Advice for Peace: Ending Civil War in Colombia

(This video has been made freely available by the Program on Negotiation for educators and diplomats to learn about using a team of negotiation experts to bring about peace.)

The civil war in Colombia lasted 52 years, taking the lives of at least 220,000 people and displacing up to seven million civilians. In 2012, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos initiated peace process negotiations with the FARC guerrillas that resulted in an historic agreement in 2016, ending the last major war in the hemisphere. Before the start of the negotiations, President Santos convened a team of international negotiation advisors to bring best practice negotiation advice from other peace processes around the world. This Peace Advisory Team made over 25 trips to Colombia over the ensuing seven years. Upon receiving the Program on Negotiation (PON) Great Negotiator Award in 2017, President Santos remarked that if there were one piece of advice he would give another head of state embarking on a peace process, it would be to convene such a Peace Advisory Team.

In October of 2018, PON hosted a small conference with President Santos and his Peace Advisory Team to draw out the lessons of this pioneering innovation in international peace process negotiations. In this 45-minute video, the members of the Peace Advisory Team reflect on the Colombian peace process negotiations, explain what happened behind closed doors, assess what worked well and what did not, and distill what lessons can be carried forward for resolving future conflicts.

This video features:

  • Juan Manuel Santos, Former President of Colombia, 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient
  • William Ury, Harvard Negotiation Specialist
  • Dudley Ankerson, Political Consultant, Expert in Latin America
  • Jonathan Powell, Chief British Negotiator of the Good Friday Agreement
  • Bernard Aronson, US Special Envoy for the Colombian Peace Process
  • Shlomo Ben-Ami, Lead Negotiator at Camp David

Produced by:

  • The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

Armenia/Azerbaijan/Nagorno Karabakh


This case is based on the ethnic conflict between the ex-Soviet Transcaucasian states of Armenia and Azerbaijan over the predominantly Armenian enclave of Nagorno Karabakh, located within Azerbaijan. Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at war with each other since the late 1980s, although animosities go back many centuries. This study brings together influential private citizens from both sides of the conflict and attempts to involve them in an interactive dialogue intended to change relationships among the participants. It is based on the assumption that, although governments are the official bodies responsible for making peace agreements, citizens have a critical role in peace-making, as they are best equipped to address the non-negotiable human issues in ethnic conflicts. The case study is based on real-life efforts undertaken by several U.S.-based non-governmental organizations to bring together influential individuals from countries entangled in bitter ethnic wars.

Each party in this negotiation has experienced more or less directly the war that has engulfed the region. Not only do the participants have fresh memories of the wrongdoings by the other side, but they also carry with them a sense of historical injustice for the real or exaggerated harms perpetrated by the other nation. Each group does not realize, however, that the other one carries a different and incompatible view of the history of the region. These different views are a product of diverging versions of history perpetrated through the educational system and word-of-mouth learning.

The parties must deal with the issues of fairness, historical injustice, historical blaming and, if possible, the power of apologizing. They have to grapple with the difficulty of moving beyond the circle of hate, which they have been conditioned to nurture. They have to face the decision of whether to acknowledge the pain and suffering on the other side and whether to end the blaming game, becoming able to make plans for the future with the perceived "enemy." Finally, they must engage in the process of building coalitions not only within their own group but perhaps also with the other.



This is a 13-participant, two-team facilitated role simulation. It may be played without a facilitator if necessary. Both teams should meet privately before the official negotiation begins. The intra-team preparation time should take at least 1 hour, and the actual negotiation time ranges between 4 and 6 hours. Debriefing may be run at another time and should last at least 1 hour.



For all parties:

  • International Daily New Article
  • Public Peace Process Policy
  • Soviet Nationalities Policy


For each team:

  • Armenian history(for Armenian team)
  • Azerbaijani history (for Azerbaijani Team)


Role specific:

  • Fuad
  • Irana
  • Maral
  • Yosef
  • Marif
  • Adrineh
  • Anoush
  • Armen
  • Haig
  • Levon
  • Narmina
  • Facilitator


Teacher's Package (46 pages total):

  • All of the above
  • Facilitator's guide
  • Teaching Note



  • The importance of understanding the human dimension in ethnic conflicts and the difficulty of proposing solutions without grasping the complexity of the relationship.
  • The application and study of the major negotiation techniques in settings that do not involve negotiating, e.g., active listening.
  • The role of partisan perceptions, prejudices, and blaming in ethnic conflicts, and ways to move beyond them.

