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National Security Crisis Decision Making: Phase II

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We report on the results of the second stage of our project to develop a national security crisis simulation. We begin by presenting a brief overview of the first stage/pilot project, which we presented at the 2006 APSA Teaching and Learning Conference. We then move to a description of the design and execution of the simulation. Advances in the design of the second-stage simulation in comparison to our pilot included: 1) creation of a stand-alone “directed study” course as the teaching and learning context for the simulation; 2) expansion of the crisis simulation proper from 24 to 48 hours; 3) the introduction of an international and comparative dimension with the inclusion of a team from the University of Northampton, United Kingdom (made possible through the contacts we established in our 2006 TLC work group); 4) enhanced use of technology, including webcam video and audio, and video conferencing, and 5) the introduction of a new research paper assignment as an assessment tool to gauge the value of the simulation experience for the students. For the second stage, we brought forward our learning objectives from our pilot simulation: 1) understanding the ‘inside’ nature of national security politics, including interagency competition and cooperation and the role of presidential staff; 2) understanding the policy process in a particular policy domain (foreign policy) and how it operates under stress and time constraints; 3) understanding crisis decision making and the contextual influences that surround it; 4) developing or refining a capacity for short-term analysis tied to a concrete problem; 5) developing or refining oral communication skills relevant to presenting analysis and defending a policy position. Drawing on our observations and documentation from the Spring 2007 semester course and the simulation proper held on March 18-20, 2007, we explore three themes in conclusion: 1) the value of the simulation for the students, especially with respect to the introduction of an experience interacting with individuals from another governmental system and culture; 2) regularizing the simulation in the undergraduate political science curriculum through the development of a special seminar on decision making as the course context for the simulation, which will enhance student preparation and allow us to better theory to application, and test how well theory performs in the simulation environment, and 3) the prospects for the expansion of the simulation with the inclusion of other colleges and universities in the U.S. and other nations.

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simul (20), role (17), us (13), crisi (12), team (11), phase (11), nation (11), secur (11), uk (11), decis (11), student (10), polici (9), 2007 (9), presid (9), make (9), posit (7), develop (6), iranian (6), respons (5), brief (5), communic (5),
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Association:
Name: APSA Teaching and Learning Conference
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http://www.apsanet.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245621_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Cook, Brian. and Williams, Kristen. "National Security Crisis Decision Making: Phase II" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, San Jose Marriott, San Jose, California, Feb 22, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245621_index.html>

APA Citation:

Cook, B. J. and Williams, K. , 2008-02-22 "National Security Crisis Decision Making: Phase II" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, San Jose Marriott, San Jose, California Online <PDF>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245621_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: We report on the results of the second stage of our project to develop a national security crisis simulation. We begin by presenting a brief overview of the first stage/pilot project, which we presented at the 2006 APSA Teaching and Learning Conference. We then move to a description of the design and execution of the simulation. Advances in the design of the second-stage simulation in comparison to our pilot included: 1) creation of a stand-alone “directed study” course as the teaching and learning context for the simulation; 2) expansion of the crisis simulation proper from 24 to 48 hours; 3) the introduction of an international and comparative dimension with the inclusion of a team from the University of Northampton, United Kingdom (made possible through the contacts we established in our 2006 TLC work group); 4) enhanced use of technology, including webcam video and audio, and video conferencing, and 5) the introduction of a new research paper assignment as an assessment tool to gauge the value of the simulation experience for the students. For the second stage, we brought forward our learning objectives from our pilot simulation: 1) understanding the ‘inside’ nature of national security politics, including interagency competition and cooperation and the role of presidential staff; 2) understanding the policy process in a particular policy domain (foreign policy) and how it operates under stress and time constraints; 3) understanding crisis decision making and the contextual influences that surround it; 4) developing or refining a capacity for short-term analysis tied to a concrete problem; 5) developing or refining oral communication skills relevant to presenting analysis and defending a policy position. Drawing on our observations and documentation from the Spring 2007 semester course and the simulation proper held on March 18-20, 2007, we explore three themes in conclusion: 1) the value of the simulation for the students, especially with respect to the introduction of an experience interacting with individuals from another governmental system and culture; 2) regularizing the simulation in the undergraduate political science curriculum through the development of a special seminar on decision making as the course context for the simulation, which will enhance student preparation and allow us to better theory to application, and test how well theory performs in the simulation environment, and 3) the prospects for the expansion of the simulation with the inclusion of other colleges and universities in the U.S. and other nations.

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