2005, and examines the global health diplomacy behind the decisions to declare Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEIC) in response to outbreaks of H1N1, Polio, Ebola, and Zika. The case study then discusses the political and organizational challenges to creating an effective global response to recurring as well as new disease threats.
341. US Strategy to Stem North Korea’s Nuclear Program: Assessing the Clinton and Bush Legacies
Institute for the Study of Diplomacy
ISBN: 978-1-56927-015-8 | Published: 2017
North Korea’s nuclear program was a microcosm of the kind of complex security challenges the United States would confront in the 21st century. This case study examines the role of the US intelligence and foreign policy communities to reduce the global and regional security threats posed by nuclear proliferation in North Korea, by looking at the very different approaches adopted by the Clinton and Bush administrations. This case study focuses on the North Korean nuclear threat as a way to examine the dynamics of intelligence and policy. As the United States and Asia continue to grapple with the threat of a nuclear-armed North Korea, what are the next steps for US diplomacy? What lessons from this case study can inform future US administrations and policymakers toward their policy and negotiations with North Korea—or other states that may be embarking on a nuclear weapons program?
340. The Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-1998: Adapting US Intelligence and Policymaking to the Challenges of Global Economics
Institute for the Study of Diplomacy
ISBN: 978-1-56927-006-6 | Published: 2017
Does the United States—or any other government—have the tools to stop a looming global economic crisis? This case study investigates the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998 and the response of the US intelligence and policy community. The Asian financial crisis illustrates the vast range of US and international security challenges that stem from private sector activities operating largely outside of government control—in ways that adversely affect international markets and national economies. This case study offers an overview of the policy measures that successfully stemmed the crisis in Asia, and discusses whether these tools might prevent a similar currency-related meltdown.
339. Tunisia and the Start of the Arab Spring
ISBN: 978-1-56927-011-0 | Published: 2017
This case study, written by the US ambassador to Tunisia from 2009-2012, examines the roots of the Arab Spring, how and why it unfolded in Tunisia, and the US role as the Ben Ali government collapsed. It offers an overview of Tunisian history and society, including a close look at the two men who had led Tunisia after the country’s independence in 1956, and what their regimes had and had not achieved. The case study examines pivotal events leading up to the revolution of 2010-2011, underscoring the complexity and multiplicity of their causal factors, and offers a detailed look at the diplomacy behind the US support for the democratic transition. There is also a broader discussion of the Arab Spring as a revolutionary movement, and its longer-term impact on other Arab societies and on US interests in North Africa and the Middle East.
338. Women’s Participation in the Good Friday Agreement Negotiations: A Case Study on Northern Ireland
ISBN: 978-1-56927-013-4 | Published: 2017
The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 ended thirty years of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland. For decades, Catholic Nationalists had fought against Protestant Unionists in a bitter conflict known as Ireland’s “Troubles.” This case study examines the pivotal role women played in the negotiations to bring about peace.
Northern Ireland’s peace negotiations were notable for their inclusion of civil society actors in general, including an innovative electoral approach to broaden the voices at the table, and promote genuine inclusion. The case draws heavily from extensive interviews with many of the negotiating parties, including members of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition, which gained seats at the table through the electoral system’s ‘top-up’ provisions.
337. Intelligence: A Key Partner to Diplomacy
ISBN: 978-1-56927-009-7 | Published: 2017
This case study examines the nexus between intelligence gathering and the practice of diplomacy. Both are vital components of US foreign policy, yet the full range of US intelligence activities is often little understood. Intelligence officers are tasked with providing neutral input to help advise and inform US foreign policy, and help diplomats implement policy and advise the executive branch. Successful policy implementation often depends on the quality and quantity of intelligence available to diplomats. This study provides a conceptual background for understanding the intelligence-diplomacy relationship and introduces all the agencies and units active in the US intelligence effort. To illustrate the wide range of interactions between US diplomats and the intelligence community, Laipson includes four historical “mini-cases”:
- intelligence briefings during the breakdown of Yugoslavia in 1990
- intel during the 2012 attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya
- the role of intelligence in arms control and verification measures
- intelligence as a back channel in diplomacy
336. The US and Soviet Proxy War in Afghanistan, 1989-1992
Institute for the Study of Diplomacy
ISBN: 978-1-56927-004-2 | Published: 2017
This case study, drawn from an Institute for the Study of Diplomacy working group series on strategic surprise, focuses on events in Afghanistan during the late 1980s and early 1990s and the policy decisions and consequences of completely withdrawing from engagement in Afghanistan in 1992. The case looks at how policy decisions surrounding these events affected US national strategic objectives in the region at the time—and whether an earlier, and deeper, consideration of the possible implications of the rise of radical Islamic groups might have changed the way in which the United States provided assistance to the mujahideen during and after the Soviet occupation. A decade later, Afghanistan and the radical groups operating within the country would emerge as a major national security challenge for the United States.
