"Border Dispute: The Temple of Preah Vihear" Simulation

Border Dispute: The Temple of Preah Vihear


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  • 7 roles
  • Role sheets included
  • Teams of 3 - 5 students per role (recommended)

Length of Simulation:

  • Flexible; Set by instructor

ICONSnet Features:
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  • Resources
  • Messages
  • My Team
  • Proposal Center
  • Actions

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Competing claims to a sacred Buddhist temple site along the border of Thailand and Cambodia fuel a tense dispute between the countries in this negotiation simulation. Representing various stakeholders, students will attempt to resolve the long-standing conflict and keep the two nations from being pulled into a destructive war.

This simulation will put students in the roles of Thai and Cambodian government and military leaders, as well as religious leaders, ASEAN officials, and representatives from UNESCO. Together, they must try to address the security, religious, and economic concerns behind the dispute over Preah Vihear, a site of religious and cultural significance within contested territory along the Thai-Cambodian border. Appropriate for courses on geopolitics, negotiation, or international conflict, among others.

A scenario is provided along with a private role sheet to give students additional information about their assigned role's positions and interests. This simulation includes an opportunity for students to develop, debate, and vote on specific proposal plans to address the issues in the scenario. Students build proposal plans using a series of pre-loaded options. This simulation emphasizes long-term negotiation; however, it offers the instructor opportunities to bring in elements of crisis response within the larger framework.

The ICONS Project wishes to thank Dr. Sara Glasgow and her University of Montana Western students for their work on the initial version of this simulation.

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Technical Requirements

ICONSnet is optimized for display and use on desktop and laptop computers. Participants will need one or more Internet-connected computers or devices, and recent Web browser software. Recommended Web browsers include recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, or Internet Explorer (version 10 or above).

Note: Users of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser are encouraged to upgrade to the most recent version of Internet Explorer (currently IE 11), available on the Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 operating systems. Users of older Microsoft operating systems, e.g., Windows XP, are encouraged to use recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Opera.

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