Allen Zerkin
Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Administration

Allen J. Zerkin has been an Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Administration at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service since 1988, teaching courses on negotiation and conflict management.  He also teaches, annually, a course on negotiation and conflict resolution at the graduate school of the American University of Paris and one on Environmental Conflict Resolution at the graduate school of Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.  Since 1999, he has been conducting a popular one-day workshop on negotiation at the American Planning Association’s annual National Planning Conference.  He is member of the New York Bar and earned his J.D. at Yale Law School.

Professor Zerkin specializes in the design and facilitation of processes intended to bring mutual understanding and collaboration and, often, resolution to public issues and controversies.  These initiatives take many forms:  Stakeholder consensus building processes on public policy issues, mediations of site specific disputes, roundtables fostering in-depth dialogue, meaningful public participation initiatives, extensive stakeholder interviews that lead to recommendations and final discussions, and facilitation of meetings and retreats.   The following are illustrative:

Consensus building and mediation of high profile or controversial public policy issues

  • Working under the auspices of the New York City Partnership and with funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Mr. Zerkin convened, designed and facilitated the Pocantico Roundtable on the Future of Brownfields in New York State, a thirty-member consensus building process that generated the innovative concepts – including Brownfields Opportunity Areas – that were the basis for the political breakthrough on state brownfields legislation; 1998-1999.
  • Mr. Zerkin facilitated the 1999 New York State Roundtable for Consensus on Tire Management, the consensus recommendations from which became law in 2002-03 and have resulted in statewide tire recycling and the remediation of all of the state’s illegal scrap tire piles.
  • Mr. Zerkin played a pivotal role in bringing about the resolution of New York City’s watershed controversy (1993-1995).  He conceived of and, under the auspices of the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, facilitated the Upstate-Downstate Water Quality Partnership, an unofficial back channel process for communication between NYC environmental and civic organizations from NYC, on the one hand, and organizations and prominent citizens from the Catskills region, on the other.  Through this process, the participants developed a framework for the resolution of the issues and worked behind the scenes to influence the polarized viewpoints of City and upstate officials.  Mr. Zerkin identified Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) as the individual who could catalyze a new round of negotiations; Boehlert followed up and within days Gov. George Pataki announced that he was personally convening new negotiations under his personal auspices. The back channel process laid the groundwork for these negotiations, and the new talks produced a comprehensive landmark compact among federal, state, city and watershed town officials and environmental leaders for managing the watershed.
  • In 2012-13, Mr. Zerkin teamed with mediators from The Mediation Group in Brookline, MA, to design and facilitate a group of 20 patients, primary care physicians, urologists, insurance and health systems leaders and senior executives from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  The process produced a set of consensus recommendations regarding the use of PSA screening for prostate cancer.  The recommendations are to be disseminated through leading Mass. medical organizations.
  • In 2008, Mr. Zerkin co-designed and -led the Bernalillo County, NM, Public Safety Summit on Jail Population, a one-day process involving the mayor of Albuquerque, representative of the Bernalillo County Commission, the city’s chief administrative officer, the county manager, the chief judges of both the state District Court and the County Metropolitan Court and many other judges from each, the District Attorney, the Public Defender, the city Chief of Police, plus deputies of virtually all of them.  The process succeeded in generating a fresh start toward working collaboratively to address severe jail overcrowding and numerous interagency dysfunctions.  It identified specific “low-hanging” opportunities for collaboration and began reversing the escalating rancor among them and the viciousness of their public attacks on each other.

