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Information Technology and International Relations: Using On Line, Interactive Simulations to Transcend Time, Space, and Attitudes
Unformatted Document Text:  Dougherty (2003) uses the continuing conflict in the Middle East, always on or near the front page of the local newspaper. Grummel (2003, 787) uses a local parking problem, “familiar and dear to most students” to simulate policy making. In each example, students confront a situation that they see as globally or locally important. Second, research is vital to any successful simulation. However, inter-subjective research may help students make greater advances along the continuum toward role adoption and empathy. This means acquiring information and presenting it from the perspective of the character being simulated. For example, in his simulation of domestic politics’ effect on national security, Kanner (2004, 107) asks students to include work by officials in the agencies being simulated as well as congressional hearings in which they testify. They present their research in the form of a policy recommendation “as if they were an action officer in one of the bureaucracies.” Pacelle (1989, 9, 11) follows a similar procedure in his simulation of Supreme Court decision making. Students use material that is “directly related to their individual role” including “the strategies and motivations of specific litigants” as well as biographies of the Supreme Court members. Presentation of the research takes the form of litigant briefs and oral arguments before the court. This type of research may be facilitated by the wide diversity of sources available on the Internet, as reported by Josefson and Casey (2004) and Switky (2004); but it may be accomplished by traditional means as well (Dougherty 2003; Gilboa 1979; Feste 1977). Third, students may move closer to role adoption and empathy when they must act on behalf of the individual, group, or institution they are simulating, while maintaining continuous communications with team members. This heightened sense of responsibility can be amplified and reinforced throughout the simulation by continuous inter-team communication that encourages members to adopt the interests and values of their group. For example, Linser, Naidu, and Ip (1999) report that students’ use of web-based simulations enhances role playing by providing a stake in the outcome as well as a means for the group to communicate and exchange information. Indeed, the use of immediate and pervasive communication through web conferencing and email may encourage students to internalize the groups’ goals, experiencing more intense role adoption for longer periods of time during the simulation. Finally, the role adoption process may be enhanced by including in the simulation individuals outside the class with practical experience in positions the students are simulating. The Internet provides the means for information exchange among group members and outside advisors (Sadow 1989), and there are motives for many outsiders to become involved. Retired civil servants or journalists looking for intellectual activity and mentoring; campaign staff, local officials, or legislative representatives interested in better university-government relations; members of ethnic, racial, religious minorities or foreign nationals seeking an opportunity to share their concerns may be available to join a simulation. This can help students better adopt their roles, understanding more clearly the values, interests and perceptions important to the person or group being simulated. When used in transnational simulations, the inclusion of foreign nationals represents citizen to citizen diplomacy.

Authors: Stover, William.
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Dougherty (2003) uses the continuing conflict in the Middle East, always on or near the
front page of the local newspaper. Grummel (2003, 787) uses a local parking problem,
“familiar and dear to most students” to simulate policy making. In each example,
students confront a situation that they see as globally or locally important.

Second, research is vital to any successful simulation. However, inter-subjective research
may help students make greater advances along the continuum toward role adoption and
empathy. This means acquiring information and presenting it from the perspective of the
character being simulated. For example, in his simulation of domestic politics’ effect on
national security, Kanner (2004, 107) asks students to include work by officials in the
agencies being simulated as well as congressional hearings in which they testify. They
present their research in the form of a policy recommendation “as if they were an action
officer in one of the bureaucracies.” Pacelle (1989, 9, 11) follows a similar procedure in
his simulation of Supreme Court decision making. Students use material that is “directly
related to their individual role” including “the strategies and motivations of specific
litigants” as well as biographies of the Supreme Court members. Presentation of the
research takes the form of litigant briefs and oral arguments before the court. This type
of research may be facilitated by the wide diversity of sources available on the Internet,
as reported by Josefson and Casey (2004) and Switky (2004); but it may be
accomplished by traditional means as well (Dougherty 2003; Gilboa 1979; Feste 1977).

Third, students may move closer to role adoption and empathy when they must act on
behalf of the individual, group, or institution they are simulating, while maintaining
continuous communications with team members. This heightened sense of responsibility
can be amplified and reinforced throughout the simulation by continuous inter-team
communication that encourages members to adopt the interests and values of their group.
For example, Linser, Naidu, and Ip (1999) report that students’ use of web-based
simulations enhances role playing by providing a stake in the outcome as well as a means
for the group to communicate and exchange information. Indeed, the use of immediate
and pervasive communication through web conferencing and email may encourage
students to internalize the groups’ goals, experiencing more intense role adoption for
longer periods of time during the simulation.

Finally, the role adoption process may be enhanced by including in the simulation
individuals outside the class with practical experience in positions the students are
simulating. The Internet provides the means for information exchange among group
members and outside advisors (Sadow 1989), and there are motives for many outsiders to
become involved. Retired civil servants or journalists looking for intellectual activity and
mentoring; campaign staff, local officials, or legislative representatives interested in
better university-government relations; members of ethnic, racial, religious minorities or
foreign nationals seeking an opportunity to share their concerns may be available to join a
simulation. This can help students better adopt their roles, understanding more clearly
the values, interests and perceptions important to the person or group being simulated.
When used in transnational simulations, the inclusion of foreign nationals represents
citizen to citizen diplomacy.


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