Strategic Diplomacy in East Asia

Diplomacy & Global Order

Course overview

Today’s world is marked by unprecedented complexity and uncertainty. Globalization, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the shifts in the balance of economic power towards the East are shrinking the policy space available to Australian policymakers to shape the world we inhabit. Policymakers are increasingly faced with an infinite range of alternatives and uncertain consequences to choosing each alternative. Forging effective strategies is essential to maximising the policy space and minimising uncertainty.

Practising diplomacy with a renewed emphasis on strategy is crucial, particularly because the common reaction to complexity and uncertainty is to seek refuge in oversimplification, tactics and process. In short, strategic diplomacy is both a diagnostic and a policy tool to navigate the system within which complex issues are embedded rather than addressing them in an isolated way.

Post-Cold War East Asia provides a particularly informative set of cases for demonstrating the value of the Strategic Diplomacy concept. While this is a region shaped so distinctly by the United States’ hub-and-spokes bilateral alliances, the East Asian countries have, since the mid-1990s, engaged in strategic diversification.

Two days
Course date: 
8.30am 11 December – 5pm 12 December 2018
APCD Boardroom, Level 2, Hedley Bull Building #130, cnr Garran Road and Liversidge Street, ANU
Class size: 
up to 16 participants, unless otherwise specified
Course materials and catering.
$2,500 (incl GST) per person; Group discounts applicable
Enrolment & enquiries 

Download the registration form
Enquiries: T: (02) 6125 0914 E:

Who should attend? 

This course is relevant to experienced diplomats, government and non-government policymakers who need to engage in out-of-the-box thinking on how to usefully disaggregate the extremely complex policy problems they face, and how to develop strategies to address those problems.

Scope & content 

In this two-day course, participants will learn skills and techniques that will help them to navigate complexity in their day-to-day dealings with interconnected problems that can only be addressed in a systemic context.

Part One will introduce the Strategic Diplomacy framework and immerse participants in the thinking underlying the analysis of complexity.

Part Two will apply the framework to five flashpoints that will be of key importance to the stability (or instability) of East Asian regional order:

1) Regional multilateralism and multilateral institutions.
2) The situation on the Korean Peninsula.
3) Maritime issues such as the East and South China Seas.
4) The nexus between economic and security issues.
5) Sino-Japanese relations.

Course convenor 
Professor Evelyn Goh, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, The Australian National University

Professor Evelyn Goh is the Shedden Professor of Strategic Policy Studies at the Australian National University, where she is also Research Director at the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre. She has published widely on U.S.-China relations and diplomatic history, regional security order in East Asia, Southeast Asian strategies towards great powers, and environmental security. She is member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on International Security.

A/Professor Jochen Prantl, Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, The Australian National University

Associate Professor Jochen Prantl is Deputy Director (International Engagement) of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. He served as Director of the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy in 2015-16. His research focuses on global governance, international security, and strategic diplomacy. Previously, he held academic appointments at Oxford, Yale, and Waseda Universities, the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. His policy experience includes stints in the Policy Planning Unit of the UN Department of Political Affairs and the European Union Delegation to the United Nations in New York.

Suggested reading 

Jochen Prantl and Evelyn Goh, eds, ‘Strategic Diplomacy in Northeast Asia’, Global Asia, Vol. 11, No. 4 (2016); special issue.

Evelyn Goh and Jochen Prantl, eds., ‘Strategic Diplomacy in Asia’, East Asia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 2, April-June 2017; special issue.

Peter Ho, The Challenges of Governance in a Complex World (Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2017), Chapter 1.

Pre-course and course readings will be distributed to participants ahead of the course


At the completion of the course, each participant is provided with a Certificate of Attendance.

Course recognition 

The Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy has recently created academic recognition for those who have completed APCD executive courses. This may allow course participants to transfer their prior learning into the Master of Diplomacy program.

Terms and conditions 
  • Courses are designed for adults. Students must be at least 18 years of age at the time of application unless otherwise stated in the course outline.
  • Places in courses will be allocated in order of enrolment.
  • Payment details are required at time of enrolment.
  • No pro rata fees apply.
  • Courses are run subject to sufficient enrolment numbers.
  • The APCD reserves the right to amend or cancel courses at their discretion.
  • The APCD reserves the right to cancel the enrolment of a minor (under 18years) and remove them from the classroom. A full refund will apply in these circumstances.
  • If the APCD cancels a course in which you have enrolled and fees have been paid, you will be contacted and either transferred to an alternate course, provided with a credit to the value of the course, or refunded the full amount.
  • If you cancel your enrolment prior to a course commencing, a $100 administration fee may apply.
  • If you cancel your enrolment after a course commences, no refund will be granted.

Updated:  22 March 2016/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team