International Conflict Resolution


Course Code:
LAW 5009
Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail


(Formerly Law 656) This seminar examines the challenges of managing and resolving intractable political and violent intergroup and international conflicts. Employing an interdisciplinary approach drawing on social psychology, political science, game theory, and international law, the course identifies various tactical, psychological, and structural barriers that can impede the achievement of efficient solutions to conflicts. We will explore a conceptual framework for conflict management and resolution that draws not only on theoretical insights, but also builds on historical examples and practical experience in the realm of conflict resolution. This approach examines the need for the parties to conflicts to address the following questions in order to have prospects of creating peaceful relationships: (1) how can the parties to conflict develop a vision of a mutually bearable shared future; (2) how can parties develop trust in the enemy; (3) how can each side be persuaded, as part of a negotiated settlement, to accept losses that it will find very painful; and (4) how do we overcome the perceptions of injustice that each side are likely to have towards any compromise solution? We will consider both particular conflicts, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the South African transition to majority rule, as well as cross-cutting issues, such as the role international legal rules play in facilitating or impeding conflict resolution, the intragroup dynamics that affect intergroup conflict resolution efforts, and the role of criminal accountability for atrocities following civil wars. Special Instructions: Section 01: Grades will be based on class participation, written assignments, and a final exam. Section 02: Up to five students, with consent of the instructor, will have the option to write an independent research paper for Research (R) credit in lieu of the written assignments and final exam for Section 01. After the term begins, students (max 5) accepted into the course can transfer from section (01) into section (02), which meets the R requirement, with consent of the instructor. This class is cross-listed with International Policy Studies (IPS 250) and Psychology (PSYCH 383).

Future Offerings

2016-2017 Winter

International Conflict Resolution LAW 5009 Section 01 Class #31209

  • 2 Units
  • Enrollment Limitations: Lottery 18
    • 1L Winter Elective

Notes: Cross-listed with International Policy Studies (IPS 250) and Psychology (PSYCH 383). One-Day Take-Home Exam. Open to First-Year JD Students.

International Conflict Resolution LAW 5009 Section 02 Class #31210

  • 2 Units
  • Enrollment Limitations: Consent
    • 1L Winter Elective

Notes: Open to First-Year JD Students. R -Research Requirement for Law Degree.

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