Regulation Negotiation

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Regulatory changes initiated by agencies – whether motivated by new information, stakeholder pressure or legal or political changes – typically face strong opposition from groups adversely effected. In many cases, these groups turn to the courts or their political allies, often via lobbyists, to overturn or modify policies or decisions that they oppose. Proponents and opponents arm themselves with data that supports their respective positions and fight to get their way in all-or-nothing battles.

The Program on Negotiation promotes alternative approaches to regulatory interactions in which the various stakeholder groups work together to explore all the interests at stake, jointly commission technical studies and examine relevant data, and seek solutions that meet policy goals while avoiding or mitigating the negative consequences changes might have on groups.

Role-play exercises available through the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) introduce regulatory negotiations in various industries and at different scales, from the regulation of billboards in a small city in Billboards in Wyethville to the regulation of international investment in a developing country in Foreign Direct Investment in Mandoa. Videos and books on regulatory negations are also available.

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Case Studies & Articles

Gina Coplon-Newfield

This case study provides an intimate view into the fierce battle among major US nonprofit environmental groups, Members of Congress, and industry over energy policy in 2007. The resulting law slashed pollution by raising car efficiency regulations for the first time in three decades. For negotiators and advocates, this case provides important lessons about cultivating champions, neutralizing opponents, organizing the masses, and using the right message at the right time.

Role Simulations

Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Amending Approval for the Storyville Pulp and Paper Mill

Consensus Building Institute and Alberta Environmental Appeal Board
Mediation of a three-party dispute among a paper mill, a community group, and an environmental regulatory agency over the paper mill's air pollution permit
Role Simulation
Community Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Beaumont Incinerator Exercise

Mona Haywood and Lawrence Susskind
Six-party task force negotiation regarding the application of environmental policy to the operation of an incinerator in a racially diverse community
Role Simulation
Catherine Preston and Lawrence Susskind
Five-issue negotiation between three factory representatives and three Federal Environmental Agency representatives over the factory's new operational agreement, in the context of harsh public criticism of both parties
Role Simulation
Melissa Manwaring, under the direction of David Fairman and Stacie Nicole Smith
Six-party, multi-issue negotiation among governmental, organizational, and family stakeholders regarding the implementation of court-ordered racial integration measures in Boston public schools and possible improvements in education and community relations
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Chemco, Inc.

Wendy Pabich and Lawrence Susskind
Six-person, five-issue negotiation between three industrial factory representatives and three environmental agency representatives over environmental and economic concerns in the wake of damaging negative publicity for both parties
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
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

DEC v. Riverside

David Lax, James Sebenius, Lawrence Susskind, and Thomas Weeks
Two-party, multi-issue, scoreable negotiation between a manufacturer and a state environmental agency to reach a settlement over the manufacturer's pollution of a local river
Role Simulation
Community Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Dioxin - Waste to Energy Game

Denise Madigan, Steve Foster, and Lawrence Susskind
Six-party, multi-issue negotiation among four scientists, a city representative, and an environmentalist to develop the city's solid waste management strategy; also known as: Dioxin: Resource Recovery.
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

DirtyStuff I

Lawrence Susskind
Five-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among industry, environmental, labor, and government representatives to develop single-text regulation of toxic industrial by-product
Role Simulation
Health / Medicine / Pharmaceutical Negotiation Role-Play:

Drug Testing in the Workplace

Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld and Roger Winthrop
Three-person employment mediation between a truck driver and his company's personnel director, mediated by an Employee Assistance Program representative, regarding a positive drug test; a four-person version also includes a union representative
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

East Falls Brownfields

Tracy Dyke, under the direction of Lawrence Susskind and Susan Podziba
Seven-person, non-scoreable, facilitated negotiation among planners, regulators and activists regarding the cleanup and redevelopment of environmentally contaminated property
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Federal Lands Management IMatching the Process to the Situation

Consensus Building Institute, Montana Consensus Council, and Bureau of Land Management
Facilitated multi-party negotiation over the appropriate decision-making process for a federal land management dispute
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Federal Lands Management IINegotiating a Resource Management Dispute

Consensus Building Institute, Montana Consensus Council and Bureau of Land Management
Facilitated multi-party negotiation over the appropriate environmental, commercial, residential, and other uses of federal lands in the Rocky Mountains
Role Simulation
Sarah Hammitt and Jessica Artiles under the direction of Professor Lawrence Susskind
An eight-party, environmentally-focused role-play simulation, Flooding deals with an investment firm that is in the final stages of a multi-year planning process for a large, riverside mixed-use development. FEMA recently updated Evantown’s Flood Insurance Rate Map and the development falls within the 100-year floodplain. In addition, a study by the local university concludes that altered precipitation patterns brought on by climate change will put more and more properties at risk of flooding in the future. Should the firm be allowed to go through with the development? How and to what extent should Evantown take measures to protect itself against flood risks? Who is responsible for paying for whatever adaptation measures are used to protect vulnerable areas?
Role Simulation
Regulation Negotiation Role-Play:

Gadgets, Inc.

