Spring 2020 Courses

Practicum I, GOVX 598-01, 1.5-credit seminar, Professor Michael Reed-Hurtado, Fridays 10:30 – 11:45 AM, ICC 116

Applied Negotiations, GOVT 519-01, 1.5-credit seminar, Professor Kathleen Coogan, Wednesdays 6:30 – 9:00 PM, January 14 – February 25, ICC 106

Facilitation, GOVX 523-01, 1 credit, Professor Maria Jessop, Saturday and Sunday, February 22 – 23, 10 AM – 4:15 PM, ICC 214

Governance & Specialization Ops, GOVT 543-01, Professor Patrick Quirk, Mondays, 5 – 7:30 PM, Car Barn 170

Environment & Conflict Resolution, GOVT 597-01, Professor William Hall, Mondays 5 – 7:30 PM, Car Barn suite 110

Gender, International Security and Development, GOVT 570-01, Professor Senha Ayse Kadifyici-Orellana, Tuesdays, 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM, Room ICC 116

Intergroup Relations, GOVT – 503, Professor Katy Collin, Wednesdays, 2 – 4:30 PM, WG 211

Development Responses to Political Violence, GOVT 589-01, Professor Daniel Weggeland, Wednesdays 6:30 – 9:00 PM, ICC 205 A

The Rule of Law, GOVT 536-01, Professor Brian Kritz, Thursdays 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM, ICC 212

Mullen Seminar in Law, GOVT 565-01, Professor Ariel Eckblad, Thursdays 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM, ICC 214

Graduate Special Topics: Politics of Human Rights in Latin America, GOVT 505-07, Professor Michael Reed-Hurtado, Fridays 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM (TBC)

Intro to Conflict Resolution Skills, GOVT 581-01, Professor Alysson Oakley, Friday, 01/10 5 – 9:00 PM; Saturday & Sunday 01/11 – 01/12, 9 AM – 5:30 PM; Saturday & Sunday, 02/29 – 03/01 10 AM – 4:15 PM

Mediation II, GOVX 529-01, Professors Kathleen Coogan & Darlene Weide, Friday 03/20 5:00 – 9:00 PM; Saturday and Sunday, 03/21 – 3/22, 9 AM – 5:30, Walsh 394

Pre-requisite: Mediation I

2-credit seminar

There will be an on-line, asynchronous component to this course.

Students can earn a mediation certification through San Francisco Community Boards if they complete Mediation I & Mediation II.

Policy Briefing, GOVX 541-01, Professor Patrick Quirk, Saturday and Sunday, 01/18 – 01/19, 10 AM to 4:15 PM, ICC 104

Counter-Crisis Communications, GOVX 513-01, Professor Brett Bruen, Saturday 1/25 & Sunday 4/26, 10 AM to 4:15 PM

Navigating Confrontation, GOVX 515- 01, Professor Joe Weston, Saturday – Sunday, 2/8 – 2/9, 10 AM to 4:15 PM, WG 203

Creating Unlikely Alliances for Action, GOVX 517 – 01, Professor Sharona Shuster, Saturday – Sunday, 2/1 – 2/2, 10 AM to 4:15 PM, ICC 216

Facilitation, GOVX 523-01, Professor Maria Jessop, Saturday and Sunday, 2/22 – 2/23, 10 AM to 4:15 PM, ICC 214

Cybersecurity & Conflict, GOVX 524-01, Professor Boyden Rohner, Saturday and Sunday, 3/28 – 3/29, 10 AM to 4:15 PM

GOVT 519 – Applied Negotiations (Coogan, W 6:30 – 9, 1st 7 weeks of the semester, REQUIRED for 1st year students)

This course will focus on helping you to become a better negotiator by deepening your understanding of the bargaining process and by learning more sophisticated techniques for creating mutual gain. On a more personal level, you can explore which negotiation style works best for you and try to overcome what is, for many, a basic discomfort with the interpersonal aspects of negotiating.  Negotiation is not an abstract field but a tangible skill and proficiency requires repeated practice.  Simulations will take up a majority of class time. Each negotiation will be deconstructed, giving you a unique opportunity to find out what the other party was thinking.  In addition, because you and your classmates will be doing the same negotiation in parallel groups of two or more, you will have an opportunity to see how others approached the same situation.