Designing and facilitating policy dialogues and public involvement opportunities

  • Mr. Zerkin designed and facilitated the 2007 and 2002 Roundtables on the Prospects for Recycling in New York City, which brought national experts together with local civic and governmental leaders to think through how to a cost-effectively advance NYC’s recycling program; the 2002 Roundtable is widely credited with providing the Mayor and the City Council with the ideas that enabled them to resolve their political stand-off in 2002 and re-establish the city’s recycling program.
  • Mr. Zerkin designed the NYS Department of Transportation’s public workshops on its 20-Year State Rail Plan in 2008.  The design process enabled DOT staff to see that the Rail Plan’s many recommendations fit into three categories around which the workshop could be organized: Those recommendations they expected to be non-controversial; those for which further input was desired; and those they believed were right but might be controversial, for which they wanted to secure as much buy-in as possible.  The innovative process was deemed by the DOT to have been highly successful.
  • Mr. Zerkin designed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) 2007 public workshop about proposed fare increases.  He developed the workshop format and worked intensively with the staff to develop their presentations so that they would effectively and succinctly educate a non-professional audience about the MTA’s finances and the range of fare restructuring options.

Conducting stakeholder research

  • For the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, under a contract with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, Mr. Zerkin interviewed representatives of the Council’s members (city and county governments and trans-jurisdictional transportation agencies) to flesh out the meaning of their adopted “Shared Goals”.  He then developed a synthesis for their consensus adoption and facilitated a meeting of a members working group to develop a consensus set of objectives for the Shared Goals process.  The recommended objectives were approved by the members’ principals and are now contained in NYMTC’s Unified Planning Work Program; 2008-10.

 

Semester Course
Spring 2014 PADM-GP.4101.001 Conflict Management and Negotiation

The public/non-profit administrator, whether primarily concerned with management, policy or finance, is called upon to manage or becomes involved in a wide variety of conflicts. Conflict is ubiquitous - within and between organizations and agencies, between levels of government, between interest groups and government, between interest groups, between citizens and agencies, etc. The increasing complexity and interrelatedness of the issues that the public sector is called upon to address, and the increasing sophistication and engagement of groups representing both public and private interests, compounds the challenge. In this environment, it is essential for public and non-profit administrators to know how to manage conflict effectively.

Effective conflict management involves analyzing a conflict, understanding the dynamics between the parties, and determining the appropriate method of conflict resolution. In the absence of confidence and skill in conflict management, most public officials resort, often counterproductively, to the use of power, manipulation, and control. Possessing confidence and skill, one can exercise other options.

Through readings, discussions, and simulations you will develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the art and science of negotiation and will be introduced to the role that can be played by conflict resolution techniques such as mediation. The course will emphasize the theoretical as well as the practical, the reflective as well as the applied. I encourage you to keep a journal, as you should learn a lot about yourself regarding your relationship to conflict and negotiation and the ways you typically deal with them; you will be asked to report on that learning during the course.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2014 PADM-GP.4101.002 Conflict Management and Negotiation

The public/non-profit administrator, whether primarily concerned with management, policy or finance, is called upon to manage or becomes involved in a wide variety of conflicts. Conflict is ubiquitous - within and between organizations and agencies, between levels of government, between interest groups and government, between interest groups, between citizens and agencies, etc. The increasing complexity and interrelatedness of the issues that the public sector is called upon to address, and the increasing sophistication and engagement of groups representing both public and private interests, compounds the challenge. In this environment, it is essential for public and non-profit administrators to know how to manage conflict effectively.

Effective conflict management involves analyzing a conflict, understanding the dynamics between the parties, and determining the appropriate method of conflict resolution. In the absence of confidence and skill in conflict management, most public officials resort, often counterproductively, to the use of power, manipulation, and control. Possessing confidence and skill, one can exercise other options.

Through readings, discussions, and simulations you will develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the art and science of negotiation and will be introduced to the role that can be played by conflict resolution techniques such as mediation. The course will emphasize the theoretical as well as the practical, the reflective as well as the applied. I encourage you to keep a journal, as you should learn a lot about yourself regarding your relationship to conflict and negotiation and the ways you typically deal with them; you will be asked to report on that learning during the course.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2014 PADM-GP.4101.003 Conflict Management and Negotiation

The public/non-profit administrator, whether primarily concerned with management, policy or finance, is called upon to manage or becomes involved in a wide variety of conflicts. Conflict is ubiquitous - within and between organizations and agencies, between levels of government, between interest groups and government, between interest groups, between citizens and agencies, etc. The increasing complexity and interrelatedness of the issues that the public sector is called upon to address, and the increasing sophistication and engagement of groups representing both public and private interests, compounds the challenge. In this environment, it is essential for public and non-profit administrators to know how to manage conflict effectively.

