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The Iraq War Simulation: An Experiment in Progress
Unformatted Document Text:  politics here do have a reputation! Unfortunately, as I felt out the students in my current classes, I discovered that they knew surprisingly little about their own state’s politics, regardless of how colorful they were. They, like my students back in Missouri, were much more interested in national and/or foreign politics. Still, a future simulation in this area might be just what is needed to perk their interest. (McQuaid, 1992) With that in mind and the fact that many students were interested in both the current (and very tight) presidential race and the very controversial war in Iraq made me conclude that at least for now my first simulation should involve one of these topics. Finally, because the foreign policy classes had been the least developed in my department, I decided on the Iraq War instead of the primaries/presidential race for my first simulation (plus, even with the Iraq choice, I would still involve presidential politics). With that choice in mind, I then proceeded to look at the different models people have used in their simulations. Mostly it seemed to break down into two, broad camps (which do overlap): ones that stressed negotiations around an issue and others that stressed turn-based role-playing. (Cohen, 1962; Smith & Boyer, 1996) The former is of course 7

Authors: Kolasa, Thomas.
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politics here do have a reputation! Unfortunately, as I
felt out the students in my current classes, I discovered
that they knew surprisingly little about their own state’s
politics, regardless of how colorful they were. They, like
my students back in Missouri, were much more interested in
national and/or foreign politics. Still, a future
simulation in this area might be just what is needed to
perk their interest. (McQuaid, 1992)
With that in mind and the fact that many students were
interested in both the current (and very tight)
presidential race and the very controversial war in Iraq
made me conclude that at least for now my first simulation
should involve one of these topics. Finally, because the
foreign policy classes had been the least developed in my
department, I decided on the Iraq War instead of the
primaries/presidential race for my first simulation (plus,
even with the Iraq choice, I would still involve
presidential politics).
With that choice in mind, I then proceeded to look at
the different models people have used in their simulations.
Mostly it seemed to break down into two, broad camps (which
do overlap): ones that stressed negotiations around an
issue and others that stressed turn-based role-playing.
(Cohen, 1962; Smith & Boyer, 1996) The former is of course
7


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