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FlashPoint: Syria, 2014 –– An International Conflict Management Simulation

Noam Ebner (Creighton University), Yael Efron & Nellie Munin (Zefat Academic College)

June 2014


"FlashPoint" is a simulation game constructed as a teaching tool for the topics of conflict analysis and resolution, collaboration, negotiation, mediation and public international law. It is set against the background of the ongoing crisis in Syria, a scenario right out of today’s headlines, offering students the sense of applying their analysis and skills to real-world problems. At its core, the simulation’s framework is familiar: two disputing parties and a third-party intervener, all possessing both shared and private information. Parties must choose whether to fall into familiar patterns of competition and coercion, or endeavor to construct a collaborative process and achieve cooperative outcomes with their perceived adversaries. Designed for dedicated and committed participants studying fields such as conflict resolution, international relations or public international law, "FlashPoint" engrosses participants in the simulated environment for a long period of time, ranging between one to three days, or from about six to sixteen hours. These can be conducted in a continuous, intensive manner or in multiple sessions over several lessons. Detailed simulation setup and management instructions have been provided. Additionally, an extensive debriefing guide is provided to address the wide variety of training-goals this simulation can achieve.

First Place Award, Best Teaching Simulation Competition, 2014