GOVT 598-01 – Practicum I (Reed-Hurtado, F 10:30 – 11:45, REQUIRED for 1st years)

Conflict Resolution in Practice

This two-semester course combines the academic analysis of conflict resolution with practical work in the field (conducted under the professor’s supervision).  Students will review relevant theory, doctrine and empirical research regarding the conflict resolution field, in a weekly seminar.  Course materials draw on relevant literatures in social sciences and law.  Readings also include historical texts and in-depth reporting on the situations being addressed. Complementarily, films (documentaries and drama) will be used to offer a human dimension of the problems being analyzed.  On a parallel basis, students will conform small working groups and conduct a real-world project that allows them to apply their knowledge and develop practical skills. As a result, students will have gained knowledge, produced a specialized product, and delved deep into practical and ethical questions that arise in the practice of conflict resolution.  

The projects will be chosen by the professor based on their practical use to an outside partner and clear relation to the field of conflict resolution. The scope and reach of the project will be defined so that it can be successfully concluded by the second semester.

This experiential course allows students to contribute substantially, through practical research, to a specific dimension of conflict resolution field.  The projects will be designed at the outset of the course, based on pertinence, relevance and viability. With some practical restrictions, the projects will try to respond to the particular interests and skills possessed by enrolled students.  In order to ensure proper supervision and successful projects, enrollment will be limited to sixteen students (and four or five working groups will be conformed). 

In addition to active participation in weekly seminar sessions (including reading and other preparation for class), students are expected to work an additional eight hours per week on the project.  Work intensity will, of course, vary throughout the weeks depending on deadlines.

This experiential course or practicum will provide an opportunity for students to become substantially acquainted with a particular dimension of conflict resolution, cultivate a range of practical skills and contribute to their career development. 

GOVX 523 – Facilitation (Jessop, 2/22 – 23 10 – 4:15, REQUIRED for 1st years)

Group facilitation is a structured process through which a person acceptable to all members of the group and acting impartially helps a group to communicate and work together more effectively in order to achieve a goal. This highly experiential and practical course will cover the role, qualities and skills of a facilitator with a focus on contexts affected by conflict rooted in identity.  Students will learn by doing and be engaged in skill-building exercises as well as a dialogue facilitated by the instructor on a jointly selected identity-related topic where students will be asked to speak from personal experience. 

GOVX 529 – Mediation II (Coogan & Weide, Non-standard: F 3/20 5 – 9:00 PM, Sa & Su 3/21-22 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM. Prerequisite: Mediation. Successful students can earn mediation certification from San Francisco Community Boards.)

Mediation is a tangible skill and proficiency requires repeated practice. Mediation II will build on the knowledge, skills, and strategies emphasized in Mediation I, which is a prerequisite for this course. You will emerge from Mediation II with an increased understanding of employing effective communication including active listening, balancing power, addressing diversity and gender issues, dealing with strong emotions, breaking impasse, and drafting agreements that work. Participants will receive Community Boards Basics of Mediation certificates upon completion of Mediation II.

GOVT 581 – Intro to Conflict Resolution Skills (Oakley, Non-standard: F 1/10/20 5 – 9:00; Sa & Su, 1/11-12 9 – 5:30; Sa & Su 2/29 – 3/01 10 – 4:15 Required for 2nd years who have not yet taken Skills)

In order to pursue a career in conflict resolution, whether as a scholar or practitioner, a strong foundation in practical conflict resolution skills are necessary. This course focuses on how to take a “systems approach” to conflict resolution, how to design conflict resolution interventions, how to conduct complexity-aware monitoring and evaluation, as well as introduces cross-cultural facilitation and the ethics of international development. Through practical and experiential learning, students will walk away with hands-on experiences and practical know-how on each of these topics. Since many individuals pursuing careers in conflict resolution will find employment in diverse roles in related sectors, this course will also address how to mainstream and market conflict resolution expertise.