Arms Control on Cobia


The negotiation is set on the fictitious continent of Cobia, composed of eight countries. A race has developed on this continent between the two major countries, Algo and Omne, as well as Algo's smaller ally, Utro, for the development of a new chemical weapon, PS-182M. Furthermore, both major powers are racing to develop means to deliver this chemical weapon against the other by air, to overcome a natural barrier between them in the Smokey Mountains. There is great concern on the continent both about the dangers of conflict between the opposing alliances using this weapon, as well as about the environmental consequences of its use for the three nonaligned states on the continent. Therefore, the International Arms Control Conference has been called in St. Anton, capital of nonaligned Ingo, to try to negotiate a ban on this weapon, or at least its testing, as well as other related issues. During the course of the negotiations "news bulletins" may be issued changing the international environment within which the negotiations are taking place, either by the outbreak of a major crisis among the participants or by the attainment of a major agreement resolving other outstanding disputes only indirectly related to the content of this negotiation.



This issue is negotiated in one conference room where all eight countries (and perhaps a Secretary-General) are seated around a single table. If possible record the negotiations. In addition, the negotiators need to be able to consult with their Foreign Minister (normally played by the instructor or teaching assistants) in a nearby consultation room. The negotiation normally lasts three hours, and it is desirable to have at least a half-hour for preparation prior to the actual opening of the negotiation and another half-hour for debriefing. Therefore, it is best run in a block of four hours, though this can be modified by one hour in either direction without serious consequences.



For all parties:

  • Description of the issues under negotiation
  • Description of each of the countries of Cobia
  • General Instructions
  • Joint Memorandum
  • Map of Cobia
  • New Bulletins


Role specific:

  • Representatives of the Republic of Ingo
  • Representative of the Kingdom of Exton
  • Representative of the Kingdom of Carta
  • Representative of the Republic of Omne
  • Representative of the Principality of Sarto
  • Representative of the Kingdom of Algo
  • Representative of the Republic of Utro
  • Representative of the Federated States of Bata
  • Secretary-General


Teacher's package (48 pages total):

  • All of the above
  • Teaching Note
  • Suggested Readings



  • This is a complex, multi-issue, multi-party negotiation that requires considerable problem-solving for the negotiators to arrive at agreement. Since some issues turn out to be non-negotiable, the negotiator's ability to disaggregate (or fractionate) the issues is critical to their success.
  • In order to avoid unnecessary frustration at trying to reach agreement on non-negotiable issues, clear commitments by the major parties about their BATNA's tends to facilitate negotiating success.
  • The existence of the Foreign Minister who issues negotiating instructions means that all negotiators must be responsible to a domestic constituency, which places limits on their latitude to negotiate freely. Negotiators must thus learn to negotiate in a constrained environment, and to negotiate equally effectively with the Foreign Minister as well as with the other parties to the negotiation.
  • The assumption by the nonaligned states of active roles as mediators between the two competing alliances tends to contribute to an ability to reach successful agreements. Furthermore, the ability of the nonaligned to maintain a position of perceived neutrality is crucial to their playing this mediating role effectively.
  • Implications for several "real world" international analogues may be discussed by the instructor as part of the debriefing; suggestions along this line are contained in the Instructor's Manual.





Agenda control; BATNA; Caucusing; Coalitions; Commitments; Communication; Competition v. Cooperation; Currently perceived choice analysis; Enforcement and verification of agreement; Formula-detail negotiation; Fractionation; Group process; Integrative bargaining; Issue control; Joint gains; Managing uncertainty; Mediation; Political constraints (dealing with); Power imbalance; Pressure tactics; Risk perception; Systems of negotiation; Trust; Yesable propositions

Athens-Melos Role Play

The Athens-Melos Role Play is a simulation from the Workable Peace Curriculum Series unit on Ancient Greece and the Peloponnesian War.


