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"

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SCENARIO:

This simulation takes place in the European Union in the near future. The EU has prohibited the disposal of personal computers in landfills. It has also required that individual countries develop ‘producer-responsibility’ policies for electronic waste management. Several European and North American countries have already implemented such policies.

The development of a producer responsibility policy is a high priority for Sweland, a country that wants to join the fictional European Trade Area. The deadline for the formal application to join the ETA is only three months away, and Sweland must come up with a sustainable electronic waste policy by then.

Sweland has several major regional and national stakeholder groups that might be affected by a change in electronic waste policy. Sweland’s Environment Ministry has called a “Round Table” meeting of ten such stakeholder representatives.

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • This policy is going to be scrutinized by the other countries that Sweland is trying to impress. How does that change the decisions?
  • How useful are caucuses in this type of negotiation?
  • What lessons does this exercise suggest about policy development?
  • What lessons does this exercise suggest about the interaction of economic and environmental interests?

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

This simulation is not intended to be an accurate reflection of the current status of these issues within the European Union. The debrief of this simulation may include a discussion of the reality.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all Parties:

  • General instructions
  • Country overview of Sweland
  • Brief on waste management of Sweland
  • Brief on jurisdictional issues of Sweland
  • Brief on financial position of Sweland
  • Brief on waste collection of Sweland
  • Brief on waste disposal of Sweland
  • Draft relevant law of Sweland

 

Role Specific:

Confidential Instructions for:

  • the Chief Administrator to the Ministry for the Environment (Chair)
  • the Director of Finance
  • the Director of Commercial Affairs
  • the Minister of Industry of Western Province
  • the Minister of Commerce Northern Province
  • the Minister of Trade Southern Province
  • the Executive Director of the Electronics Industry Council
  • the Director for the Environment and Product Quality of Big Corp
  • the Computer Retailers Association
  • the Earth Consumer Movement NGO

 

KEYWORDS:

Multi-party negotiation; national policy dialogue; industrial policy; sustainable development

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

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Computer Waste Policy Simulation Attributes

Time required:
5 or more hours
Number of participants:
10
Teams involved:
No
Agent present:
None
Neutral third party present:
None
Scoreable:
Yes
Teaching notes available:
Yes
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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