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A new Twitter simulation to teach students about international diplomacy has been developed by LSE IDEAS, the London School of Economics’ foreign policy think tank and no.1 ranked university affiliated think tank in the world.

Using a Twitter Diplomacy Simulation, students on the Executive MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy programme were able to compose and post tweets in the run up to an in-class diplomatic negotiations exercise.

The simulation was used in the build up to a ‘World Trade Organisation’ negotiation exercise, in which the students were split into teams, representing different trade delegations, and were asked to post tweets signalling their plans for the negotiations.
Throughout the exercise, the teaching team was able to input disruption tweets, which were typically undiplomatic in nature, in order to increase the difficulty of achieving successful negotiations.

In recent years, the role of Twitter in international relations and diplomacy has gained significant interest because of both its disruptive use, and it’s potential to contribute positive breakthroughs when diplomats use tweets to signal their plans for negotiations in advance.

Dr Aaron McKeil, Course Tutor, LSE Executive MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy says:

“In developing a Twitter Diplomacy Simulation, we hoped to expand and deepen student learning about the role and practice of social media in diplomacy, particularly in regards to diplomatic negotiations.

We’re aware of the impact of platforms like Twitter can have in diplomatic negotiations. If used effectively and responsibly it can be a useful tool in securing negotiations. However, social media can often be a double-edged sword, and can prove disruptive if used undiplomatically.”

Dr McKeil has written a blog sharing his insights into the use and practice of Twitter in international diplomacy and the benefits of the simulation for teaching and learning.


For more information or, to speak to or to receive a contribution from Dr Aaron McKeil, contact Jonny Stone at, or call 01582 790704.

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