The Athens-Melos Role Play is based on the historical conflict between the Greek city-states of Athens and Melos, in the year 416 BCE. It takes place during the seven-year interlude of peace in the middle of the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta.

As background to the simulation, Melos is an island in the Aegean Sea that is culturally connected to Sparta, yet deeply values its independence. During the first phase of the war, Melos had favored neutrality, but in 426 BCE Athens had attempted to invade Melos. Melos successfully fought off the invaders, and, according to the report of a captured Melian sailor, appeared to have contributed money to the Spartan war fund.

In 416 BCE (the setting for the role play), Athens has sent a fleet and soldiers to demand that Melos join the Delian League, a coalition of Greek city-states led by Athens for more than 60 years. Athens is particularly worried about Melos’ connection to Athens' enemy, Sparta, and is also interested in converting Melos into a democracy. The leaders of Melos do not want to give up their stable oligarchic government or their independence, and immediately send a messenger to Sparta to ask for help. Now, delegates from Athens and Melos are meeting to see if they can avoid war. The delegates must decide (a) whether Athens and Melos will establish a military truce to reduce tensions during the negotiations; (b) whether Melos will join the Delian League; (c) if so, whether Melos will contribute tribute, troops, or ships to the League; and (d) whether Melos will retain its own form of oligarchic government.



The Athens-Melos Role Play aims to:

  • Provide accurate historical and background information on Ancient Greece, the Peloponnesian War, and the conflict between Athens and Melos, and provide opportunities for students to engage with this history in a direct and realistic context.
  • Stimulate and motivate student learning through active participation, as well as through reading, writing, class discussion, and other forms of analysis and expression.
  • Build students’ negotiation and conflict management skills by asking them to take on the roles of participants seeking to resolve a conflict through negotiation, with support and feedback as they prepare, conduct, and debrief the role play.
  • Challenge students to find the links between the conflict presented in the role play and the conflict resolution steps presented in the Workable Peace Framework, and the links to other conflicts in history and in their own lives.


Teacher's Package includes:

  • History and General Instructions
  • Confidential Instructions for the Athenian Admiral, the Ruler of Melos, the Athenian General, and the General of Melos
  • Framework for a Workable Peace
  • Teaching Notes


If you would like additional information about the Workable Peace framework and teaching materials, including information about teacher training and support, please contact Workable Peace Co-Directors David Fairman or Stacie Smith at:

The Consensus Building Institute, Inc. 238 Main Street, Suite 400 Cambridge, MA 02142 Tel: 617-492-1414 Fax: 617-492-1919 web: Email:

Ballet’s Me Too


When a reinterpretation of West Side Story opened on Broadway, picketing and #MeToo demonstrations preceded and followed the opening. The protest publicized the sexual abuse and hostile work environment a female dancer suffered two years earlier when she worked with Amar Ramasar, one of the leads in the West Side Story production; a principal dancer and one of the first dancers of color at the New York City Ballet.

The lead producer of West Side Story and other investors are negotiating with the Salt Lake City Ballet West Board of Directors to perform in Salt Lake City for a run of at least four months.  The SLC Ballet West Board is concerned that the picketing and demonstrations will follow the show from New York, embarrass the Board and the community, and cause a drop off in ticket sales during the run.  The SLC Ballet West Board is seeking indemnification (and protection) if civil disruption occurs.

Major lessons in this exercise include:

  • How should concerns around sensitive issues like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter be taken into account in the design and management of negotiations?
  • The role of ethics and values in distinguishing between positions and interests in this type of situation.
  • How do relationships benefit or impede negotiations, especially when the parties will likely need to carry on working relationships long after the conclusion of the negotiation?
  • The role of the mediator, and what, if any, value added they provide in the dispute resolution process.

There are two versions of this simulation. Version A includes only the counsel for the parties, whereas Version B includes Waterbury and Ramasar appearing pro se.

Camp Lemonnier


Camp Lemonnier is a United States Naval Expeditionary Base located in the African country of Djibouti. Djibouti, bordering Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, has been home to Camp Lemonnier since the September 11, 2001 attacks prompted the United States to seek a temporary staging ground for U.S. Marines in the region. Since then, Camp Lemonnier has expanded to nearly 500 acres and a base of unparalleled importance, in part because it is one of the busiest Predator drone bases outside of the Afghan warzone. Camp Lemonnier is home to the Combined Joint Task Force―Horn of Africa of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)—and is the only permanent U.S. military base in Africa.

