Category Trends Global Case Study

Guns or Growth: Lessons from Security-First and Civil-Society-First Approaches to Peace-building in East Timor

Marc h 14, 2019

This case study examines conditions and situations faced by several United Nations peacekeeping and peace-building missions in East Timor with the goal of applying the lessons learned from their responses to similar dilemmas in future peacekeeping operations (PKOs). East Timor provides a unique setting for the application of theory to practice, as the successive UN missions (UNAMET, INTERFET, and UNTAET) each took different approaches in their attempts to overcome obstacles on the ground.

A Drone’s Strike Away: Peace and Stability in the Age of Automated Warfare

January 3, 2019

The US military uses UAVs for missions ranging from reconnaissance to combat. Most generally, UAVs are capable of “controlled, sustained level flight and powered by a jet or reciprocating engine. “While a cruise missile can also be considered to be a UAV, it is treated separately on the basis that it is considered a weapon. To reflect on the complex nature of modern autonomous systems that include ground stations and other elements besides the actual air vehicles, the US military now uses the term “Unmanned Aircraft Systems” (UAS).

Refugees, Religion, and Resistance: A European Mass Migration Crisis Simulation

September 10, 2018

This role-play simulation is designed to develop an understanding of the complexities of global migration and, more specifically, the current refugee crisis in Europe. Since Germany is destination to the largest number of refugees within the European Union, the simulation is set in a small fictional German town where several national and local scenarios unfold.

The simulation encourages critical thinking about current policy dilemmas by placing participants in the roles of refugees, public officials, administrators, and concerned citizens. Participants experience some of the strategic and tactical challenges involved in managing and resolving complex policy decisions with impact at the local, national and global levels.

Reintegration in Sortutuville: A Gender Focused Simulation

April 27, 2018

This simulation places participants in the fictional nation of Sortutuville which has just entered into peaceful negotiations with Truffistan, ending the Truffistan War which has been going on for 20 years. Participants will be assigned a role of either an international development worker (a member of the reintegration team) or an aid recipient (a Sortutuvillian village inhabitant). Prior to the exercise, participants will receive information about Sortutville, the Truffistan War, their roles and publications to serve as guidance during their tasks

The South China Sea Dispute: Simulating the Next Global Conflict

February 6, 2018

For the past century, a number of sovereign states have laid claim to an overlapping territory in the South China Sea. The dispute revolves primarily around the control of two archipelagos, the Paracel and Spratly Islands, and their surrounding ocean areas. Although mostly uninhabited, these islands possess commercial, strategic, and historic value. And because there are no indigenous people on the islands, third parties must settle this dispute.

The Lesser of Many Evils: The Kurdish Question and the Syrian Civil War

November 21, 2017

This case is centered on the battle for the city of Kobani.  It focuses on the “Rojava Kurds” and their struggle to establish a self-governed autonomous region in Northern Syria.  Kobani offers a micro-illustration of the profound complexities that define Middle East politics.  The context for this case is the greater backdrop of the Syrian Civil war, the rise and expansion of ISIS, regional actors aligning along sectarian lines and political alliances and superpowers supporting coalitions and proxies that align with national interests.

After the Fall of North Korea A Post-Conflict Stability Operations Exercise

June 19, 2017

The purpose of this hypothetical case study/table top exercise (TTX) on North Korea is to teach the participants/students how difficult stability operations are in the immediate aftermath of a major conflict.  The learning objectives are many: to figure out what U.S. foreign policy should be in the wake of a major conflict on the Korean Peninsula; proceeding from that, how to prioritize meeting the immediate and long-term needs of the populace; and how to manage Allies and rivals (China and Russia) competing in the same space, under South Korea’s lead.

Controlling Ukraine: The EU and Russia in Ukraine

May 1, 2017

On 17 July 2014 in Donetsk Oblast near the Russian border, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was hit by a surface-to-air missile at an altitude of 10,000 meters (33,000 ft) and crashed. A Dutchled international investigation concluded in the fall of 2016 that the missile that shot down MH17 was a Russian “Buk” model; the truck carrying the Buk weapons system was seen entering Ukraine over the Russian border the night before and returning to Russia that night. CNN reported a recording that day by pro-Russian separatists gleefully reporting that they had destroyed their target. The recording soon disappeared, once it became clear what the “target” turned out to be: a civilian airliner, and not a Ukrainian fighter jet.