Effective conflict management involves analyzing a conflict, understanding the dynamics between the parties, and determining the appropriate method of conflict resolution. In the absence of confidence and skill in conflict management, most public officials resort, often counterproductively, to the use of power, manipulation, and control. Possessing confidence and skill, one can exercise other options.

Through readings, discussions, and simulations you will develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the art and science of negotiation and will be introduced to the role that can be played by conflict resolution techniques such as mediation. The course will emphasize the theoretical as well as the practical, the reflective as well as the applied. I encourage you to keep a journal, as you should learn a lot about yourself regarding your relationship to conflict and negotiation and the ways you typically deal with them; you will be asked to report on that learning during the course.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2013 PADM-GP.4101.001 Conflict Management and Negotiation

The public/non-profit administrator, whether primarily concerned with management, policy or finance, is called upon to manage or becomes involved in a wide variety of conflicts. Conflict is ubiquitous - within and between organizations and agencies, between levels of government, between interest groups and government, between interest groups, between citizens and agencies, etc. The increasing complexity and interrelatedness of the issues that the public sector is called upon to address, and the increasing sophistication and engagement of groups representing both public and private interests, compounds the challenge. In this environment, it is essential for public and non-profit administrators to know how to manage conflict effectively.

Effective conflict management involves analyzing a conflict, understanding the dynamics between the parties, and determining the appropriate method of conflict resolution. In the absence of confidence and skill in conflict management, most public officials resort, often counterproductively, to the use of power, manipulation, and control. Possessing confidence and skill, one can exercise other options.

Through readings, discussions, and simulations you will develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the art and science of negotiation and will be introduced to the role that can be played by conflict resolution techniques such as mediation. The course will emphasize the theoretical as well as the practical, the reflective as well as the applied. I encourage you to keep a journal, as you should learn a lot about yourself regarding your relationship to conflict and negotiation and the ways you typically deal with them; you will be asked to report on that learning during the course.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2012 PADM-GP.4101.001 Conflict Management and Negotiation

The public/non-profit administrator, whether primarily concerned with management, policy or finance, is called upon to manage or becomes involved in a wide variety of conflicts. Conflict is ubiquitous - within and between organizations and agencies, between levels of government, between interest groups and government, between interest groups, between citizens and agencies, etc. The increasing complexity and interrelatedness of the issues that the public sector is called upon to address, and the increasing sophistication and engagement of groups representing both public and private interests, compounds the challenge. In this environment, it is essential for public and non-profit administrators to know how to manage conflict effectively.

Effective conflict management involves analyzing a conflict, understanding the dynamics between the parties, and determining the appropriate method of conflict resolution. In the absence of confidence and skill in conflict management, most public officials resort, often counterproductively, to the use of power, manipulation, and control. Possessing confidence and skill, one can exercise other options.

Through readings, discussions, and simulations you will develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the art and science of negotiation and will be introduced to the role that can be played by conflict resolution techniques such as mediation. The course will emphasize the theoretical as well as the practical, the reflective as well as the applied. I encourage you to keep a journal, as you should learn a lot about yourself regarding your relationship to conflict and negotiation and the ways you typically deal with them; you will be asked to report on that learning during the course.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2012 PADM-GP.4105.001 Cross-Cultural Negotiation, Inter-Group Conflict Resolution, and the Role of NGOs

Beyond the basics of negotiation lie areas of greater complexity. One such area is the realm of culture. The role of culture can be considered from several perspectives: Cross-cultural (attempting, from one cultural perspective, to understand or describe another); intercultural (the interplay of cultures); and transcultural (aspects of negotiation that are common to all cultures or, in intercultural situations, transcend them.