Tensions between the two usually friendly nations took a turn after the crash of a U.S. Predator drone in the capital city of Djibouti. The United States Defense Attaché and the Djiboutian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs are meeting to renegotiate the terms of the lease contract for Camp Lemonnier. The negotiation will include the following issues: contract length, total lease payments per year, potential for renegotiation, economic development aid, and support for the local population, including staffing at the base.

Major lessons of this simulation include:

  • Defining BATNA: knowing your own BATNA will help you not accept a deal that is suboptimal to your likely walk-away alternative.
  • Understanding the Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA): By estimating the ZOPA prior to a negotiation you can avoid taking a deal that is worse for you than your next best (realistic) alternative.
  • The impact of culture in negotiation.
  • Process management and agenda setting.
  • Uncovering interests: integrative bargaining, or “mutual gain” negotiation, focuses on the idea that through careful preparation a negotiation outcome can be favorable for both sides.
  • Principal-agent dynamics.
  • Uncovering sources of power in negotiation.

This exercise is based on the real 2014 negotiations between the United States of America and the Republic of Djibouti. The Camp Lemonnier Case Study, which details the real-life negotiation, is available for purchase separately, and can be used either with this simulation or on its own.


  • General Instructions for all parties
  • Confidential Instructions for Djiboutian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Confidential Instructions for United States Defense Attaché
  • Results Form
  • Teaching Notes

Camp Lemonnier Case Study


In the spring of 2014, representatives from the United States of America and the Republic of Djibouti were in the midst of renegotiations over Camp Lemonnier, the only permanent U.S. base on the continent of Africa. Djibouti, bordering Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, has been home to Camp Lemonnier since the September 11, 2001 attacks prompted the United States to seek a temporary staging ground for U.S. Marines in the region. Since then, Camp Lemonnier has expanded to nearly 500 acres and a base of unparalleled importance, in part because it is one of the busiest Predator drone bases outside of the Afghan warzone.

The U.S. is not alone in recognizing the strategic importance of Djibouti. France and Japan have well-established military presences and launch operations from the Djibouti-Ambouli International airport, as well. As of spring 2014, Russia was also reportedly vying for a similar land lease in the country.

Tensions between the United States and Djibouti have flared in recent years, due in large part to a string of collisions and close calls because of Djiboutian air-traffic controllers’ job performance at the airport. Americans have complained about the training of air-traffic controllers at the commercial airport. Additionally, labor disputes have arisen at the base where the United States is one of the largest non-government employers within the country.

Major lessons of this case study include:

  • Defining BATNA: what is each party’s BATNA?
  • Understanding the Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA): what is the ZOPA in this case?
  • The impact of culture in negotiation.
  • Uncovering interests.
  • Principal-agent dynamics.
  • Uncovering sources of power in negotiation.

This case can be paired with the Camp Lemonnier Simulation, available for purchase separately from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC). The simulation is a two-party, multi-issue, fictionalized version of these negotiations.


  • Case Study Part A
  • Case Study Part B
  • Teaching Notes

Canada-China Panda Acquisition Negotiation


In 2010, after years of communication with the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG) concerning a loan of giant pandas, Toronto Zoo officials see a “ripe moment” to intensify their efforts and undertake formal negotiations.  They designate a Chinese-Canadian spokesman and discuss partnering with Calgary Zoo.  The Canadians face serious challenges, however.  Giant pandas are an endangered species native only to one country: China.  Moreover as “star attractions,” they are in demand by zoos all over the world.  Political and economic factors within and between the two countries complicate the situation.



The two teams will meet separately for an hour to discuss their objectives and strategies.  The Canadian teams face the challenge of developing an internal alignment.  Then the two teams will meet and negotiate for one hour.  All negotiators stand to benefit from agreement but each has limits on how far he or she can accommodate the others.



