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Simulations in IR Pedagogy

November 19, 2009

I won’t be blogging much until I get back from the west coast, where I’ve gone this week to assist my colleague Alex Montgomery with his nuclear diplomacy simulation at Reed College. As luck would have it, this issue of International Studies Perspectives has a useful article on simulations as a pedagogical tool in IR classes.

This article reflects some experiences in teaching International Relations (IR) by using films to supplement the use of simulations and role play scenarios. The authors have used simulations and role play scenarios in order to teach complex issues and theories, and to engage the interest of students. By using films to supplement the use of simulations in classrooms, it is suggested that students become more active in their own learning. A number of ways in which simulations and role play can be used in teaching are established here alongside an array of films that can be shown to students to complement such teaching approaches. The use of films to teach IR theory is also listed. It is concluded that the use of simulations, role play, and films in teaching IR can aid student learning especially in terms of IR theory.

Useful reading, along with some scenarios you could easily deploy on your students to get them engaged.

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Charli Carpenter is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is the author of 'Innocent Women and Children': Gender, Norms and the Protection of Civilians (Ashgate, 2006), Forgetting Children Born of War: Setting the Human Rights
Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond (Columbia, 2010), and ‘Lost’ Causes: Agenda-Setting in Global Issue Networks and the Shaping of Human Security (Cornell, 2014). Her main research interests include national security ethics, the protection of civilians, the laws of war, global agenda-setting, gender and political violence, humanitarian affairs, the role of information technology in human security, and the gap between intentions and outcomes among advocates of human security.