Post-Soviet Conflict




Harvard University
Department of Government
Gov 2152

Instructors: Alexandra M. Vacroux with Arvid Bell
U.S.-Russia relations continue to deteriorate. The violent conflict in Ukraine remains unresolved. Moscow and Washington appear to be trapped in a spiral of mistrust, fueled by hacking allegations, the mutual expulsion of diplomats, and bloody proxy wars. This course analyzes contemporary conflicts in the post-Soviet area from a negotiation perspective: How can states cooperate after repeated breaches of trust? What are effective bargaining strategies that can de-escalate tensions between great powers? What role do specific negotiation moves and tactics play in defusing complex security crises? Relying on immersive training simulations and interactive negotiation exercises, students will not only gain a deeper understanding of current political events, but they will also improve their individual negotiation and conflict management skills. Lessons learned will be consolidated with a series of experienced guest speakers who will provide applicable insights from their practical negotiation work. Conflicts to be analyzed include the INF treaty dispute, the War in Donbass, and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.