The purpose of the Laboratory is to start developing some of the main skills that are needed for effective work in international organisations, for staff members of the organisation itself and of permanent representations or other bodies participating in negotiations hosted by an international organisation at the world or regional level. The relevant skills are not only negotiation skills stricto sensu, but also skills needed for chairing sessions, for efficient teamwork, for effective use of communication techniques and for the preparation of appropriate files for negotiators.
The course has two objectives: the students should start acquiring and further develop negotiating skills; they should also reflect upon the practical dimenssions of the theory which they study in other courses of WPIR.
Owing to the very specific nature of the Laboratory, classes are organized in different formats, best fitted to negotiating exercises and their preparation. The classes are held according to the following schedule;
General introduction - Objectives and methods of the Laboratory – Briefing for the first two general negotiation exercises
Centrunion I - First general negotiation exercise: Establishing the agenda for a multilateral negotiation
Centrunion II- Second general negotiation exercise: Chairmanship and coalition building
Debriefing for the two general negotiation exercises + short lecture: European Council, Council of the European Union, Council working parties, EU “comitology” committees in the context of the EU decision making process
Toy Safety - Simulation of a meeting of a working party of the Council of the European Union
Debriefing of the third simulation exercise + Commentary to the Rules of procedure of the Council of the European Union
Centrunion III: No War Working party - Multilateral negotiation in a single room, including briefing
Debriefing of the fourth simulation exercise
Short lecture on coordination and coalition building
Short lecture on negotiating tactics
Briefing for the fifth simulation exercise
Ex-Atomium - Simulation exercise of a crisis situation: bilateral negotiation with third party intermediaries, with press release and press conference
Round-up / Debriefing of the last exercise and general course assessment
In order to be able to participate effectively in the exercises, students have to study briefing documents and work in small groups outside of the class hours. Briefs for simulations and negotiation exercises are distributed in the classroom or sent by e-mail.
Readings (suggested for class participants who want to deepen their knowledge, not mandatory):
• Alvin L. Goldman and Jacques Rojot, Negotiation : theory and practice, The Hague [etc.] : Kluwer Law International, 2003
• Fiona Hayes‐Renshaw and Helen Wallace, The Council of Ministers, Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2006
• Alain Lempereur and Aurélien Colson, The First Move: A Negotiator's Companion, Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2010
Students will be assessed on their presence and commitment in the classes. For students who have participated in all simulations of negotiations and exercises, and at least in 70 % of other classes, the exam consists in a mark for presence and commitment i in exercises, plus a short essay summarizing their learning experience, which will be basis of a discussion on the date of the exam, where the students will be asked to explain how what they have learnt in the laboratory relates to other WIPR courses and might help them in their future career.
For students who have not participated in all simulations of negotiations and exercises, and at least in 70 % of other classes (studenti non frequentanti), Students will have to hand in a book review of about 10 pages, analyzing one of the two books above, which will be the basis of an oral discussion.
Learning outcomes should mainly be an improvement of practical skills of the students, but also a better understanding of the practical consequences of more theoretical concepts studied in the framework of other courses. This course is based upon learning by doing, and the auto-analysis of what they have learnt by the student themselves is integral part of the course. Learning outcomes can therefore be different, based upon previous knowledge and experience of the students.