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International Environmental Negotiations

Course Abbreviation: 
Credit Only: N Anon Gr: N

Major environmental issues with considerable controversy, uncertainty, or immediacy will be examined in detail (climate change, pandemic flu virus, major natural disaster, etc.). After six weeks of detailed study in the substance of the topics and the decision making process in the international community a simulation game will be conducted based on one of the topics. Teams of students will take on the roles of nations, groups of nations, or extranational organizations (for example USA, China, India, Russia, EU, Group of 77, OPEC, UN, WHO, etc.). They will develop positions based on the most current scientific information and existing policy. The game will progress through a series of moves to which they must respond with new policy positions. These will be the result of real and plausible changes scientific knowledge, economic and environmental conditions, technology, and international power relationships. The game will take approximately five weeks. In addition to content knowledge on the environmental topics; existing laws, treaties, and agreements; and international organizations; students participating in the simulation game will get experience in rapid ingest of data, analysis, negotiations, presentation techniques, preparation of analytical briefs, and leadership under pressure, much like the real world. The results of the game will then be debriefed and deconstructed, and critically analyzed to gain insights into both the issue and how various interested parties or groups will likely be affected and how they might respond.