International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program Concentration
The International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution concentration prepares you to assess, negotiate, and resolve disputes involving transnational issues and peoples from different cultures. Courses develop your ability to identify the underlying causes and dynamics of conflict, and to use professional negotiation skills to resolve disputes.
In addition to core courses, students who select the International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution will take:
- Conflict Assessment and Prevention
International conflicts and crises have sometimes been seen as essential events whose outcome determines subsequent geopolitical arrangements. On the other hand, the humanitarian and other costs of such conflicts have helped give rise to the concepts and operations of conflict prevention. In order to better prevent conflict, methods of assessing its likelihood, causes, and dynamics have been developed. This course therefore explores the methods and challenges of preventing the outbreak of armed conflict. Contemporary approaches to the assessment of conflict are surveyed: Conflict assessment frameworks used by different organizations incorporate a variety of theoretical assumptions and empirical tools in order to gain a better understanding of the causes of violent conflict. The course also explores challenges of predicting the outbreak of conflict through the exploration of the early warning concepts and instruments and the challenge of moving from early warning to preventive action. You will also consider cases of successful and unsuccessful prevention as practiced by national governments, NGOs, civil society organizations, the United Nations, and regional political organizations.
- Post-War Transitions
What happens when war ends? How do countries emerging from war grapple with pressing economic, political, and security dilemmas while trying to remain or become stable? The end of war may well be described as the ‘dangerous hour’ as a weak state needs to address the underlying causes of the conflict such as systemic economic inequities, highly fragmented political, social and cultural networks, porous borders and the presence of different types of criminal networks. Simultaneously, it has to respond to its obligations to international agreements and the pressing demands of new interest groups that emerge in the aftermath of war. Experience from the field has underscored that the signing of peace agreements is not sufficient to bring peace and prosperity to conflict-affected societies. According to a World Bank study, almost half of countries emerging from conflict slide back into war as a consequence of national and/or international policy failure. This course will critically examine some of the many multidimensional challenges and opportunities that confront nation-states emerging from war. It will expose you to debates and tensions in the field and introduce you to some of the techniques and tools used by both international intermediaries (states, IOs, NGOs) and local stakeholders to address top-down and bottom up issues of economic reconstruction, political governance, security and legal reform, as well as human rights, rights of refugees and IDP populations and questions of post-conflict justice. The course will rely on case studies and encourage you to design sustainable solutions to specific challenges of post-war transitions, while developing a realistic empathy for the constraints that confront decision-makers in dynamic environments characterized by uncertainty and limited information.
- The Art of International Negotiation
International Negotiation – that is, the use of non-violent engagement to resolve international disputes or advance international cooperation – is a foundational tool of international relations. The Art of Negotiation delves into the origins of international negotiation, provides you with an understanding of theories of international negotiation, develops your capacity to analyze international negotiation strategies and tactics, and improves your own negotiation skills through simulation exercises and cases studies.