Edited by John Ishiyama, William J. Miller and Eszter Simon
Chapter 26: War, peace and everything in between: simulations in international relations
Have you ever had a student get so passionate about a theoretical argument in a class that they appeared to be willing to take the argument outside? All three of us have seen this kind of passion in our students when they have participated in classroom International Relations (IR) simulations. There is something rewarding about watching a student spell out in painful detail how he doesn’t want to lie but – having read Machiavelli or Morgenthau and being surrounded by a ‘million other countries who are all looking to conquer me’ when playing the game Diplomacy – he understands that lying is the smart thing to do and regular morality can be chucked out the window. That sense of having accomplished something significant as a teacher only increases when other students in the classroom, including those that had been lied to, nod in agreement and point out how events in the game directly demonstrate aspects of various IR theories (Asal 2005).
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