I’d like to share a simulation I’ve recently written with co-authors Yael Efron and Nellie Munin: FlashPoint: Syria, 2014.
FlashPoint is a simulation-game constructed as a teaching-tool for the topics of conflict analysis and resolution, collaboration, negotiation, mediation and public international law – or any blend of these topics. The scenario is primarily fictitious – but still, it blends in and incorporates real events, history and detail, forming a ‘pseudo-reality’: a situation familiar enough to spark interest, motivation and identification, yet controlled and delineated to allow for maximum learning and skill-building (for more on this method, see this piece). Set, as it is, in a scenario right out of today’s headlines - the ongoing upheaval in Syria - it offers students the sense of applying their analysis and skills to real-world problems.
The background scenario depicts a fictional dispute between Turkey and Syria, over a developing humanitarian crisis occurring in a piece of land claimed by both countries. Underlying this presenting issue is a broad range of international, national and local interests, which must be resolved in order for a peaceful solution to be reached. However, power imbalances, as well as time pressure, present major obstacles to resolution. A team of UN mediators convenes negotiating teams from each country, in an attempt to reach a negotiated settlement.
The document contains all role information necessary to conduct the simulation, as well as a comprehensive teacher's guide – so it’s good to go, right out of the box. You can download it here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2476968
Use it, enjoy it, and let me know any insights or suggestions you have!