International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Nazi Party of America v. Town of Hokey

Bruce Patton
Two-party highly political negotiation between a lawyer for Nazi convention organizers and a town attorney a permit application for a Nazi Party parade in a Jewish neighborhood

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SCENARIO:

The Nazi Party of America has paid a non-refundable $5,000 deposit to the Convention Center in the Town of Hokey (population 100,000-55,000 Jewish). The American Civil Liberties League (ACLL) is representing the Nazi Party in petitioning the Board of Selectmen to permit a parade that will travel through the center of town and pass many Jewish homes with residents who still vividly remember the Holocaust. The Town of Hokey is in an uproar, and the issuance of the permit has become a national political issue. There is little doubt that if the permit is not issued the whole convention will move to another heavily Jewish community. The Attorneys for the Town and the ACLL are scheduled to meet to discuss the possibility of reaching some agreement. The meeting of the Board of Selectmen meet to vote on the issuance of the permit is imminent.

 

MECHANICS:

This case can be configured either one-on-one or two-on-two. Negotiation time may range from 10-60 minutes, review from 15-60 minutes, both depending on the goals and the amount of preparation. (No precedents are given in the case, but obviously many exist that can be researched.) Videotaping highlights nonverbal communication.

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • This case puts Carol Gilligan’s two “voices” of rights and caring directly at odds in a value-laden political context with high salience for many people. This sets up discussion of a series of issues, including: Whether and how the two concerns can be reconciled? What constitutes “objective” criteria in a case like this–is some fundamental value consensus needed for the concept to have meaning and/or functionality?
  • How does internal conflict over these issues manifest itself in verbal and nonverbal behavior? What differential effects do different negotiation techniques have on the level of conflict–can partisan perceptions be strengthened by some approaches, greater understanding promoted by others? Which is desirable on an individual or societal level?
  • The case also raises a variety of issues related to politicization, and to conflicts of interests between local and national interest groups and between short- and long-range goals.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

Role Specific:

Confidential Instructions for the:

  • Town Attorneys
  • American Civil Liberties League Attorneys

 

Teacher’s Package:

  • All of the above


PROCESS THEMES:

Authority; BATNA; Communication; Constituents; Credibility; Emotions; Ethics; Fairness; Gilligan, two voices; Lawyering; Legitimacy; Media; Objective criteria; Partisan perceptions; Precedents; Pressure tactics; Public opinion; Separating the people from the problem; Threats

 

Nazi Party of America v. Town of Hokey Attributes

Time required:
Less than 30 minutes
Number of participants:
2
Teams involved:
No
Agent present:
Lawyer
Neutral third party present:
None
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
No
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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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.