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University Masterclass Europe, China & Geopolitical Strategy

This course explores the most fundamental strategic questions China’s rise poses to Europe. It delves into China’s geopolitics, European diplomacy and aims to enhance student’s strategic thinking on the whole. It does so in six sessions.

world globe china

Session I | The new European geopolitical context | delving into the reality behind political and academic debates on the post-Atlantic era, the dawn of Eurasia, the emergence of the New Silk Roads, and Sino-European relations | Main question: where does the new connectivity of Eurasia leave Europa?

Session II | On diplomacy and strategy | A critical discussion of European and non-European geopolitical thought in the 21st century | Main question:  Is Europe’s strategic diplomatic toolset fit to handle the new geopolitical reality, and if not, in what way does it need to be updated?

Session III | Deep-dive I | High Tech | Cybersecurity threats and high-tech cooperation between Europe and China | Main question: how does technological connectivity shape Sino-European relations?

Session IV | Deep Dive II | Climate Change | How does climate change shape Sino-European relations?

Session V | Day-long Strategy Simulation | a Silk Road Summit in The Hague | What strategy should Europe and the Netherlands adopt towards China and the new Eurasian geopolitics?

Session VI | Homecoming | Reflection on the course, drawing lessons for personal leadership.


T. Dams

Learning objectives

The student will be able to:

  • Analyse European-Chinese relations
  • Write a strategic plan
  • Write a speech
  • Reflect on their personal leadership

Teaching format

  • Lectures
  • Computer practicum
  • Presentations
  • Self-study
  • Simulations
  • Work independently on eg. project / thesis

Time table

You can find the timetable on datanose.


  • Participation 10%
  • Strategic plan 40%
  • Speech 10%
  • Reflection report 40%

Study materials

  • The New Silk Roads, Peter Frankopan.
  • The Breaking of Nations, Robert Cooper.
  • The Return of Marco Polo’s World, Robert Kaplan.
  • The Governance of China, Xi Jinping.


See website.



Entry requirement

You need to be a master student if you wish to follow this class. 


This course is open for master UvA students. You can register from 3 December until a week before the start of the course. 

Registration UvA students (look for code: 5512 UMEC3Y).

If you have any trouble while registering please contact: Keuzeonderwijs-iis@uva.nl 

University Masterclass Europe, China & Geopolitical Strategy
Vorm Kortlopend
Studielast 3 EC,
Voertaal Engels
Start April