Diplomacy and negotiation

The Group seeks to further develop research into Diplomacy and Negotiation in the Department. It is also aimed at analysing, interpreting and understanding the dynamics of foreign policy making in major, middle and small states.

The strategy for achieving these aims includes holding workshops, inviting outside speakers to present current research, and encouraging publications. We are especially keen to increase our recruitment of postgraduate students by supporting new research initiatives in the area of diplomatic studies. Prospective PhD students interested in any aspect of Diplomatic Studies and Negotiation are encouraged to contact Asaf Siniver (a.siniver@bham.ac.uk) in the Department of Political Science and International Studies.

Members of the Group have particular interests and expertise in the following areas of Diplomatic Studies:

  • Diplomatic Theory and Practice
  • Critical Approaches to Diplomacy and Negotiations
  • Economic, Commercial and Business diplomacy
  • GATT / WTO Trade Negotiations
  • Environment / Climate Change Negotiations
  • Development / African Diplomacy
  • The Diplomacy of Emerging Powers (India, Brazil, South Africa)
  • The Diplomacy of Small Powers

Recent Activities and forthcoming events

The group meets regularly and Group members have also been very active disseminating research at recent international conferences including; The International Studies Association, The British International Studies Association, as well as Conferences and Workshops in The Hague, Konrad-Adenaur-Stiftung European Office in Brussels, South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) in Johannesburg, Institute for Defense and Strategic Analysis in New Delhi, Research Institute of Rio de Janeiro (IUPERJ), University of Windsor (Canada), The PRIO Centre in Cyprus, The University of West Indies, University of Loughborough, and the University of Ghent.

Group members have also acted as specialist advisors to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, The Commonwealth Institute, and the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Members of the Group are also actively involved in the BISA Group on Diplomacy, the Diplomatic Studies Section of the ISA, the UK Forum on Diplomacy, and the activities of the CSSD.

The Group has also provided a focus for successful grant applications to the British Academy and  the Canadian Foreign Ministry, for research on UK commercial diplomacy and innovation and transfer in diplomatic practices, respectively.

The Group have hosted a series of workshops at the University of Birmingham on topics such as ‘The English School and Diplomacy’, South African Multilateral Diplomacy, and The Doha Round of the WTO.

The group regularly hosts experts to talk to staff and students. Speakers in the last two years include a retired Indian Ambassador, a United States diplomat, scholar of United Nations Diplomacy and an Ethiopian Diplomat. Topics covered included The Role of the Ambassador, US Public Diplomacy, Diplomacy at the United Nations, and The Changing Nature of African Diplomacy.


Dr Asaf Siniver

Dr Asaf Siniver (Third party mediation, conflict management / resolution, the Arab-Israeli conflict, theory and practice of diplomacy, crisis management).


Siniver, Asaf, Nixon, Kissinger, and U.S. Foreign Policy: The Machinery of Crisis. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Siniver, Asaf (ed.), Counter-Terrorism post 9/11: Comparative Dynamics and Responses. London: Routledge, 2010.

Siniver, Asaf, ‘Managing and Settling Ethnic Conflict’, in S. Wolff and K. Cordell (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Ethnic Conflict. London: Routledge (2010).

Siniver, Asaf, ‘The EU and the Middle East Peace Process’, in S. Wolff and R. Whitman (eds.) The EU as a Global Conflict Manager (forthcoming 2011).

Siniver, Asaf, ‘The Nixon Administration and the Cienfuegos Crisis of 1970: Crisis Management of a Non-Crisis?’, Review of International Studies, 34:1 (January 2008), 69-98.

Siniver, Asaf, ‘Power, Impartiality and Timing: Three Hypotheses on Third Party Mediation in the Middle East’, Political Studies, Volume 54:4 (December 2006), pp. 806-826.

Dr Marco Viera

Dr Marco Viera (Brazil and Southern Africa, climate change governance, HIV / Aids and public health)


Vieira, Marco The South in World Politics (with Chris Alden and Sally Morphet). Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming, 2010).

Vieira, Marco ‘UN Reform and the Challenge of South Representation’ (with Alvaro Mendes). In: South African Year Book of International Affairs, edited by Thomas Wheeler. Johannesburg: SAIIA, 2009.

Vieira, Marco ‘The New Diplomacy of the South: South Africa, Brazil, India and Trilateralism’ (with Chris Alden). Third World Quarterly 26 (7), pp. 1077-1095, 2005.

Vieira, Marco ‘Southern Africa's Responses to International HIV/AIDS Norms: The Politics of Assimilation’. Review of International Studies (forthcoming, 2010).

Vieira, Marco ‘South-South Cooperation and the Paradox of Regional Leadership’. Global Governance (under review).

Vieira, Marco ‘The Securitization of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic as a Norm: A Contribution to the Constructivist Scholarship on the Emergence and Diffusion of International Norms’. Brazilian Political Science Review 1 (2), pp. 137-181, 2007.

Vieira, Marco ‘Brazil in South America: The Awakening of the Giant’. IDSA Strategic Comment, Delhi, India, 24 December 2008 (available at http://www.idsa.in/publications/stratcomments/MarcoVieira241208.htm)

Vieira, Marco ‘Understanding Brazilian Foreign Policy in the Context of Global Climate Change Negotiations’. Work in progress.

Dr Eleni Vezirgiannidou

Dr Eleni Vezirgiannidou (environmental / climate change negotiations and governance, trade-environment linkages)


Vezirgiannidou, Sevasti-Eleni, ‘The Climate Change Regime post-Kyoto: why Compliance is Important and how to Achieve it’, Global Environmental Politics 9:4, 2009.

Vezirgiannidou, Sevasti-Eleni, ‘The Kyoto Treaty and Relative Gains’, Environmental Politics, 17:1, 2008.

Vezirgiannidou, Sevasti-Eleni, ‘Entering the Zone of Agreement: the United States in Climate Negotiations’, in Deadlocks in Multilateral Negotiations: Causes and Solutions, edited by Amrita Narlikar, Cambridge University Press, (forthcoming, May 2010.

PhD Doctoral research students:

Antoinette Valsamakis
The role of South African business in South Africa’s post-apartheid economic diplomacy

Idorenyin Eotkakpan
Trade and diplomacy: strengthening SSA competitiveness in the global export market

Collin Zhuawu
Engaging Africa in the changing IPE: Mauritius activism and Cooperation in the WTO

For further information about the Diplomacy and negotiation research group contact: Dr Asaf Siniver: Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4246 Email: a.siniver@bham.ac.uk