International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

World Trade Center Redevelopment Negotiation

Lawrence Susskind, Katherine Harvey, David Kovick, F. Peter Phillips, Marc Wolinsky, Cathy Cronin Harris, and Simeon Baum
Six-person facilitated negotiation among representatives of the city, state, developer, insurer, and victims' families regarding the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks

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NOTE: A DVD demonstrating MIT Professor Lawrence Susskind running and debriefing this exercise, with a focus on one group’s facilitated negotiation, is available HERE. The World Trade Center Redevelopment Negotiation simulation may be run with or without the DVD.

SCENARIO:

Developed by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) and the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, this simulation is inspired by the real negotiations leading to the redevelopment of the Word Trade Center site in New York City, after the two World Trade Center buildings were destroyed in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Participants are assigned to one of six possible roles, given confidential instructions, and directed to negotiate with a group of five other people. The simulation is designed to illustrate the potential sources of value creation in negotiation, and the inherent tension between generating such value and distributing it to particular parties. It is also intended to show how highly charged, emotional issues can often intertwine with more traditional public policy questions. It is possible in debriefing the exercise to identify various barriers to agreement and obstacles to value creation. This simulation is probably best used after participants have had some exposure to basic two-party negotiation analysis and to at least the rudiments of multi-party negotiation theory.

The instructions for each role are relatively short and can be read quickly. There are six roles: the City, the State (which owns the site in question), the Developer, the Families, the Insurer and the Facilitator. The participants must address four issues: the site plan, the timing of construction, the total money allocated for the project, and who gets the credit for the project.

 

TEACHING OBJECTIVES:

  • The primary objective of this exercise is to highlight the special difficulties of multiparty negotiation in the public arena, including the use of facilitation/ mediation in such situations.
  • A second objective is to introduce participants to the dynamics of consensus building, particularly when there are emotionally charged issues at stake.
  • A third objective is to bring the negotiation context of the World Trade Center redevelopment to participants’ attention, though this simulation is not intended to be a factual case study. While the six roles in the simulation are inspired by roles that various parties played in the actual negotiations, none of the roles are intended to represent particular real people, and simulation participants are not expected to attempt to portray particular individuals or to re-enact elements of the actual historical negotiations.

 

Participant materials include:

  • General instructions for all parties
  • Confidential instructions for
  • The State
  • The City
  • The Developer
  • The Insurer
  • The Families
  • The Facilitator

 

Teacher’s Package includes:

  • All of the above
  • Teaching Note

 

 

World Trade Center Redevelopment Negotiation Attributes

Time required:
2-3 hours
Number of participants:
6
Teams involved:
No
Agent present:
Non-lawyer
Neutral third party present:
Mediator, Facilitator
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
Yes
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.