The Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, in cooperation with the Pew Research Center, advanced the application of the case study method of instruction to international affairs in the mid-1980s. Based on the case study method used at business schools, ISD case studies address the unique needs of the instructor presenting the wealth of themes and processes that comprise diplomacy. They are suitable for students from high school through graduate school.
ISD has a library of over 250 cases covering an exceptionally broad range of topics from U.S. diplomatic history. Written by senior practitioners directly involved in the events or academics well-versed in them, these case studies tell compelling stories. But they also represent a rigorous effort to bring the dynamics and nuance of diplomacy in action–its successes and its failures–into the classroom. They can be used either as standalones or to augment regular course material.
In addition to background on the specific issue or event, each case study offers detailed examination of the key players and the challenges and options available to policymakers. The structure for instruction can be thematic, geographic or era-specific. Many of the cases include teaching notes and other guides on their use. Please see our case study guidelines if you are interested in submitting a case study.
Founded in 1978, the Institute brings together diplomats, other practitioners, scholars and students from across and beyond Georgetown University to explore global challenges and the evolving demands of diplomatic statecraft, to better understand the nexus of theory and practice, and to enhance and expand an appreciation of the role of diplomacy as a critical element in national policy formulation and implementation.

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