This field examines the causes of and non-violent strategies and approaches to managing and resolving conflict in the international context. We consider negotiation to be a basic life skill and an important foundation for any work in international affairs, and the approaches of conflict resolution can be adopted by managers and decision-makers in all career paths. It is a perspective that combines strategic analysis with constructive approaches to problem-solving.
The program is inherently multidisciplinary and includes:
- Concepts and skills of negotiation, for use in diplomacy, business, and law
- Methods of third-party intervention, from mediation to coercion
- New approaches to international intervention, recognizing the roles played by the coordination of political, military, and non-governmental actors
- Crisis management and arms limitations, as modes of containing or preventing conflict
- In-depth analysis of specific contexts in which conflict must be managed, such as trade, environmental and resource issues, international organizations, business ventures, as well as in struggles of war and peace.
All students receive a foundational education in the processes of international negotiation. Using exercises and simulations, students examine such issues as the problems of inducing parties to negotiate, the roles of culture and power, multilateral negotiation, and the implementation of negotiated agreements.
In addition to the academic courses, the program offers a non-credit mediation practicum, in which students receive 32 hours of mediation training and then apprentice with experienced mediators in local small claims courts.