Course Detail
Course Components:
Conventional legislative, administrative, and judicial means of resolving policy- and decision- making-related disputes in the public sector often produce less than satisfactory results. It is therefore not surprising that planners, policy-makers, developers, and environmental and justice advocates who are concerned about the fairness, efficiency, stability, and wisdom of public sector decision-making are searching for better ways of resolving public policy conflicts. Fortunately, recent advances in the theory and practice of negotiation and dispute resolution have great promise for supporting more collaborative and effective public sector decision-making and helping all involved parties meet their needs. This experiential course is designed for graduate students and advanced undergraduate students with no prior background or experience in the fields of negotiation or dispute resolution. Lectures, scenarios, case studies, and role-play simulation will be used to introduce students to the art and science of negotiation and consensus building. The class also provides an intensive opportunity for each student to build his or her individual negotiating capabilities. Occasional guest lectures by practitioners may be included to provide an opportunity for students to test some of the theoretical ideas presented in class against issues that arise in practice. This course builds on decades of research and work conducted by partners of the inter-university Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON) and the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program.