Culture can be thought of in terms of both the relatively simple, though not unimportant, aspect of etiquette and behavior, and the more complex and profound aspect of consciousness and worldview. In the first half of the course, we will consider:
• The challenges of doing cultural analysis;
• A framework of cultural variables that comprise or underlie negotiation styles;
• Empirical studies about the differences that culture appears to make in the negotiation process;
• Cultural challenges in management; and
• The implications of these insights for reflective practitioners.

The second focus of the course is on the theory and practice of inter-group conflict resolution, which often has an important intercultural component, and the role of NGOs in that work. NGOs often can play an important role in peaeemaking processes, though there can be tensions between NGOs and countries that are trying to resolve the conflict at the official diplomatic level. This section of the course will include a consideration of the many challenges of using inter-group processes to reduce tension and the possibility that well-intentioned western intervenors may inadvertently bring counterproductive cultural assumptions to such interventions.

The final session will be devoted primarily to playing and discussing a simulation involving an interethnic crossborder
conflict.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2011 PADM-GP.4101.001 Conflict Management and Negotiation

The public/non-profit administrator, whether primarily concerned with management, policy or finance, is called upon to manage or becomes involved in a wide variety of conflicts. Conflict is ubiquitous - within and between organizations and agencies, between levels of government, between interest groups and government, between interest groups, between citizens and agencies, etc. The increasing complexity and interrelatedness of the issues that the public sector is called upon to address, and the increasing sophistication and engagement of groups representing both public and private interests, compounds the challenge. In this environment, it is essential for public and non-profit administrators to know how to manage conflict effectively.

Effective conflict management involves analyzing a conflict, understanding the dynamics between the parties, and determining the appropriate method of conflict resolution. In the absence of confidence and skill in conflict management, most public officials resort, often counterproductively, to the use of power, manipulation, and control. Possessing confidence and skill, one can exercise other options.

Through readings, discussions, and simulations you will develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the art and science of negotiation and will be introduced to the role that can be played by conflict resolution techniques such as mediation. The course will emphasize the theoretical as well as the practical, the reflective as well as the applied. I encourage you to keep a journal, as you should learn a lot about yourself regarding your relationship to conflict and negotiation and the ways you typically deal with them; you will be asked to report on that learning during the course.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2011 PADM-GP.4101.002 Conflict Management and Negotiation

The public/non-profit administrator, whether primarily concerned with management, policy or finance, is called upon to manage or becomes involved in a wide variety of conflicts. Conflict is ubiquitous - within and between organizations and agencies, between levels of government, between interest groups and government, between interest groups, between citizens and agencies, etc. The increasing complexity and interrelatedness of the issues that the public sector is called upon to address, and the increasing sophistication and engagement of groups representing both public and private interests, compounds the challenge. In this environment, it is essential for public and non-profit administrators to know how to manage conflict effectively.

Effective conflict management involves analyzing a conflict, understanding the dynamics between the parties, and determining the appropriate method of conflict resolution. In the absence of confidence and skill in conflict management, most public officials resort, often counterproductively, to the use of power, manipulation, and control. Possessing confidence and skill, one can exercise other options.

Through readings, discussions, and simulations you will develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the art and science of negotiation and will be introduced to the role that can be played by conflict resolution techniques such as mediation. The course will emphasize the theoretical as well as the practical, the reflective as well as the applied. I encourage you to keep a journal, as you should learn a lot about yourself regarding your relationship to conflict and negotiation and the ways you typically deal with them; you will be asked to report on that learning during the course.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2011 URPL-GP.4604.001 Conflict Managment in Planning
This class will address the interrelated and complex issues that planners face with an understanding of how increasingly sophisticated and engaged interest groups compound this challenge. Students will learn to negotiate effectively, how to assess disputes for their suitability for mediation and consensus building, plan public involvement processes, and to think strategically about developing public facilities that may be controversial. Through readings, discussions, and, most importantly, simulations, students will develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the art and science of negotiation, and will be introduced to the role that can be played by conflict resolution techniques such as mediation inciting effective public participation.
Download Syllabus
Spring 2010 PADM-GP.4105.001 Cross-Cultural Negotiation, Inter-Group Conflict Resolution, and the Role of NGOs

Beyond the basics of negotiation lie areas of greater complexity. One such area is the realm of culture. The role of culture can be considered from several perspectives: Cross-cultural (attempting, from one cultural perspective, to understand or describe another); intercultural (the interplay of cultures); and transcultural (aspects of negotiation that are common to all cultures or, in intercultural situations, transcend them.

Culture can be thought of in terms of both the relatively simple, though not unimportant, aspect of etiquette and behavior, and the more complex and profound aspect of consciousness and worldview. In the first half of the course, we will consider:
• The challenges of doing cultural analysis;
• A framework of cultural variables that comprise or underlie negotiation styles;
• Empirical studies about the differences that culture appears to make in the negotiation process;
• Cultural challenges in management; and
• The implications of these insights for reflective practitioners.

The second focus of the course is on the theory and practice of inter-group conflict resolution, which often has an important intercultural component, and the role of NGOs in that work. NGOs often can play an important role in peaeemaking processes, though there can be tensions between NGOs and countries that are trying to resolve the conflict at the official diplomatic level. This section of the course will include a consideration of the many challenges of using inter-group processes to reduce tension and the possibility that well-intentioned western intervenors may inadvertently bring counterproductive cultural assumptions to such interventions.

The final session will be devoted primarily to playing and discussing a simulation involving an interethnic crossborder
conflict.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2010 PADM-GP.4101.001 Conflict Management and Negotiation

The public/non-profit administrator, whether primarily concerned with management, policy or finance, is called upon to manage or becomes involved in a wide variety of conflicts. Conflict is ubiquitous - within and between organizations and agencies, between levels of government, between interest groups and government, between interest groups, between citizens and agencies, etc. The increasing complexity and interrelatedness of the issues that the public sector is called upon to address, and the increasing sophistication and engagement of groups representing both public and private interests, compounds the challenge. In this environment, it is essential for public and non-profit administrators to know how to manage conflict effectively.

Effective conflict management involves analyzing a conflict, understanding the dynamics between the parties, and determining the appropriate method of conflict resolution. In the absence of confidence and skill in conflict management, most public officials resort, often counterproductively, to the use of power, manipulation, and control. Possessing confidence and skill, one can exercise other options.

Through readings, discussions, and simulations you will develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the art and science of negotiation and will be introduced to the role that can be played by conflict resolution techniques such as mediation. The course will emphasize the theoretical as well as the practical, the reflective as well as the applied. I encourage you to keep a journal, as you should learn a lot about yourself regarding your relationship to conflict and negotiation and the ways you typically deal with them; you will be asked to report on that learning during the course.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2010 URPL-GP.4604.001 Conflict Managment in Planning
This class will address the interrelated and complex issues that planners face with an understanding of how increasingly sophisticated and engaged interest groups compound this challenge. Students will learn to negotiate effectively, how to assess disputes for their suitability for mediation and consensus building, plan public involvement processes, and to think strategically about developing public facilities that may be controversial. Through readings, discussions, and, most importantly, simulations, students will develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the art and science of negotiation, and will be introduced to the role that can be played by conflict resolution techniques such as mediation inciting effective public participation.
Download Syllabus
Spring 2010 PADM-GP.4101.002 Conflict Management and Negotiation

The public/non-profit administrator, whether primarily concerned with management, policy or finance, is called upon to manage or becomes involved in a wide variety of conflicts. Conflict is ubiquitous - within and between organizations and agencies, between levels of government, between interest groups and government, between interest groups, between citizens and agencies, etc. The increasing complexity and interrelatedness of the issues that the public sector is called upon to address, and the increasing sophistication and engagement of groups representing both public and private interests, compounds the challenge. In this environment, it is essential for public and non-profit administrators to know how to manage conflict effectively.

