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SGSI 2019: Public Policy Negotiation: Multiparty Problem-solving and Conflict Resolution


As a professional, you will probably negotiate more than you do anything else. You will negotiate with your boss, your colleagues, your assistant, as well as with other organizations, the public, perhaps the media, and so on. In doing so, you will communicate across institutional, cultural, linguistic, even national boundaries.

This course will help you develop an understanding of negotiation, as well as practical skills for collaborative problem-solving. The experience is highly interactive with simulations, small- and plenary group discussions, reflections, and feedback.

Monday, Sept. 9 – Thursday, Sept. 12, 9 AM – 4 PM; Friday, Sept. 13, 9 AM – 7 PM


  • Janet Martinez, senior lecturer, Law; director, Gould Negotiation & Mediation Program, Stanford Law School
  • Brenna Marea Powell, PhD, lecturer, Law, Stanford Law School
  • Jeffrey Ball, Scholar-in-Residence, Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance
  • Diana Guzman, JSD candidate, Stanford Law School

Audience & Capacity

Open to all graduate students in any discipline (particularly those who have not had a chance to explore these issues extensively through their coursework), as well as postdoctoral fellows, if space allows. Participants will be seleted to assure a good balance of skills, background, and areas of policy interest, with priority to those applying first. Space is limited to 24.


By participating fully in this course, you will:

  • Develop an awareness of yourself as a negotiator
  • Learn fundamentals of negotiation (2-party, multiparty, facilitated multiparty)
  • Practice collaborative problem-solving through a series of exercises drawn from private, public, domestic, and international contexts
  • Consider, in relationship to public policy decision-making,:
    • the benefits of negotiation relative to judicial (court) and legislative strategies
    • the role of civic engagement and roles that public citizens play
    • the role of media in influencing public processes
    • the interplay between science, policy, and technology


In the first portion of the course, we will begin with two-party negotiations, and advance to multi-party and team negotiations.  More advanced simulations will emphasize complex problem-solving and conflict resolution among multiple parties (government, corporate, civil society) in domestic and international contexts. Negotiation topics include the tension between cooperative and competitive strategies, bargaining styles, and managing coalitions. We will then explore the use of third party facilitators in collaborative problem-solving and examine options for civic engagement, as well as the influence of the media.  We will use case simulations drawn from environment and natural resource policymaking, intergroup conflict resolution and peacebuilding, and other policy areas of interest to the class.

Additional Course Expectations

  • Participants will complete roughly 2 hours of reading and preparation for negotiation simulations each evening.
  • Full attendance is expected.

SUNet ID required to log in; all SGSI correspondence sent to your Stanford email account.

Resource Type: 
Course or Workshop
Target Audience: 
All Graduate Students
Time Commitment: 
Learning Experience: