Tag Archive Masterclass

ByWeb editor SIB

Masterclass Lobbying by Dröge & Van Drimmelen

On June 12, SIB organized a masterclass about Lobbying. The masterclass was given by Sander des Tombe, an advisor working at Dröge & Van Drimmelen. This firm is specialized in advising clients in developing and implementing public affairs strategies and in their corporate communication. Dröge & Van Dimmelen has offices in The Hague, Brussels, and Shanghai.

Sanders started by explaining what Public affairs entail:

“Public affairs is the professional and transparent representation of interests whereby the organization is continuously involved in the political and social decision-making processes.”

Public Affairs is about communication: conveying a message, exchanging information, developing and maintaining relationships. Furthermore, public Affairs translates the (organizational) interest into the political and social interest, and vice versa. Finally, timing is essential in public affairs. Knowledge of procedures and processes, political insight, consideration of interests and coalitions is required to advise clients in a good way.

After explaining the scope of public affairs, Sander set out the four basic question in order to start a lobby.

  1. What is your goal?
  2. Who do you need?
  3. With what message (s) do you reach your target groups?
  4. Which instruments are appropriate?

By following these steps one is able to organize a well thought out strategy to reach a goal. This was also the moment Sander provided us with a case-study about cryptocurrencies. In smaller groups, students had to think of a campaign against the bringing the Bitcoin under the Dutch Financial Supervision Act. We had to make an action plan and think who to speak within The Hague. Which organizations might be involved? How do you approach people to make your point effectively? How can you strengthen your message?

It was nice to see the wide range of ideas students came up with. After the masterclass was finished we thanked Sander for his giving this instructive and interactive masterclass and went to the bar for some drinks.

ByWeb editor SIB

Negotiation Masterclass at Clingendael Institute

Together with members of SIB-Leiden, SIB-Groningen, and SIB-Utrecht, SIB-Amsterdam went to the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael. Clingendael is an independent think tank and diplomatic academy which studies various aspects of international relations. Every year, around 2,500 international professionals from over 60 countries participate in courses at the Clingendael Institute.

In September Clingendael starts its 73rdCourse International Relations (LLB), which will get young professionals ready in 12 weeks for an international career. Alumni from LBB can be found at embassies, at the UN, NGOs, in politics, and in international business.

We were at Clingendael Institute on the invitation of Nils de Mooij, a training and research fellow at the Insitute, but above all a former SIB member! De Mooij was going to give us a training in negotiating.

He started with giving us a small exercise, which aimed to explain the importance of procedures during negotiations. The next assignment was to come up with a definition of International Negotiations. At the Institute they use: a process of communication between two or more parties that aims to reach a mutually acceptable agreement that satisfies their interest. The mutual acceptability forms a key to reach the goal of satisfying each other’s interests. In this process, it is of absolute importance not to show the other party your mandate (how far you can go). Furthermore, it is important that parties can deliver a deal which is acceptable: if the other party can only deliver a non-acceptable deal than there is no deal. It is, thus, crucial that parties find out what the bottom line is. Before you start negotiating, parties should be aware of their BATNA: Best Alternative To a Negotiated Deal. BATNAs are critical to negotiation because you cannot make a wise decision about whether to accept a negotiated agreement unless you know what your alternatives are. By setting out your BATNA, you will have a clear position during the negotiations. De Mooij provided us also with some tricks which you use during negations.

After learning the theory behind negotiating, we were given some exercises to apply our newly acquired knowledge in practice.

After the negating session was finished, we made a picture in front of the manor house of the Institute.

ByWeb editor SIB

Masterclass: The Dark Web

On the 17th of May, we organized a Masterclass on the Dark Web. During this masterclass, we learned a lot about the working of the hidden internet. First among others, the deep and dark web are different things. The former is a part that is not found on search engines. The latter a very small subset of the deep web (hidden internationally). Additionally, access through standard web browsers is impossible as it is comprised of individual networks (darknets).
The access to the dark web is through different layers of encryption. You pass hubs and each hub has a key to open one layer of encryption. This is called Onion Routing. Something which is more commonly known is the Tor Network, which uses this type of routing. It is being used by different actors to embed themselves into a cloud of protection. ProPublica, the online investigative journalism platform that won a Pulitzer Prize, uses this kind of protection to hide, for example, their sources.

However, hidden services make use of this network. Such examples are online markets that sell, next to legal, illegal products. Silk Road is a famous example. It got shut down because of the illegal substances that were being sold.
As you might suggest, it is difficult for law enforcement to enter these hidden networks. But, there are ways. Almost always through human errors. When the dark net community scrambled after Alphabay (the then-largest online market) got taken down a significant migration took place to Hansa. Hansa saw its users multiply by 8. Unfortunately for the users, Interpol had seized Hansa for a month, but kept it running to extract information. As such, all those who migrated gave away their personal info to Interpol as it found a way to deanonymize users who made a transaction on Hansa.

Decentralization has three major benefits: (1) fault tolerance, (2) attack resistance, and (3) collusion resistance. The first basically means that when a server goes down, another server stays up. The second captures the high costs of attacking such online markets and dark-web websites. Lastly, the third point is about the difficulty of trying to manipulate, for example, an online market place.

Thus, the law enforcement aims at finding mistakes that they can exploit. Alphabay got taken down thanks to an identified error in the opening message. Furthermore, law enforcement also tries to scare users away by revealing information, like the Dutch police does. Nevertheless, it remains difficult for law enforcements to even seem to being successful. This is mainly because the owners of Alphabay and Silk Road, for example, had only three people running the whole business. Finally, it is not always the police who takes down website. Infrastructural errors and mistakes, but also rivalry is a source of taking websites down on the dark web.
I hope you enjoyed this piece and you are always very welcome to join our future masterclasses as well!

ByWeb editor SIB

Masterclass: the Law and the South China Sea Dispute

[This masterclass is in English / Deze masterclass is in het Engels]

China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei all claim parts of the South China Sea. They have done so for decades. Yet in recent years tensions are rising. In 2016 an international court in The Hague backed the Philippines, arguing the China had violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights. China boycotted the ruling. What are legal dimensions of this dispute?

Xuechan Ma of Leiden University specializes in territorial dispute settlement, the law of the sea and the South China Sea dispute. On the 13th of March she will enlighten us on these topics. In this interactive masterclass there Is room for discussion and we expect a proactive attitude. Students will be provided with articles they are required to read in advance.

This masterclass is full.