Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

A Classroom Simulation of the Syrian Conflict

  • Richard W. Frank (a1) and Jessica Genauer (a1)

Abstract

This article describes a semester-long classroom simulation of the Syrian conflict designed for an introductory international relations (IR) course. The simulation culminates with two weeks of multi-stakeholder negotiations addressing four issues: humanitarian aid, economic sanctions, ceasefire, and political transition. Students randomly play one of 15 roles involving three actor types: states, non-state actors, and international organizations. This article outlines the costs and benefits of simulation design options toward encouraging students’ understanding of IR concepts, and it proposes a course plan for tightly integrating lectures, readings, assessment, and simulation—regardless of class size or length. We highlight this integration through a discussion of two weeks’ worth of material—domestic politics and war, and non-state actors—and the incorporation of bargaining concepts and frameworks into the two weeks of simulated multi-stakeholder negotiations.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      A Classroom Simulation of the Syrian Conflict
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      A Classroom Simulation of the Syrian Conflict
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      A Classroom Simulation of the Syrian Conflict
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
Arnold, Richard. 2015. “Where’s the Diplomacy in Diplomacy? Using a Class Board Game in ‘Introduction to International Relations.’” PS: Political Science & Politics 48 (1): 162–66.
Asal, Victor, and Blake, Elizabeth L.. 2006. “Creating Simulations for Political Science Education.” Journal of Political Science Education 2: 118.
Austin, Chadwick, McDowell, Todd, and Sacko, David. 2006. “Synergy across the Curriculum: Simulating the Institution of Postwar Iraqi Government.” Journal of Political Science Education 2 (1): 89112.
Baranowski, Michael, and Weir, Kimberly. 2015. “Political Simulations: What We Know, What We Think We Know, and What We Still Need to Know.” Journal of Political Science Education 11 (4): 391403.
Barnard, Anne, and Saad, Hwaida. 2017. “The First Day of Syria Peace Talks Quickly Descends into Quarrelling.” New York Times, January 23.
Fearon, James. 1995. “Rationalist Explanations for War.” International Organization 49 (3): 379414.
Frieden, Jeffry, Lake, David, and Schultz, Kenneth. 2016. World Politics: Interests, Interactions, and Institutions. New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company.
Glazier, Rebecca. 2011. “Running Simulations without Ruining Your Life: Simple Ways to Incorporate Active Learning into Your Teaching.” Journal of Political Science Education 7: 375–93.
Human Rights Watch. 2017. World Report 2017: Events of 2016. New York: Seven Stories Press.
Jones, Rebecca, and Bursens, Peter. 2015. “The Effects of Active-Learning Environments: How Simulations Trigger Affective Learning.” European Political Science 14 (3): 254–65.
Krain, Matthew, and Lantis, Jeffrey S.. 2006. “Building Knowledge? Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Global Problems Summit Simulation.” International Studies Perspectives 7 (4): 395407.
Loggins, Julie A. 2009. “Simulating the Foreign Policy Decision-Making Process in the Undergraduate Classroom.” PS: Political Science & Politics 42 (2): 401407.
Morgan, A. L. 2003. “Toward a Global Theory of Mind: The Potential Benefits of Presenting a Range of IR Theories through Active Learning.” International Studies Perspectives 4 (4): 351–70.
Nishikawa, Katsuo A., and Jaeger, Joseph. 2011. “A Computer Simulation Comparing the Incentive Structures of Dictatorships and Democracies.” Journal of Political Science Education 7 (2): 135–42.
Smith, Elizabeth T., and Boyer, Mark A.. 1996. “Designing In-Class Simulations.” PS: Political Science & Politics 29 (4): 690–94.
Wedig, Timothy. 2010. “Getting the Most from Classroom Simulations: Strategies for Maximizing Learning Outcomes.” PS: Political Science & Politics 43 (3): 547–55.
Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary materials

Frank and Genauer supplementary material
Online Appendix

 PDF (305 KB)
305 KB

A Classroom Simulation of the Syrian Conflict

  • Richard W. Frank (a1) and Jessica Genauer (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed