SemesterSpring Semester, 2021
DepartmentJunior Class of Department of Diplomacy Senior Class of Department of Diplomacy
Course NameConflict Management
Course TypeElective
Course Objective
Course Description
Course Schedule


  1. Mediation simulation game: Students are required to participate in the mediation simulation games at the end of semester (2 classes). Each student will assume a role in a hypothetical conflict. Details on rules of the game and background information will be provided before the simulation. If you are an exchange student and you are not sure whether you can participate in the game, please do not select the class.

  2. Midterm exam

  3. Final exam: please note final exam will cover the entire semester



Week 1 (2/23) Introduction

Week 2 (3/2) What are armed conflicts? What is the origin of organized conflicts?  

Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, Penguin Book, 2012, Ch2.

Week 3 (3/9) Causes of war from rational choice approach

Themner, Lotta, and Peter Wallensteen. 2012. Armed Conflicts, 1946-2011. Journal of Peace Research. 49(4):565-575

*Senese, Paul D., and John A. Vasquez. 2005. Assessing the Steps to War. British Journal of Political Science, 35 (4):607-33.

Week 4 (3/16) Theories on conflict management

Walter, Barbara F. 2002. Committing to Peace. Princeton: Princeton University Press, Chapters 2

Week 5 (3/23) Negative and Positive Peace

Galtung, Johan. 1969. Violence, Peace, and Peace Research. Journal of Peace Research 6(3):167-191.

*Klein, James P., Gary Goertz, and Paul F. Diehl. 2008. “The Peace Scale: Conceptualizing and Operationalizing Non-Rivalry and Peace.” Conflict Management and Peace Science 25 (1): 67–80.

Week 6 (3/30) Conflict prevention and non-violent alternatives

Bercovitch, Jacob, and Richard Jackson. 2009. Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-first Century. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, Ch7.

*Dixon, William J. 1996. “Third-Party Techniques for Preventing Conflict Escalation and Promoting Peaceful Settlement.” International Organization 50 (4): 653–81.


Week 7 (4/6) Negotiations: theory and practice

Ghosn, Faten. 2010. Getting to the Table and Getting to Yes: An Analysis of International Negotiations. International Studies Quarterly 54 (4):1055-72.

Week 8 (4/13) Mediation

Beardsley, Kyle. 2012. The Mediation Dilemma. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, ch2.

*Mattes, Michaela, and Burcu Savun. 2010. “Information, Agreement Design, and the Durability of Civil War Settlements.” American Journal of Political Science 54 (2): 511–24.

Week 9 (4/20) Midterm exam

Week 10 (4/27) Mediation (II) case: nagorno-karabakh

Week 11 (5/4) International arbitration and adjudication, midterm review

Gent, S.E., and M. Shannon. 2010. “The Effectiveness of International Arbitration and Adjudication: Getting Into a Bind.” The Journal of Politics 72 (02): 366–380.

*Huth, Paul K., Sarah E. Croco, and Benjamin J. Appel. 2013. Bringing Law to the Table: Legal Claims, Focal Points, and the Settlement of Territorial Disputes since 1945. American Journal of Political Science, 57(1):90-103.

Week 12 (5/11) Peacekeeping

Greig, J. Michael, and Paul F. Diehl. 2005. “The Peacekeeping–Peacemaking Dilemma.” International Studies Quarterly 49 (4): 621–45.

* Fortna, Virginia Page. 2004. “Does Peacekeeping Keep Peace? International Intervention and the Duration of Peace after Civil War.” International Studies Quarterly 48 (2): 269–292.

Week 13 (5/18) Duration of peace

Fortna, Virginia Page. 2003. Scraps of Paper? Agreements and the Durability of Peace. International Organization 57 (2):337-72.

*Werner, Suzanne. 1999. “The Precarious Nature of Peace: Resolving the Issues, Enforcing the Settlement, and Renegotiating the Terms.” American Journal of Political Science 43 (3): 912–34.

Week 14 (5/25) Peace building and the aftermath of conflict

Flores, Thomas E., and Irfan Nooruddin. 2012. The Effect of Elections on Postconflict Peace and Reconstruction. Journal of Politics 74(2):558-570.

*Doyle, Michael W., and Nicholas Sambanis. 2006. Making War and Building Peace: United Nations Peace Operations. Princeton , NJ: Princeton University Press, introduction.

Week 15 (6/1) Intervention and coercion

Shirkey, Zachary C. 2012. When and How Many: The Effects of Third Party Joining on Casualties and Duration in Interstate Wars. Journal of Peace Research 49(2):321-334.

Week 16 (6/8) Conflict Mediation simulation (round 1)

Week 17 (6/15) Conflict Mediation simulation (round 2), discussion: Can we manage armed conflicts?  

Week 18 (6/22) Final exam (comprehensive)

Teaching Methods
Teaching Assistant



Grading Policy

Class participation: 10%

Midterm: 30%

Crisis bargaining and mediation practice: 25%

Final exam: 35%

Grade Scale:

100-90  A+   89-85   A    84-80   A-

79-77   B+   76-73   B    72-70   B-

69-67   C+   66-63   C    62-60   C-

60 and below F

A: Considerable evidence of original and critical thinking; demonstrated exceptional capacity to analyze and synthesize; outstanding grasp of subject matter; evidence of extensive knowledge base beyond minimum requirements; constructive contribution to class discussion.

B: Evidence of grasp of subject matter, some evidence of critical capacity and analytical ability; reasonable understanding of relevant issues; evidence of familiarity with the literature; good engagement with the class on relevant issues.

C: Evidence of some understanding of the subject matter. Some participation in class.

F: Insufficient evidence of understanding of the subject matter; weakness in critical and analytical skills; limited or irrelevant use of the literature.

Source: Adapted from Dalhousie University,

Textbook & Reference

Recommended books

There are no required books for purchase. I provide a list of recommended books. You can find them in library. Some of them are on the course reservation stack. You can download journal articles and book chapters in the reading list from MOODLE system.


Oliver Ramsbotham Tom Woodhouse Hugh Miall, Contemporary Conflict Resolution: The Prevention Management and Transformation of Deadly Conflicts (Malden, MA: Polity Press, Third edition, 2011.

Bercovitch, Jacob, and Richard Jackson. 2009. Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-first Century. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Beardsley, Kyle. 2012. The Mediation Dilemma. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Fortna, Virginia Page. Does Peacekeeping Work? Shaping Belligerents’ Choices after Civil War. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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