Cheri Peele and Lawrence Susskind
Six-party, four-issue negotiation among a company's management and union representatives, environmental groups, and state and federal environmental agencies over fines and adoption of new technology in response to the company's illegal polluting
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
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Hitana Bay Development Simulation

International Programme for the Management of Sustainability, with Lawrence Susskind
Ten-party, multi-issue negotiation among government, development, industry, labor, and preservation interests over port improvements, real-estate development, and environmental protection in a Caribbean island harbor expansion
Role Simulation
Science-Intensive Policy Disputes Negotiation Role-Play:

IndopotamiaNegotiating Boundary-Crossing Water Conflicts

Catherine M. Ashcraft under the supervision of Professors Lawrence Susskind and Shafiqul Islam
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Jefferson Hazardous Waste Negotiation

Vicki Arroyo and Lawrence Susskind
Eight-party, five-issue negotiation among community, environmental, business, and government interests over the formulation of a statewide hazardous waste siting policy
Role Simulation
Regulation Negotiation Role-Play:

Lake Wasota Fishing Rights

Denise Madigan, Tod Loofbourrow with teaching notes by Eileen Babbitt and Lawrence Susskind
Six-party, six-issue, scoreable negotiation among representatives of tribal, state, federal, recreation, and business interests over fishing rights in a large lake
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Least-Cost Planning Exercise

Clinton Andrews and Lavinia Hall
Six-party, multi-issue mediation among electric utilities, consumer interests, environmentalists, and mediator with technical expertise, over the best way to meet increased demands for electricity
Role Simulation
Science-Intensive Policy Disputes Negotiation Role-Play:

Long RiverConfronting the Challenges of Instream Flow

Catherine Ashcraft and Larry Susskind
A six-party, seven-person (including the mediator), multi-issue mediation among representatives of governmental, business, environmental, recreational, and tribal interests regarding a dispute over developing an instream flow action plan
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
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Monroe Energy Assistance Game I

Allan Morgan and Lawrence Susskind
Six-party, four-issue negotiation among representatives of consumer groups, political leaders, and public utilities to develop a statewide energy assistance plan for low-income residents
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:

Negotiated Rulemaking for Electric Utilities

Jonathan Raab and Lavinia Hall
Five-person facilitated negotiation among environmental, industry, public utility, and government representatives to revise a proposed rule incorporating environmental costs into electric utility rates
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

New Crimea Prison Overcrowding Simulation

Susan Podziba and Lawrence Susskind
Eight-party, multi-issue negotiation among prison administrators, government leaders, criminal justice advocates, and prisoners' rights advocates to develop recommendations for a comprehensive state policy to alleviate prison overcrowding
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Offshore Wind Farm Negotiation

MIT Students in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, under the supervision of Prof. Lawrence Susskind and Dr. Herman Karl
8-party nonscorable negotiation among commercial, environmental, and governmental stakeholders over a controversial proposal to develop offshore wind farms
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Radwaste I

Tod Loofbourrow, Lawrence Susskind, Denise Madigan and Wendy Rundle
Seven-party, multi-issue, scoreable negotiation among regulatory, environmental, tribal, local government, and industry representatives to choose criteria for selecting a low-level radioactive waste disposal site
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Radwaste II

Tod Loofbourrow, Lawrence Susskind, Denise Madigan and Wendy Rundle
Six-party, multi-issue negotiation among state and local government, enviromental, and industry representatives to select one of three sites for low-level radioactive waste disposal
Role Simulation
Game Theory and Negotiation Analytics Role-Play:

Rushing River Cleanup

Bruce Patton
Three-party, scoreable, single-issue negotiation among three manufacturers over two- or three-party coalitions for complying with waste cleanup regulations; variation of Three-Party Coalition Exercise
Role Simulation
Steven Maser
Five- or six-person, multi-issue, facilitated negotiation among federal agency, state government, environmental, and industry representatives over the regulation of woodstove emissions; optional sixth role for industry association counsel

Video and Audio

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

Books

original
Book
An annual compilation of research papers addressing a range of transboundary environmental negotiation issues
original
Book

Iris Bohnet

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

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