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International Conflict Resolution

This seminar examines the challenges of managing and resolving violent inter-group and international conflicts. Employing an interdisciplinary approach drawing on social psychology, political science, game theory, and international law, the course identifies various tactical, psychological, and structural barriers that can impede the achievement of efficient solutions to conflicts. We will explore a conceptual framework for conflict management and resolution that draws not only on theoretical insights, but also builds on historical examples and practical experience in the realm of conflict resolution. This approach focuses on the following questions: (1) how can the parties to conflict develop a vision of a mutually bearable shared future; (2) how can parties develop trust in the enemy; (3) how can each side be persuaded, as part of a negotiated settlement, to accept losses that it will find very painful; and (4) how do we overcome the perceptions of injustice that each side are likely to have towards any compromise solution? Among the conceptual issues we will examine include the problem of spoilers who seek to sabotage agreements, the role of mediators, the role international legal rules can play in facilitating or impeding conflict resolution, and the advantages and disadvantages of unilateral versus and reciprocal measures in advancing conflict resolution efforts. Particular conflicts we will explore include the Northern Ireland conflict, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the U.S.-Soviet Cold War rivalry.nnSpecial Instructions: Total enrollment in this course will be limited to 20. Initial Law student enrollment will be limited to 10. International Policy Studies students will be given priority to enroll in this course. The remaining spaces will be filled (and the number of Law School students to be admitted will be determined) after the first class. Students may not add this class after the first class without the consent of the instructor.nnThis course is cross-listed with the International Policy Studies and Psychology Departments (Same as IPS 250 and PSYCH 383).nnSpecial Instructions: Section 01: Grades will be based on class presentation, short presentation paper, class participation, and final paper. Section 02: Five students will have the option, to write an independent research paper for Research (R) credit, with consent of the instructor, in lieu of the final paper for section 01. Other course requirements -- class presentation, short presentation paper and class participation."nnElements used in grading: Class presentation, short presentation paper, class participation, and final paper.nnThis course is open to first-year Law School students.


Instructors for this course (Past and Present)

David Holloway
Lee D. Ross
Allen S. Weiner
Byron Bland