Aurélien COLSON

Associate Professor
department: Public & Private Policy
Campus de Cergy
+33 (0)1 34 43 36 07
Negotiation – Mediation and Conflict Management – International Business – Political Science

Dr. Colson is Professor of Political Science at ESSEC Business School, and Director of the Institute for Research and Education on Negotiation (IRENE Paris, Singapore, Brussels) since 2008. ESSEC IRENE has run operations in about 80 countries, developping research, field intervention and capacity building programmes in negotiation, mediation, conflict resolution, governance, CSR and stakeholder's dialogue.

Since 1998 Dr. Colson has been teaching negotiation, change management, and leadership at ESSEC for MBA students and for corporation executives. Since 1998 he is also an adjunct professor in negotiation at ENA -France's national administration school- where he was promoted in 2002 to coordinator of the negotiation seminar. He has done research, consulting and trainings, in more than 40 countries, for companies, public administrations, and international organizations. He also contributed to fieldwork and post-conflict facilitation efforts (Burundi, DRC, Horn of Africa). He was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2012 to the Steering Committee of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO, Brussels), where he served as Honorary Treasurer. From 2015-17, he joined the International Advisory Board of the European Institute of Peace.

From 2012 to 2021, the European Union appointed him leader of the Governance Team, a multidisciplinary task force which supported the implementation of the EU's Centre of Excellence Initiative for CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear) Risk Mitigation – a global cooperation programme gathering 62 countries.

His research appears in peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of International Negotiation, Négociations, Revue française de gestion, Revue Française de Science Politique, Futuribles, Futures, Foresight, and International Relations. He authored, co-authored or edited 7 books translated into 15 languages, including the best-selling Méthode de négociation and The First Move. A Negotiator's Companion (2004, 2008 with A.  Lempereur). Latest book: Mediation. Negotiation by other moves (with Lempereur, Salzer, Pekar & Kogan. Wiley, 2021).

In 2014 he was Visiting Professor at the War Studies Department, King's College, London.

From 1998-2002, Dr. Colson served as Advisor to the French Prime Minister. From 2002-2005, he was Project Leader at the French Government's strategy agency, where he led a task force on change management and negotiation in the public sector.

Aurélien Colson holds a doctorate in political science (Université Paris-Sorbonne-Descartes) and a PhD in International Relations (University of Kent). He got his first degree from Sciences Po Paris. As a Jean-Monnet Fellow from the British Council, he received a Master in International Conflict Analysis (Kent). He got his MBA at ESSEC. He is a Fellow of the 21st Century Trust (London). In 2002 he was awarded a Marshall Memorial Fellowship by the German Marshall Fund of the USA. In 2008 the Académie des sciences morales et politiques (Institut de France) awarded a Grand Prix to his research.

Aurélien is married and the father of two sons. French is his mother tongue, he is fluent in English. Among his hobbies are playing the piano, cooking and sharing a nice bottle of wine with friends.

  • 2007: Ph.D. en Relations Internationales (University of Kent United Kingdom)
  • 2007: Doctorat en Science Politique (Université Paris Descartes (Paris V) France)
  • 1998: Master in Business Administration (ESSEC Business School France)
  • 1996: Master en Analyse des Conflits Internationaux (University of Kent United Kingdom)
  • 1995: Diplôme national de Master, Science politique (Sciences Po Paris France)
Other Academic Appointments
  • 2023 – 2025 : Head, Private & Public Policies Department (ESSEC Business School France)
  • 2021 – Now : Track Co-Head, “Géopolitique, Défense & Leadership” (ESSEC Business School France)
  • 2021 – 2023 : Co-Head, Private & Public Policies Department (ESSEC Business School France)
  • 2020 – Now : Track Head, Geopolitics & Negotiation (ESSEC Business School France)
  • 2005 – 2007 : Lecturer and researcher (Private and Public Policies Department) and Development Director, ESSEC IRENE (ESSEC Business School France)
  • 2002 – Now : Visiting Professor (École nationale d’administration – ENA France)
  • 1998 – 2005 : Lecturer (ESSEC Business School France)
Full-time academic appointments
  • 2008 – Now : Associate Professor (ESSEC Business School France)
  • 2008 : Assistant Professor (ESSEC Business School France)
Other appointments
  • 2008 – 2025 : Director, IRENE (ESSEC Business School France)
  • 1998 – 2002 : Advisor to the French Prime Minister (Cabinet du Premier ministre France)
Professional appointments
  • 2002 – 2005 : Project Leader (Commissariat général du Plan France)


  • 2023 : Chevalier dans l’Ordre national du Mérite (Ministere de l’Enseignement Superieur et l’innovation (MESRI), France)
  • 2020 : Prix de l’excellence pédagogique (Fondation ESSEC, France)
  • 2016 : Prix de l’innovation pédagogique (Fondation ESSEC)
  • 2008 : Grand Prix, Académie des sciences morales et politiques, Institut de France (Académie des sciences morales et politiques)
  • 2003 : Fellow of Council for the United States and Italy
  • 2001 : Marshall Memorial Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States (German Marshall Fund of the United States)
  • 1998 : Fellow, 21st Century Trust, London (21st Century Trust)
  • 1992 : Laureate, Concours général en sciences économiques et sociales


  • 1997 : Jean-Monnet Chevening Fellow, British Council
  • 1997 : Fellow, Gilbert Murray Trust, Oxford

Book collection editor


Press article, video or other popular media

Journal articles

Book chapters

Presentations at an Academic or Professional conference

Published cases

Working Papers

Activités de recherche
  • 2019 – 2019: Associate Editor – European Review of International Studies
  • 2016 – 2020: Chief editor – Negociations
  • 2016 – 2016: Editorial board membership – Journal of Arbitration and Mediation
  • 2015 – 2015: Associate editor – Negociations
  • 2014 – 2020: Editorial board membership – European Review of International Studies
  • 2013 – 2013: Editorial board membership – Politiques et Management Public
  • 2009 – Now: Member of the Advisory Panel, Conflict Analysis Research Centre (University of Kent United Kingdom)
  • 2009 – Now: Member of the Scientific Committee, Négociations
  • 2009 – 2019: Editorial board membership – Negociations
  • 2008 – Now: Member of the International Studies Association
  • 2006 – Now: Member of the Royal Commonwealth Society
  • 2006 – Now: Member of the International Political Science Association
  • 2005 – Now: Member of the Association française de science politique
  • 2002 – Now: Member of the Editorial Committee
  • 2000 – Now: Member of the International Association for Conflict Management
  • 1996 – 1996: Founding member (ESSEC IRENE France)
  • 1995 – Now: Member of the British International Studies Association
Activités professionnelles
  • 2015 – Now: Designated to be part of the Advisory Board of the European Institute of Peace
  • 2010 – Now: Teaching coordinator for negociation at the Institut l’Institut diplomatique et consulaire (Ministère des Affaires étrangères France)
  • 2010 – Now: Elected at the Steering Committee of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office
  • 2010 – 2013: Board Member of l’Association pour le développement de l’expertise française à l’international et en Europe (IDEFIE)
  • 2003 – 2005: Member of the Board, Institut de management public
  • 2002 – 2011: Coordinator for the negociation seminar (Institut national des études territoriales – INET France)
  • 2002 – Now: Consulting for private corporations and public organizations in the fields of negotiation, communication, and change management.
  • 2014 – Now: Membre du comité scientifique de la Chaire “Grands enjeux stratégiques (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne France)