Courses

Please click on course titles below to see course descriptions.

Negotiation and Conflict Resolution courses offered in fall 2017
Complete list of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program courses
Required Courses

These are the required courses in the program.

Elective Courses
Master’s Project Seminars

NECR PS5101. Understanding Conflict and Cooperation. 3 pts.

Description

The field of conflict resolution has been developed academically as a discipline from diverse fields of knowledge. This course provides an introduction to the major schools of thought that contribute to the developments in social psychology, law, political science, social work, and business. The field of conflict resolution is also dynamically transforming, and the course introduces recent developments, particularly in the area of dynamical systems.

NECR PS5105. Introduction to Negotiation. 3 pts.

Description

Negotiation is one of the most important strategies in conflict resolution and is used routinely by all humans to resolve conflict and potential conflict successfully. This course examines both theoretical and practical implications of diverse assumptions and strategies. Students develop a deeper self-awareness of their role in the creation, perpetuation, escalation and resolution of conflicts, as well as in relationship with the other party.

NECR PS5107. Introduction to Mediation. 3 pts.

Description

Mediation is a strategy frequently used by parties in conflict to constructively address incompatibilities. The role of the third party differs depending on the type of mediation being employed. New models of mediation have been developed recently and the field continues to develop and grow. Traditional methods of third party intervention, as well as, more recent alternative dispute resolution approaches will be explored. Students practice applying constructive conflict resolution skills toward becoming an effective impartial third party mediator.

NECR PS5202. Advanced Conflict Resolution. 3 pts.

Prerequisite

NECR PS5101. Understanding Conflict and Cooperation.

Description

This course invites students to more deeply explore themes related to specific conflict resolution issues using a variety of theoretical approaches that builds on their introductory theory course. It encourages an exploration of new developments in the field and introduces current research topics, as well as, issues in current events.

NECR PS5050. Introduction to Health Care Negotiations. 3 pts.

Description

The topic of health care continues to capture the attention of the nation in ongoing debates fueled by rising costs, over utilization and the implementation of much needed reforms (Affordable Care Act). As the health care industry continues to rapidly evolve, it provides a context ripe for learning and applying concepts, theories and research related to negotiation and conflict resolution. This course is applicable not only to students pursuing careers in health care, but is also designed for students who are interested in applying negotiation skills they have learned in an environment that can be emotionally charged and conceptually complex.

Throughout this course students will be given the opportunity to apply the skills they have learned from previous classes as well as to solidify key concepts and theories of negotiation and conflict resolution. This course is designed to challenge each student to harness their critical thinking skills, uncover nuance and recognize the complexities associated with multiparty negotiations. Our goal is to help students develop and implement negotiation strategies that will bridge the gap between the classroom and real-life scenarios.

NECR PS5090. Fundamentals of Organizational Ombuds Practice. 3 pts.

Description

The ombuds profession has seen a tremendous growth in interest as interest in alternative dispute resolution and integrated dispute resolution systems within organizations has increased. However, when asked, the average person in the United States still neither knows what an ombudsperson is nor the functions that an ombudsperson fulfills within an organization. This class will introduce students to the major theoretical and practical issues inherent in the ombuds profession. With particular focus on the Standards of Practice as articulated by the International Ombudsman Association, students will learn about the unique services that organizational ombudspeople provide to organizations and to individuals within those organizations.

NECR PS5095. Advanced Ombuds Practice. 3 pts.

Description

Building on the concepts introduced in Fundamentals of Ombudsman Practice, this course will explore the principles, leading practices and key considerations associated with designing, establishing and embedding an ombudsman function within an organization. Attention will be given to strategies for generating buy-in for the creation of an ombudsman program and managing the organizational change associated with implementation. Legal issues associated with establishing and operating an ombudsman program will also be addressed. We will explore approaches for understanding and appropriately communicating ombudsman program effectiveness, impact and contributions through measurement, reporting, and stakeholder relations, both to sustain existent programs and make new programs possible. This is practice oriented class focused on knowledge and awareness development for enactment in real world settings. The highly participative successful student will complete the class with significant capacity to build ombuds programs.

NECR PS5124. Intrapersonal Dynamics and Conflict. 3 pts.

