Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 30/10/2011

From Virtual to Real – Simulating Conflict Dynamics in a Global Information Age

Next April, scholars attending the International Studies Association annual conference in San Diego (1-4 April 2012) will be able to attend countless paper panels AND bring about (simulated) Middle East peace by participating in an innovative panel that will combine pre-conference online negotiation and actual face-to-face interaction during the conference itself.

How will it work?

Part One – Connect on Facebook

The simulation begins on Facebook with virtual interactions within and between participating teams. The simulation covers events in the Middle East focusing primarily on the Arab-Israel conflict in 2012. It integrates diplomatic interactions between actors in the region (Egyptians, Iranians, Israelis, Lebanese, Palestinians, Syrians), external powers (Russia, USA), international organizations (EU, UN), and the media (regional, global). Each registered participant is assigned to a specific team and takes part in both intra-team (domestic politics) and inter-team (international relations) virtual interactions through several Facebook sessions during the months of January-March 2012.

Part Two – Meet at ISA 2012 in San Diego

The simulation continues in an innovative panel scheduled for Monday, April 2, 2012 from 4pm-5:45pm at the ISA 2012 annual conference in San Diego with an international conference on the Middle East, where representatives from the virtual teams meet face-to-face. This engagement focuses on conflicts issues that emerged during the Facebook simulation in effort to reach some agreement between participating teams. The simulation will end with a wrap-up discussion on the simulation itself and its utility as a teaching and research tool.

This innovative panel on “From Virtual to Real – Simulating Conflict Dynamics in a Global Information Age” is being organized by Hemda Ben-Yehuda and Luba Levin-Banchik (Department of Political Studies, Bar Ilan University) and Chanan Naveh (School of Communication, Sapir College). Additional information may be found at their simulation website.

For further information, or to register, contact them at Please note that all participants must be registered for the ISA 2012 convention. Registration for the simulation/panel will be open until November 15.

I won’t be at ISA this year, but if anyone does participate in this we would love to feature an After Action Report next year on how it all went.

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