Cross-Cultural Negotiation Role-Play:

Armenia/Azerbaijan/Nagorno KarabakhA Public Peace Process Initiative

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

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Free review copies of non-English Teacher’s Packages will be emailed upon request. Please contact tnrc@law.harvard.edu  or telephone 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.)
SCENARIO:

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.

 

MECHANICS:

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.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

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

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • 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.

 

Armenia/Azerbaijan/Nagorno Karabakh Attributes

Time required:
5 or more hours
Number of participants:
13
Teams involved:
Yes
Neutral third party present:
Facilitator
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
Yes
Agent present:
None
Non-English version available:
German
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You are then permitted to view the document on your computer and either print the number of copies you purchased, or forward the electronic file as many times as the number of copies you purchased. You will only receive a link to one electronic file per document. So, if you order 25 soft copies, you may either forward copies of the link to 25 people via e-mail, or print (and/or photocopy) 25 hard copies of the document.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

The purchase price and handling fee are the same for both soft and hard copies. Soft copies do not entail a shipping fee.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, then you should order a single Teacher’s Package for that role simulation. A PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package is also available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. There is no need to order participant materials as well as a Teacher’s Package, as all Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters. Please note that the materials in Teacher’s Packages are for the instructor’s review and reference only, and may not be duplicated for use with participants.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

If you wish to order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Participant Copies.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required; the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Participant Copies.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.