Description

When we understand our cognitive, personality, temperament, motivational, learning, and communication styles, we can blend and capitalize on our strengths and manage our weaknesses. This course reviews the body of work that studies essential influences and the dimension of the intrapersonal dynamics that contribute to who we are and how we work. The course emphasizes a systems approach to understanding self and will be highly interactive, incorporating the participants' personal experiences and self-assessments (MBTI, The Bar-On Emotional Quotient Index, Communication Skills Assessment, Learning Styles Inventory).

The course will be a blend of concepts and skills, theory and practical application. You will have opportunities to practice developing your skills throughout the course, and develop and implement an individualized plan for guiding strengths and managing weaknesses.

NECR PS5180. Analyzing & Resolving Urban Conflict. 3 pts.

Description

This is an innovative course, which will apply insights from a variety of disciplines and theories of intractable conflicts, to urban violence and urban conflicts. This course will explore the contribution that the field of conflict resolution and strategic peace building can offer to support efforts in lowering violence and crime; to identify and to resolve the underlying issues and patterns causing the proliferation of crime and the outbreak of violence.

The course will have an interdisciplinary approach and will in particular draw from the fields of anthropology, sociology and geography. Throughout the course, these disciplines will be dialogue with the applied mathematic concepts of dynamical system and the theories of intractable conflicts. Students will not only become familiar with the study of important social scientists, they will have an opportunity to apply the concepts learned in mapping and in analyzing case studies in urban violence. Furthermore, the Instructor will provide insights he has gained over the past 20 years in working as both a practitioner and as a scholar in challenging urban contexts such as Palermo, in Italy, in the fight against the Sicilian Mafia; in Medellin Colombia, and currently in Newark, New Jersey.

NECR PS5205. Advanced Negotiation. 3 pts.

Prerequisite

NECR PS5105. Introduction to Negotiation.

Description

The course focuses on negotiation in particularly challenging settings. It builds on the concepts and skills from the introductory course as students have the opportunity to further fine-tune their awareness and skills. The dilemmas and paradoxes generated by the unavailability of some actors to engage in negotiation are explored, as well as the dilemmas generated by particularly complex environments. There is a fuller more strategic engagement with negotiation, especially applicable with parties who are not initially willing to collaborate. There is a focus on the use of Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) and the practice of conflict coaching.

NECR PS5207. Advanced Mediation. 3 pts.

Description

The course focuses on skill building and strengthening the capacity of students to actually perform mediation services in diverse settings. It further develops the concepts and skills necessary for effective mediators to use. Actual cases are utilized as students practice addressing the many complexities inherent in mediation, including their own biases. There are exercises and discussions aimed at deepening cultural sensitivity and developing the ability to shift the perspectives of the involved parties through reframing. Students receive feedback on their ability to develop mediation cases and on their practice in the role of mediator.

NECR PS5208. Advanced Mediation Apprenticeship. 3 pts.

Description

The challenge of collaborative, integrated problem solving has implications for conflict resolution in a variety of environments; from the personal, individual conflict to those that occur in the larger community, in the workplace and in the international realm. The opportunity for the skilled mediator to support parties in conflict in order to build mutually acceptable agreements that are sustainable requires skills on the highest level.

This course is designed to refine and sharpen those skills acquired in Advanced Mediation. Students will build on what has been learned both conceptually and practically.

It will be a blend of practice and theory and students will be expected to situate this learning and development within their own current status as third party interveners or mediators. Students will also have received the requisite training hours necessary to qualify for Advanced Mediation – The Apprenticeship that meet the standards established by the Unified Court System Office of ADR and Court Improvement Programs. At the conclusion of the course, students will be observed by Jenny Besch and staff from the Westchester and Rockland Mediation Centers of CLUSTER for certification.

NECR PS5210. Conflict Resolution and Dynamical Systems. 3 pts.

Description

The emergence of a dynamical systems perspective and understanding of conflict and its resolution is one of the most encouraging developments in the field of conflict resolution. The course focuses on foundational dynamical systems theory (DST) that informs the relationships amongst the “attractors” that both develop and resolve conflicts, and their relevance for successful conflict resolution analysis and interventions. Students learn to use a modeling and information technology component for a hands-on engagement with dynamical systems as they use it on current and historical conflict scenarios.

