International Relations Negotiation Role-Play: World Trade Center Redevelopment Negotiation

TitleInternational Relations Negotiation Role-Play: World Trade Center Redevelopment Negotiation
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsSusskind, L, Harvey, K, Kovick, D, Phillips, P, Wolinsky, M, Harris, C, Baum, S
Keywordsagreement, conflict, conflict prevention, conflict prevention and resolution, consensus, consensus building, dispute, facilitator, harvard law, harvard law school, historical negotiations, Lawrence Susskind, mediation, Multiparty negotiation, negotiate, negotiation, negotiation theory, negotiations, PON, program on negotiation, program on negotiation at harvard law school, value creation

Six-person facilitated negotiation among representatives of the city, state, developer, insurer, and victims' families regarding the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

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Developed by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) and the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, this simulation is inspired by the real negotiations leading to the redevelopment of the Word Trade Center site in New York City, after the two World Trade Center buildings were destroyed in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Participants are assigned to one of six possible roles, given confidential instructions, and directed to negotiate with a group of five other people. The simulation is designed to illustrate the potential sources of value creation in negotiation, and the inherent tension between generating such value and distributing it to particular parties. It is also intended to show how highly charged, emotional issues can often intertwine with more traditional public policy questions. It is possible in debriefing the exercise to identify various barriers to agreement and obstacles to value creation. This simulation is probably best used after participants have had some exposure to basic two-party negotiation analysis and to at least the rudiments of multi-party negotiation theory.

The instructions for each role are relatively short and can be read quickly. There are six roles: the City, the State (which owns the site in question), the Developer, the Families, the Insurer and the Facilitator. The participants must address four issues: the site plan, the timing of construction, the total money allocated for the project, and who gets the credit for the project.