Effective conflict management involves analyzing a conflict, understanding the dynamics between the parties, and determining the appropriate method of conflict resolution. In the absence of confidence and skill in conflict management, most public officials resort, often counterproductively, to the use of power, manipulation, and control. Possessing confidence and skill, one can exercise other options.

Through readings, discussions, and simulations you will develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the art and science of negotiation and will be introduced to the role that can be played by conflict resolution techniques such as mediation. The course will emphasize the theoretical as well as the practical, the reflective as well as the applied. I encourage you to keep a journal, as you should learn a lot about yourself regarding your relationship to conflict and negotiation and the ways you typically deal with them; you will be asked to report on that learning during the course.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2010 PADM-GP.4108.001 Advanced Negotiation and Mediation Skills for Managers

Through readings, discussions, case studies, and simulations, students further develop the negotiation skills (in situations of greater complexity in terms of issues and parties) and the facilitative and meditative skills needed by today?s consensus-building manager. The course also examines strategies for managing and utilizing conflict in organizations and the design of systems for handling an institution?s routine internal and external disputes. Students participate in a team project focused on designing such a system for a hypothetical organization. Students are encouraged to apply the principles and methods of effective conflict resolution to their own professional lives.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2010 PADM-GP.4108.001 Advanced Negotiation and Mediation Skills for Managers

Through readings, discussions, case studies, and simulations, students further develop the negotiation skills (in situations of greater complexity in terms of issues and parties) and the facilitative and meditative skills needed by today?s consensus-building manager. The course also examines strategies for managing and utilizing conflict in organizations and the design of systems for handling an institution?s routine internal and external disputes. Students participate in a team project focused on designing such a system for a hypothetical organization. Students are encouraged to apply the principles and methods of effective conflict resolution to their own professional lives.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2010 PADM-GP.4105.001 Cross-Cultural Negotiation, Inter-Group Conflict Resolution, and the Role of NGOs

Beyond the basics of negotiation lie areas of greater complexity. One such area is the realm of culture. The role of culture can be considered from several perspectives: Cross-cultural (attempting, from one cultural perspective, to understand or describe another); intercultural (the interplay of cultures); and transcultural (aspects of negotiation that are common to all cultures or, in intercultural situations, transcend them.

Culture can be thought of in terms of both the relatively simple, though not unimportant, aspect of etiquette and behavior, and the more complex and profound aspect of consciousness and worldview. In the first half of the course, we will consider:
• The challenges of doing cultural analysis;
• A framework of cultural variables that comprise or underlie negotiation styles;
• Empirical studies about the differences that culture appears to make in the negotiation process;
• Cultural challenges in management; and
• The implications of these insights for reflective practitioners.

The second focus of the course is on the theory and practice of inter-group conflict resolution, which often has an important intercultural component, and the role of NGOs in that work. NGOs often can play an important role in peaeemaking processes, though there can be tensions between NGOs and countries that are trying to resolve the conflict at the official diplomatic level. This section of the course will include a consideration of the many challenges of using inter-group processes to reduce tension and the possibility that well-intentioned western intervenors may inadvertently bring counterproductive cultural assumptions to such interventions.

The final session will be devoted primarily to playing and discussing a simulation involving an interethnic crossborder
conflict.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2009 PADM-GP.4101.001 Conflict Management and Negotiation

The public/non-profit administrator, whether primarily concerned with management, policy or finance, is called upon to manage or becomes involved in a wide variety of conflicts. Conflict is ubiquitous - within and between organizations and agencies, between levels of government, between interest groups and government, between interest groups, between citizens and agencies, etc. The increasing complexity and interrelatedness of the issues that the public sector is called upon to address, and the increasing sophistication and engagement of groups representing both public and private interests, compounds the challenge. In this environment, it is essential for public and non-profit administrators to know how to manage conflict effectively.