NECR PS5212. Conflict, Social Networks, and Communication Technologies. 3 pts.

Description

This course will explore the interconnections between conflict and communications technologies and analyze how this relationship is increasingly mediated by the social networks in which actors are embedded. It will confront the challenges that individuals and organizations face in using online technology for collaboration and conflict mediation purposes. The course will show how recent software innovations can facilitate knowledge acquisition, network building, and the analysis and presentation of conflict-related data. Finally, it will analyze contemporary cases where developments in communications technologies have played a critical role in exacerbating and/or resolving conflicts.
The course will also instruct students in the use of social software (such as blogs, wikis, Twitter, and network visualization and video annotation tools). The emphasis of the course is to provide practical examples and to challenge students to reflect on how these new understandings and tools will be useful in their professional lives.

NECR PS5240. International Fieldwork in Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding. 3 pts.

Description

The course is designed to provide hands-on, practical experience for students to apply the skills of conflict analysis in the field. Students will have the opportunity to observe and participate in conflict resolution work within an organization and deepen their understanding of critical concepts around negotiation, mediation, and sustainable peacebuilding.

In Summer 2016, our fieldwork site is with the Center for Conflict Resolution (CECORE) based in Kampala, Uganda. For a period of two weeks, students will be on-site in Kampala, working from CECORE headquarters. There will also be preparatory assignments before departure, as well as upon return from the site of the fieldwork. The fieldwork portion will entail students doing on-site research for CECORE, under the direct advisement of faculty lead, Dr. José Pascal da Rocha.

We envision this to be a valuable opportunity for our students to gain hands-on experience in a research capacity that will not only address the stated gap between academic study and marketable skills, but also benefit the mission of the partnering organization. Students will have the unique opportunity to learn about CECORE's framework for conflict resolution training, peacebuilding, advocacy, and conflict transformation. Students will be working in a research capacity under the direct guidance of their advisor, Dr. da Rocha, assisting CECORE with critical projects in the following areas: conflict analysis; environmental conflict resolution; and gender and peacebuilding in Uganda.

NECR PS5260. International Fieldwork on Regional Environmental Sustainability (Israel/Jordan). 3 pts.

Description

This course will provide a fieldwork opportunity for students to learn about: the ways in which natural resource and environmental issues span geographical boundaries; how political conflicts may create, sustain and escalate these problems; and the role the environment can play in future negotiations toward constructive, peaceful and sustainable outcomes. The program will focus on the areas within Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in addition to the “Seam Zone” between these bounded areas.

Students will visit Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories and will experience firsthand the social and political challenges facing the policymakers and environmental scientists who seek to address these issues. Currently, there is limited cooperation in the Middle East on environmental issues and joint management of shared natural resources. The trans-boundary nature of the environmental problems in the region suggests that a joint, integrated approach to resource management is critically needed and may serve as the common ground for achieving sustainable peace.

NECR PS5280. Leadership and Framing. 3 pts.

Description

Leaders operate in uncertain and sometimes chaotic environments. While leaders may not control events, they do influence how events are seen and are understood. This course treats leaders as managers of meaning. Framing as a skill can have profound consequences for behavior that influences how we and others respond to the world and in organizations. Through discussion and application this course aims to increase your understanding of how to shape your own realities and co-construct meaning through everyday conversations with others. It will lend you the tools needed for the formulation of concepts and theoretical frameworks for leadership and framing.

NECR PS5880. Self as Instrument: Skills Practicum. 2 pts.

Description

In this course, students focus on practicing skills that will enable them to become more effective communicators. The skills in this course are meant to be a review of what they have covered in previous courses and then strengthened by building on this foundation with new materials and skills. The majority of the time is spent in hands-on situations in which students practice ways in which they can use some of these methods to resolve conflicts; their own critical incidents and those of others. Through guided reflection and supervision students receive small group and individual feedback on a regular basis.

NECR PS5885. Applied Research Methods.  2 pts.

Description

Students become acquainted with basic research concepts and the mindset of becoming a researcher. This includes discovering more about their own biases and assumptions and the impact this may have on the outcomes of their research initiatives. They learn about a variety of qualitative research methods they can use for data collection and analysis in applied research situations. This course serves as a primer for the capstone seminars, especially the part that focuses on conflict analysis. The focus of this course is on qualitative methods of research.

NECR PS6125. Foundations of Conflict Analysis. 3 pts. (Hybrid)

Description

Conflict analysis is central to understanding the context and content of any conflict. It is also critical for the person doing the conflict analysis to have a good understanding of who he or she is as an applied researcher, including the frames with which s/he views the conflict analysis. Our worldviews, assumptions, values and beliefs shape how we frame and create meaning from conflicts that we choose to examine, and how we understand the dynamics of those conflicts. This in turn influences any interventions we might recommend to address the conflict, which has immediate and far-reaching consequences. Therefore, to conduct a fair analysis of any conflict, and add value for the stakeholders involved, self-awareness is crucial. In addition to learning the conflict analysis tools that apply to conflict situations in multiple contexts, the researcher must understand the frames s/he brings to the conflict analysis.

This course is the first of two required (7 Week) hybrid courses of the capstone sequence and is situated at the beginning of the program. Students are expected to spend on average, 20 hours per week including class time, group work, readings and other assignments. This course is the foundation for developing the mindset of an applied researcher and conflict intervener.

NECR PS6150. Applying Conflict Analysis. 3 pts. (Hybrid)

Description

Building on the other prerequisite course, NECR PS6125, and as described in the syllabus for that course, conflict analysis is crucial for understanding the context and content of any conflict. It is critical for you as a researcher and we will continue to build on developing self-awareness. In the previous course you selected the case study you wanted to work on, you completed a conflict mapping of the case, you applied other conflict analysis tools to the case, you framed research questions, and you reviewed qualitative research methodologies and applied one to your selected case. In this course you will continue to build on what you accomplished with your selected case.

This course is the second of two required (7 Week) online courses in the capstone sequence of the NECR program. In this course you will focus on the data for your case study. First you will identify the types of data you want to collect to answer your research question. Then you will analyze the data using conflict analysis tools you learned in the previous course. You will then apply theory to practice and reference theories you learned in NECR PS6125 and that are provided here, to interpret and make meaning from the data you analyzed. You will surface several needs to address in interventions you would recommend were you to intervene in this case. Students are expected to spend on average, 20 hours per week including class time, group work, readings and other assignments.

The course will conclude with you learning about proposal writing for your following capstone classes and the project on which you will work. You will write a proposal to use for NECR PS6250, based on one of three areas: international development; organizational context; community or education.

NECR PS6100. Master's Project, I: Conflict Assessment.  6 pts.

Prerequisite

PS5101 Understanding Conflict and Cooperation. PS5105 Introduction to Negotiation. PS5107 Introduction to Mediation. Plus additional 15 elective credits.

Description

Only for students graduating in May 2018

The first Master's Project Seminar examines how to assess complex conflicts. The seminar is also a forum for testing and group feedback. Each student chooses a real-world conflict resolution scenario of which they have firsthand experience and develops an applicable conflict resolution or negotiation strategy. After completing each Master's Project Seminar, students defend the corresponding master’s project chapter before a review board. Each defense simulates a team review experience, with students judged individually on the effectiveness of their presentations and their skill in fielding questions and supporting their proposals.

NECR PS6200. Master's Project, II: Resolution Strategies.  3 pts.

Description

Only for students graduating in May 2018

The second Master's Project Seminar examines how to determine the best strategies for resolving and managing conflict. The seminar is also a forum for testing and group feedback. Students continue focusing on their chosen real-world conflict resolution scenario. After completing the seminar, students defend their completed master’s project chapter before a review board.

NECR PS6300. Master's Project, III: Networking and Sustainability.  3 pts.

Prerequisite

PS5101 Understanding Conflict and Cooperation. PS5105 Introduction to Negotiation. PS5107 Introduction to Mediation. Plus additional 15 elective credits.

Description

Only for students graduating in May 2018

The final Master's Project Seminar examines the role of networking in mediation and negotiation to solve problems. It is the final installment of the real-world conflict resolution scenario each student chose to examine, culminating in a coherent presentation of a fully developed and practical conflict resolution plan that responds to an actual conflict scenario. After completing the final seminar, students defend their completed master’s project chapter before a review board.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.