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  • A key objective of the class is to demonstrate how complexity is an essential feature of multilateral negotiation and how complexities are added in multiple dimensions, not just in terms of parties.
  • The first module focuses on understanding multilateral negotiation and what, if anything, is different about it. This module surveys an array of conceptual frameworks that have been advanced to explain the salient. characteristics of the multilateral encounter. In addition, negotiation simulation exercises are used to highlight the key features of these frameworks.
  • The second module focuses on multilateral negotiation in practice and uses case studies from three distinct issue areas of international multilateral negotiation – international security, international trade, and the global environment. The focus, however, is not on the substance of these issues but on the experience of multilateral negotiation in practice and how this experience can help us refine our conceptual and practical understanding of what makes multilateral negotiation distinct.
  • The third and final module focuses on the challenges associated with analyzing multilateral negotiation. To do so, students will participate in a complex multilateral negotiation played over two days on a weekend. In addition, teams of students will be required to analyze particular real-life multilateral negotiations and defend their frameworks for analysis before their peers.


The final grade for the class will be calculated as follows:

Reading Review 10%
'Theory Think Piece' 10%
Individual Briefing Papers 10%
Research Paper & Presentation 30%
'Top 10 List' 5%
Simulation 15%
Class Diaries 10%
Class Participation 10%

Any of the following will adversely affect student grades:

  • Being irregular in attendance (including arriving late or leaving early)
  • Failing to have read all assigned readings before the class for which they are listed
  • Late submission of assignments
  • Lack of participation in class discussions

To ensure meaningful class discussion, it is very important for students to have read the assigned readings before the said class. We will not be summarizing readings during the lectures.

Class Diary Assignment

10% of grade.

After each class, each student is supposed to submit a one-paragraph 'class diary' in which any aspect of the class readings, discussions, or topic may be discussed. These diaries will automatically post to the web via a discussion board. Students should view this as a de facto discussion list for the class. Each student MUST submit a diary on each class before the next meeting.

Reading Review Assignment

10% of grade.

During Module I and II, students will be assigned selected readings to review and may be required to make a 3-5 minute informal presentation to the class. Each review should be between 600-800 words long. This assignment is supposed to be a critical review and not a summary of the readings. You should focus more on evaluating the views of the author than on repeating or synopsizing them. A good review will clearly discuss which parts of the author's arguments make the most sense, and why; and which are the least convincing, and why. Details about who will review which reading, when, will be decided during the first class.


Great importance will be placed on regular attendance and timely submission of assignments. There will be a penalty for late submissions of assignments and for irregular attendance. Having said that, individual emergencies will be accommodated as far as possible. In such cases, students should make every effort to talk with the instructor before the said class. Student participation will be an important part of the seminar and students should come prepared to speak their mind... and to be called upon to speak their mind!

Academic Honesty

The American College Dictionary defines plagiarism as "Copying or imitating the language, ideas, or thoughts of another author and passing off the same as one's original work." Plagiarism is intellectual theft and violates the student honor code. Exact quotations must have quotation marks and the appropriate citation. Paraphrases, even if not exact quotes, must nonetheless have the appropriate citation. Submitting a paper written by someone else, whether 'borrowed' from a friend or purchased from a 'service', even if updated, constitutes plagiarism. Using the Internet for research is encouraged but plagiarizing its resources is not allowed. Cheating of any sort, submitting the same work for more than one course, deliberately impeding the academic performance of others, and other forms of academic misconduct are serious offenses. If you have any doubts, give credit to the source; if you have any questions, talk to the instructor. Read, remember and take very seriously the Academic Conduct Code.