Diplomacy Simulation

What is diplomacy?

Diplomacy is the art or practice of conducting international relations, such as negotiating alliances, treaties and agreements, and exercising tact and skill in dealing with people of varied backgrounds to advance a country’s national interests and security. Diplomatic skills can be used in a variety of individual or organizational situations, from negotiating the hourly rate you will be paid at your job to deciding what movie to see with your friends.

Our Diplomacy Simulation

How does a Diplomatic Simulation work? A diplomatic simulation is a collaborative learning experience during which students step into the role of a real-life diplomat. Students receive a scenario related to a global issue, which could be real world or hypothetical, current or historic. Within each simulation, there are five to six stakeholder groups (e.g., foreign ministries, NGOs, and international organizations), each with different perspectives and priorities. Students role-play these stakeholders in small teams of three to five. Under set time constraints, the groups are challenged to negotiate a peaceful solution to a crisis in the scenario. Students use the information provided in the simulation packet to develop their group’s 3 policy positions and defend or modify their choices in real time. The simulations have no right or wrong actions or end point because it is the process (rather than the result) that holds the most value for the students. The learning experience develops organically as students engage in the simulation. Once the simulation has been completed, students are encouraged to express how their views on diplomacy have evolved as a result of the experience and to contemplate how they can apply diplomatic skills to their everyday lives.

The following Diplomacy Simulation is from the U.S. State Department’s National Museum of American Diplomacy “Discover Diplomacy” Simulations.

Border Security: Conflict Resolution

When the United Republic of Parmanon (URP) separated into the two democratic nations of Parmandy and Mapon, the province of Disputia was incorporated into Mapon. However, a decade later, Parmandy claimed the province. For the last 50 years, Mapon and Parmandy have disagreed over the sovereignty of Disputia. There have been several outbreaks of violence along the border over the years, and thousands of lives have been lost. The most recent ceasefire began five years ago, but in the past year there has been a gradual buildup of military forces on both sides of the border. Recently, an exchange of gunfire resulted in the death of Mapon soldiers. In response, an extremist Mapite terrorist organization killed dozens of Parmians who were part of a tour group visiting Disputia. This escalating conflict negatively impacts both countries’ security and economies and threatens access to religious sites in Disputia. The UN has called to the negotiating table:  Parmandy, Mapon, the tribe that resides in Disputia – the Amal Tribe, the U.S. Department of State, the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, and the Organization for Conflict Rescue and Management.

In this hypothetical simulation, students will take on the roles of key stakeholders as they negotiate a diplomatic resolution to the current crisis and address the factors that led to it. The exercise will develop skills in critical thinking, collaboration, problem-solving, persuasive communication, and global competence.

  1. The Government of Mapon
  2. The Government of Parmandy
  3. Amal Tribal Delegation
  4. The U.S. Department of State
  5. United Nations Department of Political Affairs (UNDPA)
  6. Association for Religious Tolerance (ART)

As representatives of one of the stakeholders engaged in the process, you will need to:

  • Prioritize your diplomatic goals according to your group’s policy position.
  • Identify with who you will need to negotiate and who might be your ally/competitor.
  • Determine what other participants want out of the negotiations and whether your group is willing to compromise and how.
  • Identify areas of agreement and organize an implementation strategy for your negotiations.
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