GOVT 503 – Intergroup Relations (Collin, W 2 – 4:30 Required for 2nd year students who have not yet taken IGR)

This course looks at the dynamics of intergroup relations that underpin processes of polarization and of making and sustaining peace. In particular, we examine these dynamics through the lens of electoral politics and systems. We will ask what is political voice, why does it matter, and how is it organized. Topics covered include a comparative overview of electoral systems and their impact on political party politics, coalition-building, and campaign styles; the role of electoral politics in shaping political speech and thought; and the ways in which electoral politics and elections can fail to reflect political voice. We will also look into alternative means to organize political voice, including structures of direct democracy and social movements. 

GOVT 505-07 – Graduate Special Topics: Politics of Human Rights in Latin America (Reed-Hurtado, F 12:30 – 3)

This advanced seminar will focus on the politics of human rights and challenges to effective protection of human rights.  The primary regional focus of the course will be on Latin America, however the seminar will encourage cross-regional and comparative analysis with key cases in Africa, Asia, Middle East and Europe.   Selected Latin American countries will be used to explore certain themes, such as Uruguay and El Salvador on the politics of amnesty; Argentina on the politics of confronting state crime; and Colombia on the politics of human rights in negotiated settlements.  The course will examine such issues as the struggle against impunity; transitional justice; violence against women; prison conditions and reform; economic, social and cultural rights; and enforced disappearances of persons.

Course reading draws on relevant literatures in political science, social sciences and law, including textbooks, academic articles, legal decisions, and international treaties and other legal instruments.  Legal training is not required.  Readings also include in-depth reporting and exposés on major human rights events in Latin American countries.  Complementarily, we will view films (fiction and documentary) that offer a vivid perspective of the problems being analyzed. Throughout the course we will consider the practical dimensions of human rights activism, and the legal and policy implications of the subjects studied. 

GOVT 536 – Rule of Law (B. Kritz, Th 2 – 4:30)

In a globalizing world, humankind continues to make rapid advancements in many areas such as medicine and science.  However, history has repeatedly shown that humans have yet to learn how to control their aggression.  A solution to this dilemma may lie in greater worldwide adherence to the notion of the rule of law, combined with implementation of the study and practice of conflict resolution through the means of the rule of law.  In this course, we will embark on an exploration of the meaning and significance of the term rule of law, and its interplay with the field of conflict resolution.  The overarching goal of this course is to use the combined strength of the rule of law and conflict resolution to create a global culture of human rights that better controls, or even changes, the current paradigm of constant aggressive behavior by governments, groups, sub-groups, and individuals.

The first portion of the course will explore the theory and main concepts of the rule of law, and will demystify the discipline of law for the non-lawyer.  The discipline of law is quite misunderstood by those outside the legal profession, and lawyers have a tendency to silo themselves in law and not engage with non-lawyers committed to peacebuilding.  In addition, law is often taught by law professors as an end to itself, instead of as a means to achieve the resolution of conflict.  This lack of understanding and lack of cooperation between law and conflict resolution has contributed to the aforementioned lack of progress in controlling human aggression.  The goal of the first portion of the course is to allow the students to fully comprehend the meaning of the rule of law, its potential use in the field of conflict resolution, and to better understand, and communicate with, lawyers engaged in the field, so as to better be able to exercise leadership in the common search for international, regional, and national peace and reconciliation.

The second portion of the course will consist of explorations of core concepts vital to the rule of law and conflict resolution, and the implementation of such concepts to real life situations that have caused and might cause aggressive human behavior.  In these scenarios, the students will explore lessons learned from the conflicts and the implementation of the rule of law, and consider whether greater cooperation between law, conflict resolution, and other disciplines could produce or could have produced a greater impact upon the problem.

The third and final portion of the course will consist of the practical implementation of the theory of the rule of law and conflict resolution as they pertain to disaffected groups of people in modern society.  In a series of exercises and simulations, the students will implement their new understanding of, and appreciation for, the discipline of law, and its interplay with conflict resolution, allowing the students to communicate and work effectively with lawyers committed to the search for an international culture of human rights.