For all parties:

  • No separate general or “public” information (it is incorporated in confidential instructions)

Role Specific:

Confidential Instructions for:

  • John Smith, CEO of Toronto Zoo
  • Dr. Ming-Tat Li, Chair of Giant Panda Acquisition Task Force, TorontoZoo Board of Management
  • Dr. Clement Dupont, President and CEO of Calgary Zoo
  • WANG Zhongping (family name appears first), Vice-President and Secretary General of the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG)
  • MA Zhong, Deputy Secretary General of CAZG
  • WU Hong, CAZG staff

Teacher’s Package:

  • All of the above (51 pages)


  • To achieve a satisfactory agreement from a low-power position, a negotiator must focus on parties’ interests and resources, and generate creative (non-standard) proposals.
  • Identify and resolve internal differences before commencing external negotiations so that the negotiation team can act cohesively.  Internal cooperation is especially important when the team experiences pressure in external negotiations.
  • Call a caucus as needed during external negotiations in order to manage the team and/or the negotiation process.
  • Among the different negotiation roles that team members may assume, an intermediary (process orchestrator) must have a special set of attributes and skills.  Some of these may be innate or assigned; others must be earned on the scene.
  • To make progress in complex negotiations (many issues of various types), negotiators must clearly and explicitly set forth an agenda of items for discussion.  How, and when, they are discussed should be deliberate and strategic.
  • Negotiators should move back and forth between discussions of the “big picture” and the hammering out of details.  Too much of one or the other bogs down proceedings and leads to suboptimal outcomes.
  • When parties’ positions on one issue indicate no zone of possible agreement, additional issues and package deals should be considered.
  • Negotiators must strategically choose to reveal or withhold information.  Too much or too little information, at the wrong time, can drastically affect the attainment of their individual goals.


Bargaining power, coordination of internal and external negotiations, agenda-setting, intermediaries (tactics, effects), information management, interests, aspirations, value creation

Charlene Barshefsky – Negotiating a Trade Agreement with China

Charlene Barshefsky (A):

Set between 1994 and 1996, this 16-page factual case study describes the challenges former United States Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky faced in negotiating a trade agreement with China to improve its domestic intellectual property rights enforcement regime. After briefly describing Barshefsky's past experience and trade negotiations, this case discusses the history of U.S.-China trade relations and analyzes Ambassador Barshefsky's strategy in coalition-building in the United States and abroad toward the goal of achieving a sustainable deal. As a result of her work in this context, Ambassador Barshefsky received the 2001 Program on Negotiation "Great Negotiator" Award.


Charlene Barshefsky (B):

Also set between 1994 and 1996, this 17-page factual case study details former United States Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky's strategic and tactical approach to surmounting the barriers laid out in the (A) case.

Both Charlene Barshefsky (A) and Charlene Barshefsky (B) are designed to help students examine complex negotiation and coalition building strategies in an international context. They explore national/ cultural negotiating styles, barriers to doing a deal amidst splintered commercial and political interests, and innovative approaches to surmounting those barriers. The two case studies are related, but may either be used together or separately.

Christiana Figueres and the Collaborative Approach to Negotiating Climate Action

The Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School periodically presents the Great Negotiator Award to an individual whose lifetime achievements in the field of negotiation and dispute resolution have had a significant and lasting impact. In 2022, PON selected Christiana Figueres as the recipient of its Great Negotiator Award.

As UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres was tasked with a seemingly insurmountable challenge of putting together an impactful, global climate agreement to save the planet. Coming out the dramatic failure of the Copenhagen summit, many believed that such an agreement was not possible. However, with persistent optimism and careful, targeted interventions aimed at building momentum, in 2015 the Paris Agreement was unanimously adopted by the 196 participating nations and set forth a new framework for international climate agreements.

Figueres had to personally undergo a transformation to let go of her identity as a Costa Rican diplomat so she could approach the negotiations from a global perspective and meet each participating nation from their perspective. The negotiation process itself was not just the two-week conference in Paris but instead was a years-long series of actions taken by Figueres and others to help enhance the probability of a successful outcome at the negotiating table. These actions included things like discussions with private industry groups, repeated talks with the Saudi government, and Operation Groundswell, in which a small team of strategic influencers worked with partners behind the scenes to build support for an ambitious outcome. By bringing different coalitions of countries and non-state actors together to lead the way, a more expansive agreement became possible.

