SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMN225818
Module Leader n/a
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject GCU London
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

Economic diplomacy, Business diplomacy and commercial diplomacy are new phrases which have become essential components of the diplomatic repertoire. During the last three decades , countries' role in international relations was challenged by the rise of multinational companies. At the same time, with the emergence of new economic powers, governments came to play an increasingly important role in the development of the national economies and the world economy, for example, by providing governmental support to open markets abroad and by maintaining domestic financial systems. Further, the issue corruption and how it adversely impacts the practice of economic diplomacy, and trading and investment relations will be explored. For example, the impact on trade agreements (e.g. western Balkan countries negotiations with the EU over free-trade agreements and the conditionalities imposed) and on investment (e.g. where corruption has resulted in low / negative FDI / no real economic growth / high unemployment, especially of youth, which in turn has resulted in fragility). The examination of 'state capture' (the efforts of a small number of people aiming to benefit from the illicit provision of private gains to public officials in order to profit from the workings of a government) will be included. The rationale for this module is to capture these developments that are translated into an increasing interaction between international businesses and governments underlining the importance of economic diplomacy.


The first part will deal with the developments in economic diplomacy and the different views on traditional versus new diplomacy. It will deal with different instruments in place to implement commercial diplomacy and their effectiveness. Furthermore, it will make a blueprint for the future of economic diplomacy, the growing role of businesses and their role in different forms of diplomacy. The second part will further elaborate on the increasing interaction between the business community, governments and international organisations. It will deal with different cases where these worlds meet and discuss the failures and best practices of the cooperation between different stakeholders involved. 1) The scope of economic diplomacy and the impact of its growing importance in the international playing field; 2) Economic diplomacy issues in practice; 3) Detail how corruption including 'state capture' adversely impacts the practice of economic diplomacy, including trading and investment relations; 4) The interaction between the business community, international organisations and government; 5) understand the changing role of businesses in diplomacy and the shift from traditional into new diplomacy; 6) Analyse the responsibility of businesses in the value chain; 7) The impact of the UN Global Compact on the different stakeholders in the field of economic diplomacy; 8) Importance of dialogue with businesses to the benefit of different diplomacy policies of governments and international organisations; 9) Analysis of the future of organisations such as the World Trade Organisations, International Labour Organisation, International Trade Center and their interaction with the business community.

Learning Outcomes

On successfull completion of the module the students should be able to:-1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of economic diplomacy, its concepts and dynamics. (CW01)2. Critically evaluate the interaction of the business community and government, positive and negative consequences and role of the UN Global Compact. (CW01)3. Appraise different instruments to implement commercial diplomacy for a sustained transformational positive impact. (CW01)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The teaching and learning strategy includes the use of a variety of techniques including guided independent study, lectures, and seminars conducted by academic staff to develop efficient and effective understanding of Economic Diplomacy. The module delivery will in parts be facilitated by senior practitioners from the field of International Diplomacy to establish practical understanding of academic topics/issues as the aim is to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Weekly Lectures provide the theoretical aspect of this module, while seminars, case studies, simulation exercises and tutorials are in place to support individual learning. There will also be extensive use of case studies to give students the opportunity of learning from real-time examples. Some of these case studies will be required to resolve in groups to focus on joint/group understanding. The use of cases set in different contexts intends to promote 'situated learning' and to view problems from the perspective of those who are confronted with strategic challenges, choices, and decisions frequently. This is reflected in the assessment strategy of this module. Students will have to compose diplomatic briefing memos that might be used in the context of state/ regional visits or trade missions. As part of this students are to provide briefings on three aspects of their choice in memos that are accompanied by an executive summary providing a rationale for the choice (significance) of aspects covered in the briefing memos.

Indicative Reading

Due to its integrative nature, there is no core text for this module. Background reading (Indicative) b7 Ayad, N & Copeland, D (eds.) (2009) Transformational Public Diplomacy: Shaping the Future of International Relations , University of Westminster, available from the University of Westminster Bookshop, 35 Marylebone Road, London W1. b7 Bayne, N & Woolcock, S. (2016). The New Economic Diplomacy: Decision-Making and Negotiation in International Economic Relations. 4th ed New York, NY: Routledge. b7 Business Insider SA (2019) '14 questions that will finally be answered in 2019 - from Steinhoff to Game of Thrones', Business Insider SA team, with additional reporting by Nicholas Carlson. [Accessed 06/01/2019] Available from: <> b7 Davis, H. (2010). The Financial Crisis: Who is to Blame? Cambridge UK: Polity Press. b7 Gulevich, V. (2019) India and the Indo-Pacific: Challenges and near-future agenda. [Accessed 20/09/2018] Available from: <> b7 Kostecki, M. and Naray, O. (2007). Commercial Diplomacy and International Business , Discussion Papers in Diplomacy by Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Clingendael. b7 Lawrence, R.Z.(2008) 'International Organisations: The Challenge of Aligning Mission, Means and Legitimacy'; The World Economy ; 2008; Vol. 31; No. 11; pp. 1455-1470 b7 Manojlovic, M and Thorheim, C.H. (2018) Crossroads of Diplomacy: New Challenges, New Solutions ; Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Clingendael. [Accessed 20/09/2018] Available from: <> b7 Marshall, Peter (1999) Positive Diplomacy . London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. b7 Mercier, Alexandre (2007) 'Commercial Diplomacy in Advanced Industrial States, Canada, the UK, and the US', Discussion Papers in Diplomacy by Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Clingendael. [Accessed 20/09/2018] Available from: <> b7 O'Brien, R and Williams, M. (2010) Global Political Economy . London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. b7 Okano-Heijmans, M. (2010) 'Change in Consular Assistance and the Emergence of Consular Diplomacy', Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Clingendael. [Accessed 20/09/2018] Available from: <> b7 Rasmussen, S. (2009) 'Discourse Analysis of EU Public Diplomacy Messages and Practices'; Discussion Papers in Diplomacy by Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Clingendael; [Accessed 20/09/2018] Available from: <> b7 Smit, Sarah (2018) '#StateCaptureInquiry: GCIS paid hundreds of millions to the Guptas' Mail & Guardian: Africa's Best Read [Accessed 06/01/2019] Available from: <> b7 Szondi, G. (2008) 'Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding: Conceptual Similarities and Differences'; Discussion Papers in Diplomacy by Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Clingendael. [Accessed 20/09/2018] Available from: <> b7 Thorley, D. (2007) 'Explosive Diplomacy'; New Statesman ; 2nd April, 2007; pp. 21 b7 Wong, A. (2019) China's economic statecraft under Xi Jinping [Accessed 06/01/2019] Available from: <>

Transferrable Skills

-360b7 Communication and presentation skills b7 Problem solving b7 Critical thinking and evaluation b7 Information retrieval Data analysis b7 Data interpretation b7 Teamwork b7 Peer learning b7 Interpersonal skills b7 Negotiation b7 Written and oral communication skills b7 Independent learning and self-management b7 Ethical conduct b7 Time management b7 Reflective learning

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 32.00
Tutorials (FT) 2.00
Seminars (FT) 4.00
Independent Learning (FT) 72.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 n/a Portfolio of Diplomatic Briefing Memos - Compose three (3) briefing memos on economic diplomacy matters of your choice for a specified country/ region of 1000 words each plus a 500 word executive summary for the portfolio.