GOVT 543 – Governance & Specialization Ops (Patrick Quirk, M 5 – 7:30)

Stabilizing conflict-affected areas is a policy imperative for Western powers and the international community. This course is designed to equip students with the tools to apply concepts and frameworks to real world stabilization policy decisions and situations. It begins by providing students with an understanding of the contemporary theory, analytic frameworks, and planning approaches involved in conducting stabilization efforts in war-torn environments. After reviewing the broader theory and principles for effective stabilization across all sectors—security, humanitarian, economic, and rule of law—the course concentrates on how to assess and develop solutions to the thorny yet essential governance challenges in stabilization contexts. Governance challenges the course addresses include but are not limited to: identifying, supporting, and empowering locally-legitimate actors that can manage conflict and prevent violence recurrence; designing and buttressing political systems that reinforce stability; engaging and neutralizing non-state armed actors who contest state legitimacy; as well as managing and mitigating local, regional, and national spoilers who seek to derail stabilization efforts, among other topics.

The course aims to provide students with the skills necessary to assess challenges to stabilization—across all sectors, yet with a focus on governance—and develop evidence-based solutions and associated strategies. Students will apply leading stabilization analytic frameworks to ongoing stabilization cases (e.g., Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Libya) to identify core challenges and propose solutions to them. Based on their analysis, students will develop concise policy memos (and briefings) outlining core findings and proposed stabilization strategies. Through completing the course, students will gain practical skills in policy-relevant analysis, writing, briefing, and planning applicable to careers in government or the NGO sector.

GOVT 565-01 – Mullen Seminar in Law (Eckblad, Th 6:30 – 9)

This course will introduce and explore an interest-based framework for effective negotiation. The pedagogy is primarily experiential and interactive. In this course, we will learn from one another. Most class sessions will consist of a brief lecture followed by hands-on simulations, exercises, and group discussions. We will cover a myriad topic including but not limited to — value creation, value distribution, principal-agent tension, dealing with difficult tactics, advanced listening, and facilitating difficult conversations. Critical to success in this course is intentional engagement and robust self-reflection: students rigorously review their performance through in-class discussions, out-of-class journaling, and peer-to-peer feedback. The capstone project will be a final paper. 

GOVT 570 – Gender, International Security & Development (Kadifyici-Orellana, Tu 11 – 1:30)

The ability to understand, analyze and address gender issues is now recognized as a critical skill for policy-makers and international peace, security and development practitioners. A substantial body of research and a series of United Nations Security Council Resolutions underlines the importance of women’s empowerment to peace and prosperity. Over seventy (70) national governments have developed national action plans for implementing and mainstreaming a gender perspective into training for military personnel and development assistance in post-conflict countries. In 2017, the United States passed its own law requiring governmental agencies — Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, and the US Agency for International Development– to address women, peace and security issues. Many development and peace organizations are now required to demonstrate proficiency in addressing gender issues to receive funding from member state aid agencies. 

This gateway course aims to prepare students to work as diplomats, experts in peacebuilding, development, humanitarian relief, displacement, and post-conflict reconstruction, among other fields, with a knowledge of gender issues and the ability to apply a gender lens. The class contextualizes gender issues and asks the question: how would we think about international peace, security and development approaches and design intervention strategies if gender was treated a central consideration in international affairs and peacebuilding programming? To answer this question, the class will explore both conceptual considerations related to gender and its practical application. Focusing on practical skills such as conflict sensitive gender analysis, it will examine how to most effectively mainstream gender into policy making and programming related to international peace, security, and development.

GOVT 589 – Development Responses to Political Violence (Weggeland, W 6:30 – 9)

Policymakers and practitioners generally accept that a lack of development contributes to political instability and violence, particularly internal conflict. This core belief in the relationship between development and conflict—both as problem and solution—informed U.S. and international actions in the recent Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts and remains salient today with the renewed concern over violent extremism. 

This course will leverage the recent large-scale U.S. interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq to explore the theory, practice, and evidence associated with development responses to political violence. Significant development resources have been invested in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and it is true that economic and social development indicators have shown positive trends (albeit often starting from very low baselines). Despite these investments and the demonstrable social and economic development improvements that resulted, both conflicts still show high levels of violence and conflict intensity. Why?

The theme of the course is to seek, with a critical eye, answers to two fundamental questions: (1) what were they [primarily U.S. government agencies and their agents] trying to do with the application of development resources for political outcomes and (2) how does one know if it is working?