Major lessons of this case study include:

  • Coalition and spoiler management in complex international treaty negotiations
  • Principal-agent dynamics
  • Active listening and difficult conversations
  • Building momentum for an agreement
  • Power dynamics in negotiation
  • Deal implementation and sustainability

This case can be paired with the Great Negotiator 2022: Christiana Figueres videos, available for purchase separately from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC).

Cross-Cultural Negotiation Video: What Is There To Teach About?

Do you teach negotiation to students from different cultural backgrounds? Are you teaching students how to negotiate in a cross-cultural context? Do you teach a “one world” model of negotiation; or, are there cultural variables that require changes in the basic model of negotiation that you teach?

The Program On Negotiation at Harvard Law School invited three members of its highly experienced negotiation faculty to share insights and lessons about how to negotiate, and teach, in various cross-cultural contexts.

In this enlightening video Jeswald Salacuse, Eileen Babbitt and David Fairman speak openly as they:

  • Explore culture and context: how does each affect the other?
  • Describe carefully honed teaching techniques and negotiation exercises.
  • Divulge personal challenges they faced in their practice and in their classrooms.


Here's a brief sample:

Jeswald Salacuse is Henry J. Braker Professor of Law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and served as the Fletcher School's Dean for nine years.

In his presentation Professor Salacuse offers:

  • A working definition, and by extension a typology of what we call “culture”.
  • New ways of understanding cultural similarities and differences.
  • The social functions of culture and the opportunities they present for negotiation instructors. .
  • A hard but valuable lesson he learned as a young negotiator working on reform of the penal code in northern Nigeria.


Eileen Babbitt is Professor of Practice of International Conflict Management, Director of the Institute for Human Security, and Co-Director of the Program on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution at The Fletcher School.

Eileen Babbitt’s insightful discourse explores:

  • High/Low Context cultures in light of her experience with Israeli/Palestinian negotiations.
  • Key negotiation exercises she uses in her classroom to help her students practice cross-cultural communication.
  • How she incorporates a TNRC negotiation role-play called Medlee.
  • The importance of building partnerships among cultural ambassadors.


David Fairman is Managing Director at the Consensus Building Institute, Associate Director of the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, and former Lecturer in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

In David Fairman’s presentation he:

  • Breaks down his approach to culture as it has evolved in his work with a wide variety of international clients.
  • Questions the evolving nature of culture, specifically, the emergence of virtual culture.
  • Closes with a fascinating look at organizational culture at the United Nations.


Larry Susskind, vice-chair of PON, moderates the discussion, including a Q&A sessions at the end of each presentation. He also hosts a captivating interview with the three panelists that crystallizes the most valuable take-away lessons from exchange..

This video is downloadable as a 14-piece series (each segment is between 2-4 minutes in length) or as a single continuous video that includes all segments (total running time is 40 minutes). A single purchase allows customers to download both versions if they so wish.

Development Dispute at Menehune Bay


The Queen Malia Estate has entered into an agreement with the Elima Iki Development Company (EIDC) for the leasing of 500 acres of land around Menehune Bay in Hawaii. EIDC is planning a world-class resort for the site – including eight hotels, two golf courses, recreational clubs, and private condominium units. The project has support from the business and construction community on the island but faces opposition from environmental groups and local residents. The Mayor has remained fairly noncommittal about the project, and feels that a number of questions must be answered before he can decide on the proposal. He has invited designated representatives from the six groups most interested in the project to serve on a Special Advisory Committee, indicating that if five of the six groups can reach an agreement, he will go along with their recommendations.



  • Successful facilitation of mediation of land use disputes involves attention to procedural concerns. The role of the neutral in establishing procedural guidelines should be clearly understood by all parties before substantive negotiation begins.
  • It is difficult to ensure that all participants in a complex negotiation have a chance to be heard, and that the ideas expressed accumulate in a constructive fashion. One of the primary tasks of the facilitator or mediator is to ensure that an acceptable record of all discussions is kept.
  • The facilitator or mediator is responsible for making sure that the group arrives at final decisions that resolve the issues at hand. It is often as difficult to get a group of disputants to agree on a process for deciding as it is to reach an agreement.
  • Inventing new options is critical to finding a workable agreement in a complex public dispute. The line between facilitation and mediation begins to blur as the neutral facilitator takes a more active role in the invention of new options.



