Second United Nations University - CRIS Summer School

Modern Diplomacy: Across Levels, Actors and Tracks

The art of diplomacy has evolved. In an age where 280 characters from a world leader on Twitter can give a green light to foreign military action or move markets, there is no denying that the classic notions of diplomacy – backroom handshakes between decades-long counterparts with a tinge of cigar in the air – no longer reflect reality.

What has taken its place is a modern, multi-level and multi-faceted approach that encompasses all the tools of the international and interconnected global sphere. Effective diplomacy now relies on the ability of a government to engage on numerous fronts and in numerous departments.

This summer school offers the unique opportunity to learn from distinguished diplomats, academics and policymakers from the highest levels on the different facets of modern diplomacy and how they are being employed the world over to shape ideas, discussion and the world we live in. Comprising of lectures, debates, and workshops covering prominent issues like climate, economic and digital diplomacy, together with rising science and cultural diplomacy, and engagement on supra- and sub-national levels, the Second United Nations University - CRIS Summer School is a comprehensive, in-depth exploration of the modern diplomatic landscape, providing you with the tools to navigate and understand it.

The inaugural summer school drew participants from across six continents, offering participants the opportunity to engage with a full range of cultures and backgrounds, building the skills that are required in our multicultural and interconnected world. 

A social and cultural programme is also foreseen, as the Second UNU-CRIS Summer School will take advantage of its central location in Bruges and Brussels, and close proximity to numerous sites of historical and contemporary significance, to visit Flanders Fields (World War I battlefield) around Ypres and institutions such as the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. 

While some proclaim the recent evolution in methods and technology the “end of diplomacy”, this prediction has been made before in history, as it was by Lord Palmerston, British Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, when receiving the first telegraph message in the 1850’s. With hindsight, we see that this prediction was made in the middle of what many now term the “golden age of diplomacy”, between the Congress of Vienna in 1814 and the First World War in 1914. How will the new methods of modern diplomacy change the art of it? Educate and prepare yourself for this new age of diplomacy at the Second United Nations University - CRIS Summer School.


The modules for the Second United Nations University - CRIS Summer School are:

Climate Diplomacy

Migration Diplomacy

Economic Diplomacy

Cultural and Science Diplomacy

Digital Diplomacy

Supranational Diplomacy

Subnational Diplomacy


Speakers to be announced soon.

Applications will be accepted until 31 May 2020 and operate on a first-come, first-served basis. When the capped number of participant positions are filled, no more applications will be accepted. Applicants can expect to hear within two weeks of their application whether it has been accepted, rejected, or placed on the waiting list. 

UNU-CRIS strongly encourages students applying from countries requiring a visa to travel to the EU to apply ASAP to allow sufficient time for the visa application procedure. UNU-CRIS can provide a letter of acceptance to assist in the visa application, but obtaining a visa is the responsibility of the applicant. 

The UNU-CRIS Summer School is open to applicants holding at least a master's degree (or in the final year). There is no time limit as to when the degree was obtained. 

The summer school will be conducted in English, and as such participants are expected to have a good command of the English language


Applications (in English) must include:

  • A curriculum vitae
  • A motivation letter (max 2 pages)
  • Contact details of two referees

The tuition fee for the Second UNU-CRIS Summer School 2020 is €1500.

A non-refundable deposit of €250 is required within 2 weeks of acceptance.

Full payment must be made by 30 June 2020.

Students from Ghent University, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, any United Nations University education programme, and the College of Europe are entitled to a €200 discount on the full tuition fee. 

The tuition fee includes:

course material, daily lunches, welcome and farewell dinners, guided tours of Bruges and Flanders Fields (World War I battlefields), and visits to EU institutions in Brussels.

The tuition fee does not include:

accommodation, transportation to and from Bruges, breakfast and dinners.


Participants are required to bring their own laptops, wifi will be provided.


UNU-CRIS wishes to reward students of outstanding excellence and academic merit through the awarding of a limited number of Excellence Scholarships. The scholars will be selected by a panel of UNU-CRIS academic personnel and will be contacted by 30 March. Both half and full tuition waivers will be awarded. 

Accommodation Options

UNU-CRIS works with select partners to provide accommodation for participants at discounted rates for the duration of the summer school:


Hotel De Medici ****

€97 pp per night - includes buffet breakfast and full access to the Health Center Spa & Fitness.


More partners to be announced soon.

Cancellation Policy

More than 45 days before arrival: no cancellation charges - deposit lost
Between 45 and 30 days before arrival: 50% cancellation charges
Between 30 and 15 days before arrival: 75% cancellation charges
Less than 15 days before arrival: 100% cancellation charges


*Please note, no EC points are available through the UNU-CRIS Summer School. Participants will, however, receive a certificate upon completion of the full programme.


All questions regarding the summer school should be directed to: with Andrew Dunn ( in CC.