Nuclear diplomacy simulation: negotiating with Iran, round 2

This year, 31 master’s students of Science Po’s Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) took part in the second edition of simulation workshops organized by PSIA and FORCCAST. Four days of workshops enabled to put into practice the 66 hours of classes on the ‘Negotiating with Iran’ lesson.

This new edition includes about ten hours of added lessons as well as public speaking and rhetoric. The group is composed of students from fourteen different countries – among which Iran, Canada, Russia or Singapore. Together, they learn how to master the rules and requirements of public speaking in order to debate on the Iranian nuclear power issue.

From the first session, participants are part of a debates simulation starting from a controversy website created by the Manchester team. Students have the chance to share their arguments instantly so that the teachers can watch them and determine a room for improvement for each student.

Students are supervised by an educational team, in which each member knows the principles of a group decision-making. Alexis Morel, a diplomatic relations expert, handles the content of the negotiations. Cyril Delhay and Hervé Biju-Duval, speaking experts, handle the rhetoric dimension. Adrien Fauve, FORCCAST’s educational engineer, coordinates de simulation process. Finally, professionals and high-level artists supervise the work on voice, respiration and body language.

During the other session, students participate in workshops and classes around diplomacy and the nuclear power issue. They work in team to write an article about their negotiation strategy. Courses also help students using their knowledge regarding public speaking.

This year, the simulation lasted for a day. The group was divided in two parts to promote a better involvement and motivation from each student. Students negotiated together, watched by their trainers, who then modify each individual assessment handed over at the end of the course. Students have to show reactivity when faced with disruption caused by the teachers. They learn how to face uncertainty through listening and control. This experience was concluded by a logbook, written by every student, in order to develop reflexivity and criticism.

Given the originality of this experience, the final assessment has been well thought out, especially on the support for students and the new ways of assessing their progress and extending beyond the traditional academic methods.

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