Available on its own or as part of the Resolving Public Disputes package



For all parties:

  • A Brief History on the Proposed Project
  • Map 1: Estate Lands
  • Map 2: The proposed Site


Role Specific:

  • Confidential Instructions for Representatives of the following groups:
  • Construction Now Hawaii
  • Development Information Association
  • Elima Iki Development Company
  • Hawaii's Friends of the Environment
  • Menehune Bay Users Association


Teacher's Package (31 pages total):

  • All of the above
  • Teaching notes



Multi-party negotiations; mediating land use disputes; aboriginal rights; environmental dispute resolution; mediation



Agenda control; Coalitions; Consensus building; Ethics, Integrative bargaining; Objective criteria



This simulation requires seven players — representatives of each of the six major interests plus a facilitator. The players should be given 30-40 minutes to read the game, and 90 minutes to negotiate. The debriefing takes at least one hour.



Veritas and Pulchra are neighboring countries with a long history of friendly, mutually beneficial relations. Recently, however, relations between the two countries have been strained due to a catastrophic industrial accident wherein a concentrated form of the Class M chemical pesticide DS-30 leaked from a chemical plant in Veritas near the Pulchran border, adversely affecting a large tract of Pulchran farmland. To comply with Pulchran regulations on Class M pesticides, a significant amount of Pulchran wheat had to be destroyed because of excessive exposure to DS-30.

Compensation and emergency relief to affected Pulchran farmers are central issues in that country's upcoming elections, but the Pulchran National Legislature is unwilling to appropriate any money without first getting some commitment from Veritas to pay for the damage it caused. There are a wide range of standards that the two countries could use to determine the amount and nature of compensation. Because of significant political concerns, negotiators from each country's Foreign Ministry have been asked to meet and settle this case quickly.



The case is designed for one negotiator on each side, though pairing participants and running the case as a 2-on-2 negotiation can also work. The participants should take approximately 30 minutes to negotiate. A review and discussion period requires 45-60 minutes.



  • This simulation provides a good vehicle for illustrating various negotiation strategies. There are a fair number of interests with varying intensities, some shared, some dovetailing, and others conflicting. Options for joint gain are plentiful.
  • The range of possible agreements is wide; by comparing agreements the usefulness of generating options should emerge.
  • It almost always pays to maintain cordial working relations with adversaries, even in the face of substantial disagreement. Energy should be focused on solving the problem, not "beating" the other side.



For all parties:

  • General Instructions


The following materials may also be distributed as handouts at the end of the exercise:

  • Some possible Criteria for Establishing Reparations
  • Illustrative Preparation Memo


Role Specific:

Confidential Instructions for:

  • Pulchra representative
  • Veritas representative


Teaching Package:

  • All of the above



Agenda control; Commitment; Information exchange; Interests; Legitimacy; Options, generating; Personality


ENCO is a Texas-based power company that has begun to move aggressively into emerging markets. The Indian government has approached ENCO to build an electrical generating plant to increase the power supply to Maharashtra State, one of India's most economically developed states. ENCO is willing to undertake the project if it can be assured of a credible, long-term purchaser that will buy the electricity t a price profitable to ENCO. Toward this end, ENCO has negotiated but not yet signed a long-term "Power Purchase Agreement" (PPA) with the Maharashtra State Electricity Board, a state enterprise that distributes electricity to consumers.

Since the negotiation of the PPA, however, developments in Maharashtra State have raised some concern. Communal rioting has begun and the local media has changed the ENCO project with corruption and foreign exploitation. Elections are scheduled for next year and the Congress Party, which controls the Maharashtra State Government and negotiated the PPA, might lose.

ENCO's CEO Janet Thron, is scheduled to fly to India next to sign the PPA. She has asked her top five associates for advice on how to proceed. All five associates have offered differing advice, and Thorn must make a series of decisions in response to deteriorating circumstances.



