$0.00 – $6.00
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
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)
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.
Armenia/Azerbaijan/Nagorno Karabakh Attributes
|Time required:||5 or more hours|
|Number of participants:||13|
|Neutral third party present:||Facilitator|
|Teaching notes available:||Yes|
|Non-English version available:||German|