return to MA Projects


Students are given the following options in selecting their topics:

  • Analyze a current issue in trade policy by creating a portfolio of documents to advance the issue at the bureaucratic, political, and international negotiating levels;

  • Work with a business to identify specific changes in government policy that would promote the firmís foreign trade and investment activities, including the development of a plan to persuade the relevant government(s) to make the desired changes; or
  • Develop a case study of a past trade or foreign investment negotiation to illustrate particular challenges in commercial diplomacy or trade policy.


While the requirements for successful completion of the M.A. project vary depending on the nature of each studentís project, students are generally required to write a white paper; analyze relevant domestic and international political factors; make policy recommendations; develop strategies for gaining domestic and/or international support for their recommendations; develop negotiating strategies; and draft letters, press releases, op-ed pieces, speeches, and question and answer papers as appropriate. 

In presenting their projects, students are asked to treat their audience as a specific policymaking or management group such as a companyís Board of Directors or a group of senior government officials.  

The projects included here are among the best projects completed by students, and have been further edited.  While the original cases were based on real world problems faced by particular industries, corporations, governments or nongovernmental organizations, names of specific corporations, nongovernmental groups, or individuals who were the subject of the simulation have been replaced by hypothetical names in all hypothetical situations.  Where individuals, corporations or other organizations have made statements or have written documents that have become part of the public record, the real names have been retained.

These student projects serve to demonstrate the use of an applied approach to student writing assignments. They can also serve as instructional material in courses, providing examples of Commercial Diplomacy in action.  In first year courses that are taught by ICDP staff at the Monterey Institute, projects completed by graduating students in previous classes are included as part of the course of instruction.


return to MA Projects