All international contracts are potentially unstable, especially when governments are parties.

Political change is a prime cause of contractual instability.

  • Contract enforcement mechanisms (such as international arbitration) can be important, but at best they are alternatives that strengthen a party's position.
  • Because international deals involve continuing negotiations, parties need to develop strategies to help cope with change even after a contract is signed.
  • The legal and political context of a deal can influence its stability.
  • When the net benefits to one party of not having a contract become greater than maintaining the contract, one can expect that party to reject or seek to re-negotiate the contract.
  • Standard contracting practices in one country may not work effectively in other countries.


Teacher's Package Includes:

  • Participant Materials
  • Teaching Note
  • Charts that can be used as overhead transparencies

Flagship Airways

SCENARIO: Three years ago Flagship Airways signed a ten-year, $1 billion contract with Eureka Aircraft Engines. Since then, things have changed for both Flagship and Eureka. Flagship's revenues have steadily decreased and they are now reluctant to put forth $1 billion to expand. Meanwhile, Eureka's development of its "revolutionary" engine has not proved as efficient as Eureka had hoped. Today, at Flagship's request, the two companies are meeting to discuss how to restructure the agreement. This is not an unprecedented procedure. The two companies have met in the past to restructure deals when circumstances have changed significantly for either party. In their negotiation, there is a great deal of data to be managed by both parties. There is also a longstanding relationship between the two lead negotiators for each side. Each must decide how to secure the best deal for his/her respective company, while maintaining their relationship. Each must also build trust within his/her team to make sure that the terms agreed upon are acceptable to all.



  • To insure relationships that promote quality within the organization, both long-term and short-term interests must be balanced very thoroughly.
  • This exercise demonstrates the dependency of successful internal negotiations on successful external negotiations. Thorough preparation is absolutely critical in this negotiation.
  • Don't jeopardize long-term relationships by pushing too hard for short-term gains.
  • Effective cross-cultural negotiation depends upon making sure what you are saying is what is being heard and that you are hearing what is said. Clear communication is critical.



  • Common Measures
  • BMP Policy
  • Multisumma

Future of Hebron, The

The Future of Hebron is a role simulation from the Workable Peace Curriculum Series unit on Managing Conflict in the Middle East.

This simulation is set in the West Bank city of Hebron. Although Israeli troops have withdrawn from other Palestinian cities on the West Bank, they continue to control about one-fifth of the city of Hebron on order to protect a Jewish community centered around the Tomb of the Patriarchy and the Il Ibrahami Mosque.

During the last two years, Palestinians living in Hebron have protested continued Israeli occupation, and have sometimes attacked Israelis in the hope of forcing an Israeli withdrawal from the city. At the same time, Israeli settlers and soldiers have arrested and attacked Palestinians whom they see as threats to their security.

Both Palestinian and Israeli leaders have decided that the continuing violence in Hebron will jeopardize the possibility of lasting peace between the two groups. Both leaders fear that extremists groups will use violence to stop the peace process. The leaders are not sure that they can trust each other, let alone representatives of the extremist groups. Nevertheless, the have agreed to hold a meeting in Hebron to discuss land claims, security, and border control.



  • Importance of clarifying interests
  • Importance of rebuilding lost trust
  • Usefulness of objective criteria
  • Usefulness of neutral facilitators
  • Importance of agenda-setting
  • Importance of understanding the human dimension in ethnic conflict
  • Difficulty of proposing solutions without grasping the complexity of the relationship
  • Challenges in dealing with intra-group dynamics; and causes of inter-group conflict escalation


Teacher's Package includes:

  • History and General Instructions
  • Confidential Instructions for Israeli Government Official, Israeli Military Officer, Israeli Settlers Representative, PLO Official, Chief of Palestinian Police for Hebron, and Hamas Supporter
  • Framework for a Workable Peace
  • Master List of Player Goals
  • Teaching Note


If you would like additional information about the Workable Peace framework and teaching materials, including information about teacher training and support, please contact Workable Peace Co-Directors David Fairman or Stacie Smith at:

The Consensus Building Institute, Inc.
238 Main Street, Suite 400
Cambridge, MA 02142
Tel: 617-492-1414
Fax: 617-492-1919