Center for Global Affairs

Mediation Skills for Global Affairs

Mediation is one of the most effective processes for transforming conflicts, promoting understanding, and building lasting peace. Mediation has been effective in building peace following destructive interpersonal, inter-community and international conflicts ¿ and yet it remains misunderstood and underutilized in the international context. This course will provide students with the opportunity to learn and practice skills needed in the art of modern mediation. Mediation skills are increasingly necessary at the highest levels of the United Nations and its agencies, by foreign services of national governments, and by international and national non-governmental organizations. Mediation is one of the most universal skill sets needed by diplomats and community development workers alike. However, mediation is often confused with other means of alternative dispute resolution such as arbitration, negotiation or conciliation. Mediation is characterized by self-determination of the parties; mediators do not make decisions but rather facilitate the parties to discuss their viewpoints, generate new options and create effective solutions. Mediations are usually conducted confidentially in private settings. Impartial mediators, often working in teams, guide individuals and groups through a series of stages so they can find their own solutions. The course utilizes simulations drawn from real-life international development conflicts, as well as video, visual arts, group discussions, and popular culture. It is highly interactive, with students participating in simulated mediations ¿ as mediators and disputants ¿ throughout the course.
Course Number
Associated Degrees