A Classroom Simulation of the Syrian Conflict

Richard W. Frank, Jessica Genauer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)737-742
    Number of pages6
    JournalPS - Political Science and Politics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


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