335. Peacemaking in Southern Africa: The Namibia-Angola Settlement of 1988
Crocker, Chester A.
ISBN: 978-1-56927-002-8 | Published: 2017
Few conflicts in the waning years of the Cold War involved more players than Southern Africa. Namibia, which had been under de facto rule by South Africa since 1915, by the 1970s was caught up in an independence movement as well as a greater regional struggle and a Cold War power play. The United States, Soviet Union, Cuba, and South Africa all became involved in Angola’s civil war, which threatened to spill over into both Namibia and South Africa. Written by US lead negotiator Ambassador Chester A. Crocker, this case study details the eight-year negotiations to bring about peace in the region—and secure Namibia’s independence from South Africa. The case includes a practical discussion of the concepts of “linkage” and “ripeness”—which help explain how the US team was able to push the negotiations to conclusion in 1988.
334. Tourism Development: A Path to Peace in Sri Lanka?
ISBN: 978-1-56927-000-4 | Published: 2017
Could Sri Lanka’s tourism sector be a primary driver of economic development – and a way to bring about a lasting peace? This case study looks at the early decision to pursue tourism as a driver of development in the 1950s, and follows the history of Sri Lanka and its tourism industry through 2016.
In 2002, the government of Sri Lanka reached a breakthrough with the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) to bring the civil war, which had been going on for almost two decades, to a ceasefire. Bilateral and multilateral development agencies quickly looked to help the country rebuild, and developing the tourism sector was once again a primary economic development goal. The devastating tsunami and renewed fighting threatened these goals, however.
333. Crisis in Dominion: An Information and Intelligence Assessment
Auerswald, David P.
ISBN: 978-1-56927-023-3 | Published: 2015
This simulation is geared for a 60-to-90-minute seminar in courses on intelligence analysis, ethnic conflict, humanitarian interventions, or foreign policy decision-making. The case study asks participants to assess ambiguous and possibly contradictory information from a variety of raw and finished sources, and then explore what sorts of questions a consumer of information should ask of the intelligence community.
The fictional crisis unfolds in three informal stages in the fictional country of Dominion. The first describes negotiations to settle the civil war there. The second stage begins when the presidents of Dominion and a neighboring state are assassinated, sparking the re-emergence of a simmering ethnic conflict between the region's two main ethnic groups. The third charts the devolution of the country into renewed civil war, with questions as to which side is engaging in atrocities and which external actors might be supporting each side.
332. The Withdrawal from UNESCO: International Organizations and the U.S. Role
Rosenthal, Joel H.
ISBN: Unassigned | Published: 2011
In December 1983, U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz sent a letter to Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow, director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, notifying him of the United States' intention to leave UNESCO by the end of 1984 unless the organization adopted serious reforms. A year later, Sec. Shultz confirmed Washington's withdrawal, leaving it and London, which followed the American lead, outside an organization they had done so much to create nearly 40 years earlier. This case study analyzes how such a promising vision of the potential of multinational cooperation went sour, and assesses the roles ideology, domestic U.S. politics and policy disagreements within the Reagan administration played in the decision to withdraw.
331. State Narratives in Complex Media Environments: The Case of Ukraine
Walker, Vivian S.
ISBN: Unassigned | Published: 2015
This case study begins with an examination of the origins of the strategic narrative Russia has developed about its new, post-Cold War identity and how that narrative has shaped its propaganda offensive in Ukraine. Following a review of key elements in Russia’s information arsenal, it then assesses Kyiv's counter-narratives, focusing in particular on the East/West dynamic that both defines and complicates its identity as a sovereign state. The study then assesses Ukraine’s information initiatives and assets, before concluding with a set of recommendations for achieving effective strategic narrative development and projecting a complex information environment.
330. From Miracle to Crisis: Brazilian Foreign Debt and the Limits of Obligation
Landy, Thomas M.
ISBN: Unassigned | Published: 2015
In a September 1986 speech to the United Nations, Brazilian President Jose Sarney declared that his country's massive debt imperiled its newly restored democracy, and warned that Brazil would not "pay its foreign debt with recession, nor with unemployment, nor with hunger." Such crises illustrate the reality that some global financial obligations become so onerous that they must be restructured or forgiven--yet there is no single entity in the international arena with the authority to make and enforce such a binding determination. This case study codifies and explores a set of questions whose answers can help resolve such challenges, which—as we have seen in Greece, among other countries—remain as relevant today as they were 30 years ago. It would be appropriate for courses in world politics, international political economy, development issues, and foreign policy analysis at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
329. High Drama in Honduras: Constitutional Crisis and the Overthrow of President Zelaya
Barrow, Lynda K.
ISBN: 1-56927-380-4 | Published: 2012
In the pre-dawn hours of June 28, 2009, some 200 armed, hooded members of the Honduran military pulled President Manuel Zelaya from his bed, whisked him out of the presidential palace, loaded him onto a military plane, and packed him off to Costa Rica. Thus began what quickly became a full-blown crisis for Honduras and the region. This three-part case study focuses on the questions this episode raises about the nature of Honduras’ constitutional order, as well as broader questions about democratic legitimacy. Part A sets out the events leading to Zelaya’s ouster, including his political alliance with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez and his push to get voter approval for a National Constituent Assembly. It ends with the inauguration of a new Honduran president, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, in January 2010. Part B briefly explores the international community’s response, while Part C delves into the constitutional crisis that Zelaya’s removal fomented.
328. Pharmaceuticals, Patents, and U.S. Trade Policy
McDonald, Michael K.
ISBN: 1-56927-379-0 | Published: 2012
This case study examines the role of intellectual property rights in U.S. trade policymaking by analyzing the Obama administration’s handling of the May 2009 report on Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act, due to Congress just four months after President Barack Obama took office. The case examines the role of intellectual property rights in trade negotiations, the impact of the 2006 midterm elections on the trade process with respect to intellectual property, and the example of Thailand’s drug licensing program. It offers a concrete look at the politics of trade policymaking, the role of intellectual property rights and the “Access to Medicines” campaign on trade politics, and the negotiating process between the administration and Congress regarding trade.
327. Unveiling the Veil Ban Dilemma: The Case of Leyla Sahin
Piatti-Crocker, Adriana and Laman Tasch
ISBN: 1-56027 | Published: 2012
This case study examines the historical evolution of secularism in Turkey and analyzes the legality of veil bans in Turkey and in some Western European countries. Through the case of Leyla Sahin, who was not allowed to register for classes at the University of Istanbul in 1998 simply because she wore an Islamic veil, it sheds light on whether banning Muslim veils in public spaces falls within the realms of current regional and international human rights law. This study is designed to be taught in a variety of courses in international relations and comparative politics. It could also be employed in classes that discuss globalization, international law, human rights, the growing influence of international and regional organizations in domestic politics, or gender politics.
326. Morality, Public Health, and the National Interest: The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
Dietrich, John W.
ISBN: 1-56927-300-6 | Published: 2012
In his January 2003 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush called on the United States to commit $15 billion over five years under a new program, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), to address the international HIV/AIDS epidemic. This case study examines how AIDS issues fit into existing and emerging definitions of national interests; explores whether to use bilateral or multilateral funding and programs to combat the disease; and considers whether funding restrictions should include U.S. values on prevention strategies and encourage the use of U.S.-manufactured drugs. Collectively, PEPFAR decisions raise the issue of whether funding programs in the developing world gives rich countries undue leverage over policy choices, and thus represents, intentionally or not, a form of neoimperialism. The study is designed to be used in introductory or advanced courses in international politics, U.S. foreign policy, or more specialized courses examining ethics in international relations.
325. The Vietnam Dilemma
Love, Maryann Cusimano
ISBN: 1-56927-552-1 | Published: 2011
When John V. Hanford III was sworn into office in May 2002 as the U.S. ambassador-at-large for religious freedom, he chose Vietnam as the country he would visit first in his new role. Although bilateral ties had rapidly warmed following the normalization of relations in 1995, Hanoi’s human rights record was so poor that many members of Congress wanted to designate Vietnam a “country of particular concern” under the terms of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. This case study asks participants to assess Ambassador Hanford’s strategy for deciding whether adding Vietnam to the CPC list would improve or exacerbate conditions.
Download summaries of the full list of case studies here.