Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations
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Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations

Edited by John Ishiyama, William J. Miller and Eszter Simon

With a focus on providing concrete teaching strategies for scholars, the Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations blends both theory and practice in an accessible and clear manner. In an effort to help faculty excel as classroom teachers, the expert contributors offer representation from various types of institutions located throughout the world. Split into three distinct parts, this book discusses curriculum and course design, teaching subject areas and in class teaching techniques.
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Chapter 26: War, peace and everything in between: simulations in international relations

Victor Asal, Chad Raymond and Simon Usherwood

Extract

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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