GOVT 597- Environment & Conflict Resolution (Hall, M 5 – 7:30)

Environmental conflict occurs at all levels of society, from local or regional disagreements about watershed management to national debates about managing nuclear waste to international disputes about how to address climate change. Understanding the sources of environmental conflict and adopting effective resolution techniques are critical to achieving an appropriate balance between the natural world and humanity in the 21st century. This course offers students the opportunity to explore the multifaceted relationship between the environment and social conflict from both theoretical and practical perspectives, with an emphasis on the scholarly literature and real-world cases.

Topics we will cover include transboundary water conflict, climate change, environment and war, environment and peace, and international environmental negotiations. Approximately half of the course will be devoted to contemporary environmental conflict resolution (ECR) practice, including situation assessments, public involvement, negotiation, and environmental mediation, and how ECR practitioners assist stakeholders in navigating challenges posed by organizational dynamics, the policy setting, and scientific and technical complexity.


GOVX 513 – Counter-Crisis Communications (Bruen 1/25 & 4/26, 10 – 4:15)

Risk has gone regular.  Governments and organizations now find themselves often overwhelmed by the seemingly constant onslaught of threats, turbulence, and tumult.  This state of near-constant crisis requires a rethinking of traditional communications strategies.  The traditional tactics tell you to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm.  The Obama White House began to experiment with a more proactive form of crisis communications.  First deployed against Russian propaganda in Ukraine, it proved successful in retaking the initiative and reframing the conversation.  The class will explore how governments and organizations can more effectively identify and track their vulnerabilities.  Students will have an opportunity to work on the development of crisis communications infrastructure and countermeasures that can be applied to current and future work.  There are also a number of high-level leaders who share their experiences managing and covering crises.  Past speakers include the Deputy Secretary of State, President Macron’s spokesperson, and President Obama’s personal assistant.  

GOVX 515 – Navigating Confrontation (Weston, 2/8 – 9 10 – 4:15)

This course offers a number of tools for tackling challenging situations with integrity and clarity leading to:

  • More effective communication, decision-making, and increased resilience
  • Regulation of chronic stress and anxiety
  • A greater sense of balance, personal freedom and vision
  • Improved relationships and stronger influence in the workplace, at home and in the world
  • Resolution of misunderstandings and increased trust
  • New solutions to familiar problems

The course consists of learning basic knowledge of neuroscience, as well as exploring practical somatic exercises to learn self-regulation and managing stress levels.

Ideal for people in high stress jobs and those in leadership positions, these tools offer strategies and practices to be more effective with less time and effort. 

GOVX 517 – Creating Alliances for Action (Shuster, 2/01 – 02 10 – 4:15)

Participants in this course will gain the capacity to shape and lead multi-stakeholder dialogues on critical public issues among leaders with divergent viewpoints. Through case studies, small group activities, role-playing, large group discussion, and individual study, participants will learn how to frame a social or economic problem in a non-partisan manner that enables collaboration; build trust and relationships among individuals with conflicting views; and facilitate them to create and implement shared solutions through multiple pathways.  Case studies will include successful unlikely alliances addressing K-12 education, economic mobility, recidivism in the criminal justice system, and more.

GOVX 524-01 – Cybersecurity & Conflict (Rohner, 3/28 – 29 10 – 4:15) 

An examination of the role of cybersecurity in global conflict resolution.

GOVX 541- Policy Briefing (Quirk, 1/18 – 19 10 – 4:15)

Whether you are in the U.S. government, NGO community, or private sector, delivering succinct oral briefings to policymakers or senior leaders is an essential part of any career. Through a mix of instructor presentation and simulations, students will gain skills in: (1) constructing appropriate content for briefings; (2) tailoring briefing content for specific target audiences; (3) synthesizing information into concise presentations; (4) key presentation skills; and (5) constructing and delivering briefings under tight timelines.

Government Master’s Programs Office
Georgetown University
Box #571444
Car Barn, Suite 110
3520 Prospect Street, N.W. 
Washington, DC 20057
conflictresolution@georgetown.edu 
Phone: 202-687-6373
Fax: 202-687-1112