International Relations Negotiation

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Alliances and animosities between countries have existed since the emergence of sovereign states over 5,000 years ago. Major advances in transportation and communication over the past 150 years have, however, massively increased the degree and complexity of interactions among countries. Most nations are now part of highly intertwined webs of trade and bind themselves with numerous international treaties. Most wars, even ostensibly civil wars, involve more than one country with materials, troops and refugees regularly crossing borders. In this environment, effective international relations are key to a country or large firm’s success. International relations is a very delicate sector in which good negotiation skills ideally make up for the lack of common laws or definitive arbiters.

Role-play exercises available through the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) cover a variety of international relations-related negotiations. In the Ship Bumping Case, groups representing the United States and the Soviet Union prepare separately and then negotiators meet one-on-one to lower tensions after an American Navy incursion into Soviet waters. Authority and power in multi-level negotiations is a major theme. In the Pacrim Dispute, three nations negotiate around the rice trade. Unfortunately, in addition to goods and people, pollution regularly crosses borders. In the DS-30 exercise, two neighbors negotiate compensation after a chemical spill in one country flows into the other.

The TNRC offers a variety of videos and books on international relations. The Great Negotiator series of videos presents talks by extremely accomplished mediators and negotiators, including Ambassadors Stuart Eizenstat and Richard Holbrooke. The Breakthrough International Negotiation book introduces a new seven-principle framework for international negotiation and illustrates it with case studies. Some books available focus on particular subsets of international relations or on particular regions. Environmental Diplomacy, for example, explores the current state of environmental diplomacy, highlights the role of non-governmental organizations and offers new techniques for crafting effective environmental agreements.

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Role Simulations

Role Simulation
Taline Aharonian and Agieszka Klich
Complex 13-party, two-team facilitated negotiation between private citizens from both sides of an actual long-term ethnic conflict
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Arms Control on Cobia

P. Terrance Hopmann
Multi-issue arms control negotiation among representatives of eight fictional countries
Role Simulation
Imam Soliman under the direction of David Fairman
The Athens-Melos Role Play is a simulation from the Workable Peace Curriculum Series unit on Ancient Greece and the Peloponnesian War.
Role Simulation
Cross-Cultural Negotiation Role-Play:

Bamara Border Dispute

Michael D. Landry
Two-team, multi-issue negotiation between representatives of two fictional countries regarding a disputed border and a military stand-off
Role Simulation
Todd Schenk under the supervision of David Fairman, David Plumb, Lawrence Susskind, Philip Angell, and Kelly Levin
Eight-party negotiation (with option for a ninth person facilitator) regarding climate change issues in a situation loosely based on the situation in Ghana.
Role Simulation
Cross-Cultural Negotiation Role-Play:

Canada-China Panda Acquisition Negotiation

Stephen Weiss
Two-team (6 person), multi-issue contract negotiation between Canadian zoo CEOs and representatives of Chinese organization responsible for giant panda loans
Role Simulation
Global Treaty-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Computer Waste Policy Simulation

Lawrence Susskind
Ten-party, multi-issue chaired policy dialogue among government, environmental, and industry representatives in the fictional nation of Sweland over reform of the country's waste policies, in effort to gain membership in the "European Trade Area"
Role Simulation
Cross-Cultural Negotiation Role-Play:

DS-30

Robert Ricigliano and Victor Issraelyan
Two-party, integrative international negotiation between representatives of two neighboring countries over compensation for pollution in one of the countries caused by an industrial accident in the other country
Role Simulation
Role-Play:

ENCO

Jeswald W. Salacuse, Arun Venkataraman, and Fritz von Carp

Role Simulation
Danya Rumore, Anjali Lohani, and Mubarik Imam
Seven-party, seven-person, multi-issue negotiation game involving a dispute over inter-provincial water allocations. It explores issues of prediction and monitoring, water sharing, and the environmental adequacy of water flows.
Role Simulation
Cross-Cultural Negotiation Role-Play:

Foreign Direct Investment in Mandoa

Michèle Ferenz, Stan Byers, and David Fairman with assistance from Professor Lawrence Susskind
A facilitated multi-party negotiation among government officials regarding the design of a foreign direct investment strategy that balances economic, societal, and environmental concerns
Role Simulation
Imam Soliman, under the direction of David Fairman
Seven-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the West Bank city of Hebron to discuss land claims, security, and border control
Role Simulation
Global Treaty-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Global Management of Organochlorines

Lawrence Susskind, Sarah McKearnan, Mike Gordon, Adil Najam, Joshua Secunda, Granville Sewell, Parag Shah and Andrea Strimling
Thirteen-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among eight country representatives, four NGO representatives, and a working group chairperson must draft a treaty aimed at reducing harmful organochlorines; also known as "Chlorine Game"
Role Simulation
Michael Maturo, Kate Mahoney, Francisco Ingouville and Anthony Wanis St. John, under the direction of David Fairman
Six-person mediated negotiation among representatives of the Guatemalan government, military, rebel groups, indigenous people, and U.S. government to address post-armed-conflict human rights, land claims, and cultural and political rights issues
Role Simulation
Cross-Cultural Negotiation Role-Play:

Kaotian Crisis

Bruce Patton
Two-team, ten-party international crisis negotiation between U.S. and "Kaotian" military and security officials to address Kaotian seizure of an American vessel and the ensuing military crisis
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Managing Groundwater Beneath the Pablo-Burford Border

Lawrence Susskind
Two-team, ten-person, multi-issue, co-chaired negotiation between representatives of two adjacent countries regarding the transboundary management of a severe water shortage crisis
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

MedLeeIn Pursuit of a Healthy Joint Venture

Candace Lun and Jeswald W. Salacuse
Two-party, four-issue negotiation between representatives of two companies with different national and corporate cultures regarding a possible joint venture
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Meridia and Petrocentram

Abram Chayes and Antonia Handler Chayes
Two-party, four-issue negotiation between representatives of a Central American country and an international petroleum corporation over the terms of an offshore drilling project
Videos and Audio, Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

National Energy Policy Simulation

Eric Jay Dolin, Daniel Greenberg and Lawrence Susskind
Highly complex multi-party, multi-issue negotiation among political, industry, environmental, and consumer leaders and lobbyists to develop a detailed proposal to reduce U.S. vulnerability to changes in energy prices and supply
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Negotiating with Another Federal Agency

Larry Susskind (MIT), Ona Ferguson, and Meredith Sciarrio
Two, separate, two-person, non-scorable negotiations: one between Technical Co-chairs from the Center for Disease Control and USAID; the other between a CDC Technical Co-Chair and the Minister of Health in the imaginary host country of Sabada.
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Negotiating with the Ministry of Health

Larry Susskind (MIT), Ona Ferguson, and Meredith Sciarrio
Two, separate, two-person, non-scorable negotiations: one between Technical Co-chairs from the Center for Disease Control and USAID; the other between a CDC Technical Co-Chair and the Minister of Health in the imaginary host country of Sabada.
Role Simulation
Roger Fisher
Two-team, scoreable, multiple round, "prisoner's dilemma"-style negotiation between representatives of two countries over the monthly price for barrels of oil.
Role Simulation
Chris Jost, under the direction of David Fairman
Six-party negotiation among Hutu and Tutsi villagers regarding competing land claims and local authority issues in the wake of the Rwandan genocide
Role Simulation
Ericka Gray
Three-party, multi-issue international trade negotiation among three culturally different countries over which of two countries will export rice to the third; inculdes coalition and ongoing relationship issues
Role Simulation
Elizabeth Fierman under the supervision of David Fairman, David Plumb, Lawrence Susskind, Philip Angell, and Kelly Levin
Eight-party negotiation (with option for a ninth person facilitator) regarding climate change issues in a situation loosely based on the situation in Viet Nam.
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Ship Bumping Case

Andrew Clarkson
Two-party international negotiation between Russian and U.S. negotiators over a naval incident; teams internally prepare instructions for a representative not involved in the preparation
Role Simulation
William Ury, Ibrahim Ibrahim and Roger Fisher
Three-team, multi-issue mediation involving two or more representatives each of the country of Tulia, the country of Ibad, and the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.) regarding a cease-fire between the two warring countries
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Water on the West Bank

Susan Podziba and Lawrence Susskind
Seven-person, four-issue mediation among three Israeli water authority and regional representatives and three Palestinian water authority and political representatives over plans to drill a new well on the West Bank
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Zalada Crisis

Thomas Rasmussen, Elizabeth Kopelman, and Wayne Davis
Two-party international negotiation between representatives of a former colonial power and an independent former colony over the release of two arrested embassy workers and related political consequences

Video and Audio

Videos and Audio
Produced by Larry Susskind and Warren Dent
The Program On Negotiation at Harvard Law School invited three members of its highly experienced negotiation faculty to share stories about how they have adapted their teaching strategies in various cross-cultural contexts.
Videos and Audio

James Sebenius and Kristen Schneeman

Video featuring excerpts from a discussion with Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi regarding his international negotiation experiences, including negotiating a new government for Afghanistan in 2002
original
Videos and Audio

Edited by James K. Sebenius and Ellen Knebel

Video featuring Ambassador Richard Holbrooke discussing his role brokering the Dayton agreement that ended the 1992-95 war in Bosnia as well as his role in resolving the multinational dispute over U.S. dues owed in arrears to the United Nations
Videos and Audio, Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

National Energy Policy Simulation

Eric Jay Dolin, Daniel Greenberg and Lawrence Susskind
Highly complex multi-party, multi-issue negotiation among political, industry, environmental, and consumer leaders and lobbyists to develop a detailed proposal to reduce U.S. vulnerability to changes in energy prices and supply
original
Videos and Audio

Jeswald W. Salacuse

A comprehensive video-based seminar featuring Professor Jeswald Salacuse, a leading authority on global deal making

The Great Negotiator Collection

Videos and Audio

James Sebenius and Kristen Schneeman

Video featuring excerpts from a discussion with Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi regarding his international negotiation experiences, including negotiating a new government for Afghanistan in 2002
original
Videos and Audio

Edited by James K. Sebenius and Ellen Knebel

Video featuring Ambassador Richard Holbrooke discussing his role brokering the Dayton agreement that ended the 1992-95 war in Bosnia as well as his role in resolving the multinational dispute over U.S. dues owed in arrears to the United Nations

Case Studies & Articles

Stephen Weiss and Sarah Tatrallyay

This case study centers on the most challenging task for a negotiator: to reach a satisfactory agreement with a tough counterpart from a position of low power—and to do so in an uncommon context. The case concerns the executive director of a zoo in the U.S. who seeks two giant pandas, an endangered species, from their only source on the planet: China.

Books

original
Book

Shafiqul Islam and Lawrence E. Susskind

In this book, the authors show how open and constantly changing water networks can be managed successfully using collaborative adaptive techniques to build informed agreements among disciplinary experts, water users with conflicting interests, and governmental bodies with countervailing claims.
original
Book

Iris Bohnet

A "game-changer" that demonstrates how research is addressing gender bias, improving lives and performance.

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