Negotiating Interstate Conflict and International Crises

world map with overlaid missile silhouettesInterstate conflict is the traditional realm of international relations, in which two or more countries must address their diverging interests. These conflicts tend to revolve around core issues of national security, identity, or influence and can produce interstate crises that have the potential to escalate into full-scale warfare. On the surface, interstate conflicts have well-defined actors and issues. However, because all governments are accountable to some kind of domestic and/or international source of power, these international negotiations are often actually two-level games, in which multiple actors' interests need to balanced.

collage of newspaper war headlinesTeach Crisis Negotiation Skills through Simulation!

We highlight ICONS negotiation simulations below that enable students to experience the complexity of deescalating an international crisis and the tensions and challenges leaders face in resolving high-stakes issues that could lead to war. You can also explore the full ICONS simulation catalog with all 20 available simulations.

Featured Simulations:

Crisis in North KoreaLeadership Change Crisis – A major explosion in the midst of a leadership transition in North Korea could escalate to war unless the major powers can quickly defuse the tension between the two Koreas. Read more about "Crisis in North Korea", a nuclear crisis negotiation simulation.

India-Pakistan CrisisRetaliating against Terrorism – In the wake of a string of bloody terrorist attacks in India by a group based in Pakistan, these two nuclear-armed neighbors stand on the verge of yet another war unless the key sub-national, national, and international stakeholders can find a way to restrain hostilities. Read more about "India-Pakistan Crisis", an enduring rivalry crisis negotiation simulation.

Border Dispute: The Temple of Preah VihearBorder Dispute Crisis – Long-simmering border disputes threaten to boil over as religious, government, and international actors negotiate the status of a prominent and historically-significant temple claimed by both sides. Read more about "Border Dispute: The Temple of Preah Vihear", a border dispute crisis negotiation simulation.

ICONS Project