Date of Award

12-14-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Syed Rashid Naim

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeannie Grussendorf

Third Advisor

Dr. Toby Bolsen

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Joseph F. Feinberg

Abstract

Diplomatic simulations, or simulations of international or regional organizations (i.e. Model United Nations), present great opportunities that extend beyond the pedagogical value suggested by limited literature. Operationalizing constructivism as both a pedagogical and international relations theory illuminates the implications of diplomatic simulations on participants, diplomacy, and multidisciplinary research. To accomplish this, this exploratory study first performs a thorough literature review to synthesize relevant works. An exploratory content analysis is then employed on documents in a Model United Nations simulation to investigate its utility in accomplishing the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, particularly Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4: Quality Education. Findings suggest that while diplomatic simulations develop skills and knowledge of international relations, they also impact actual diplomacy by disrupting ethnocentrism, exporting political agents, and norm diffusion. Diplomatic simulations can also be used as nontraditional data sources and research methods, providing a unique solution to resource-constrained research endeavors.

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