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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Cross-Cultural Dispute Resolution (Fall 2017)

Course Description

The course examines how obvious and not-so-obvious cultural difference impacts resolution of inter-personal and inter-state (international) disputes. Specifically, the course will bring an international perspective to understanding the impact of culture in the most commonly used international and domestic dispute resolution practices (negotiation, mediation, and arbitration). Thiscoursesurveystheimpactthatculturaldifferences,stereotypesandattributionshaveonkeydisputeresolutionprocessesandonconflictgenerally.Itisdesignedtobuildtheoreticalknowledge, to equip students with an analytical framework useful in determiningsuitabledispute resolution processes, and to instill practical skills and strategies toenhanceeffectiveness in cross-culturalcontexts.

Cultural differences in language, customs, values, legal systems and world-viewsareexamined along various dimensions. It will follow a three-step approach to know and understand the influence of culture on decision-making, including: awareness and knowledge of one’s own culture; knowledge and understanding of another party’s culture; and knowledge of the impact of either on the desired goal/outcome of the dispute. This course will help students be more culturally aware and better equipped for effective participation in dispute resolution processes that increasingly involve different languages, customs, values, nationalities and states of origin.

Course Objectives

By the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

1.      Identify and analyze various dimensions of culture including language, communication styles (both verbal and non-verbal), customs, values, and worldviews.

2.      Evaluate how cultural factors affect the dispute resolution processes of negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and litigation, and,

3.      Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of potential ethical issues arising from cross- cultural differences.

II.  Course Requirements & Guidelines

A.     Class Preparation and Participation

Class discussion will commence with the assumption that everyone is thoroughly familiar with the assigned materials and is prepared to participate in discussions in a professional manner. 

B.     Attendance and Classroom Behavior

Regular and punctual attendance is expected of all students.  Please note that all communication and entertainment devices such as cell phones, iPods, and iPads are to be turned off and kept off throughout the class session. However, students are permitted to take notes on lap tops during the course.

C.      Grading Criteria

There will be one final paper and one mid-class paper. 

(20%)  Class attendance, active and meaningful contributions to class discussion. Based on class readings and preparatory materials, meaningful participation in class role plays and exercises.

(20%)  A short (4-5 page) paper, double spaced. This paper in in-class assignment, which must be completed and submitted during the duration of the course. More information will be provided on the first day of the class.  

(60%)  The final paper should be 16-18 typewritten (12-point font), double spaced pages.

Course Details

  • Unit Value: 2
  • Grading Options: Numerical Only
  • Schedule: September 2, 3, 23, 24 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Exam: Paper
  • Writing Requirement: Yes with submission of the Upper Division Writing Requirement Form.
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: Yes
  • Participation: Required and graded