Effective conflict management involves analyzing a conflict, understanding the dynamics between the parties, and determining the appropriate method of conflict resolution. In the absence of confidence and skill in conflict management, most public officials resort, often counterproductively, to the use of power, manipulation, and control. Possessing confidence and skill, one can exercise other options.

Through readings, discussions, and simulations you will develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the art and science of negotiation and will be introduced to the role that can be played by conflict resolution techniques such as mediation. The course will emphasize the theoretical as well as the practical, the reflective as well as the applied. I encourage you to keep a journal, as you should learn a lot about yourself regarding your relationship to conflict and negotiation and the ways you typically deal with them; you will be asked to report on that learning during the course.


Download Syllabus
Summer 2009 INTL-GP.2206.001 Conflict and Development: Conflict-Sensitive Development and Development-Sensitive Peace Building
Intrastate conflict and development are intertwined in many ways. Most obviously, poverty is a powerful breeding ground for resentment and despair, and when combined with perceptions of government corruption and discrimination along regional, tribal, ethnic or religious lines, it can lead to violent insurgencies. Violent conflict then destroys whatever has been produced by previous development efforts and, in many instances, generates levels of impoverishment and disease not seen in those countries since the end of colonial rule. As the World Bank noted in 2004, “countries affected by conflict face a two-way relationship between conflict and poverty – pervasive poverty makes societies more vulnerable to violent conflict, while conflict itself creates more poverty.”

The residues of conflict also vastly complicate subsequent redevelopment initiatives. Insensitively designed or implemented, large infusions of aid can themselves exacerbate or even become the source of new communal rivalries and can lead to renewed or new violent conflict. Indeed, about 50% of “post-conflict” countries revert back to war in the first decade of peace.

This one-week course will examine the relationships between conflict and development and consider strategies that can address their interplay in a variety of settings, both before violence breaks out across social fault lines, and after. It will look at the ways in which social and economic development can contribute to, or undermine, peace; the ways in which conflict complicates development; and the various ways in which peacebuilding strategies can impact development. Against this background, the course will analyze the intervention strategies of international organizations, national governments and NGOs, and examine how these have evolved during the last fifteen years. It will address the policy dilemmas that most conflict-torn developing countries have in common, and compare how these dilemmas have been solved in specific conflict regions.

The course will be organized around presentations by leading Dutch academics and by experts from the Dutch governmental and NGO sectors and will include opportunities for student discussions for the purpose of sharing the insights they have gained from their pre-course research.

To further enrich the experience, there will a reception at which the students can meet University of Amsterdam faculty and students who are studying, researching and teaching subjects related to the course.
This one-week course will examine the relationships between conflict and development and consider strategies that can address their interplay in a variety of settings, both before violence breaks out across social fault lines, and after. It will look at the ways in which social and economic development can contribute to, or undermine, peace; the ways in which conflict complicates development; and the various ways in which peacebuilding strategies can impact development. Against this background, the course will analyze the intervention strategies of international organizations, national governments and NGOs, and examine how these have evolved during the last 15 years. It will address the policy dilemmas that most conflict-torn developing countries have in common, and compare how these dilemmas have been solved in specific conflict regions.

Download Syllabus
Spring 2009 URPL-GP.4604.001 Conflict Managment in Planning
This class will address the interrelated and complex issues that planners face with an understanding of how increasingly sophisticated and engaged interest groups compound this challenge. Students will learn to negotiate effectively, how to assess disputes for their suitability for mediation and consensus building, plan public involvement processes, and to think strategically about developing public facilities that may be controversial. Through readings, discussions, and, most importantly, simulations, students will develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the art and science of negotiation, and will be introduced to the role that can be played by conflict resolution techniques such as mediation inciting effective public participation.
Download Syllabus
Spring 2009 PADM-GP.4105.001 Cross-Cultural Negotiation, Inter-Group Conflict Resolution, and the Role of NGOs

Beyond the basics of negotiation lie areas of greater complexity. One such area is the realm of culture. The role of culture can be considered from several perspectives: Cross-cultural (attempting, from one cultural perspective, to understand or describe another); intercultural (the interplay of cultures); and transcultural (aspects of negotiation that are common to all cultures or, in intercultural situations, transcend them.

Culture can be thought of in terms of both the relatively simple, though not unimportant, aspect of etiquette and behavior, and the more complex and profound aspect of consciousness and worldview. In the first half of the course, we will consider:
• The challenges of doing cultural analysis;
• A framework of cultural variables that comprise or underlie negotiation styles;
• Empirical studies about the differences that culture appears to make in the negotiation process;
• Cultural challenges in management; and
• The implications of these insights for reflective practitioners.

The second focus of the course is on the theory and practice of inter-group conflict resolution, which often has an important intercultural component, and the role of NGOs in that work. NGOs often can play an important role in peaeemaking processes, though there can be tensions between NGOs and countries that are trying to resolve the conflict at the official diplomatic level. This section of the course will include a consideration of the many challenges of using inter-group processes to reduce tension and the possibility that well-intentioned western intervenors may inadvertently bring counterproductive cultural assumptions to such interventions.

The final session will be devoted primarily to playing and discussing a simulation involving an interethnic crossborder
conflict.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2008 PADM-GP.4101.001 Conflict Management and Negotiation

The public/non-profit administrator, whether primarily concerned with management, policy or finance, is called upon to manage or becomes involved in a wide variety of conflicts. Conflict is ubiquitous - within and between organizations and agencies, between levels of government, between interest groups and government, between interest groups, between citizens and agencies, etc. The increasing complexity and interrelatedness of the issues that the public sector is called upon to address, and the increasing sophistication and engagement of groups representing both public and private interests, compounds the challenge. In this environment, it is essential for public and non-profit administrators to know how to manage conflict effectively.

Effective conflict management involves analyzing a conflict, understanding the dynamics between the parties, and determining the appropriate method of conflict resolution. In the absence of confidence and skill in conflict management, most public officials resort, often counterproductively, to the use of power, manipulation, and control. Possessing confidence and skill, one can exercise other options.

Through readings, discussions, and simulations you will develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the art and science of negotiation and will be introduced to the role that can be played by conflict resolution techniques such as mediation. The course will emphasize the theoretical as well as the practical, the reflective as well as the applied. I encourage you to keep a journal, as you should learn a lot about yourself regarding your relationship to conflict and negotiation and the ways you typically deal with them; you will be asked to report on that learning during the course.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2008 PADM-GP.4105.001 Cross-Cultural Negotiation, Inter-Group Conflict Resolution, and the Role of NGOs

Beyond the basics of negotiation lie areas of greater complexity. One such area is the realm of culture. The role of culture can be considered from several perspectives: Cross-cultural (attempting, from one cultural perspective, to understand or describe another); intercultural (the interplay of cultures); and transcultural (aspects of negotiation that are common to all cultures or, in intercultural situations, transcend them.

Culture can be thought of in terms of both the relatively simple, though not unimportant, aspect of etiquette and behavior, and the more complex and profound aspect of consciousness and worldview. In the first half of the course, we will consider:
• The challenges of doing cultural analysis;
• A framework of cultural variables that comprise or underlie negotiation styles;
• Empirical studies about the differences that culture appears to make in the negotiation process;
• Cultural challenges in management; and
• The implications of these insights for reflective practitioners.

The second focus of the course is on the theory and practice of inter-group conflict resolution, which often has an important intercultural component, and the role of NGOs in that work. NGOs often can play an important role in peaeemaking processes, though there can be tensions between NGOs and countries that are trying to resolve the conflict at the official diplomatic level. This section of the course will include a consideration of the many challenges of using inter-group processes to reduce tension and the possibility that well-intentioned western intervenors may inadvertently bring counterproductive cultural assumptions to such interventions.

The final session will be devoted primarily to playing and discussing a simulation involving an interethnic crossborder
conflict.


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Fall 2008 PADM-GP.4108.001 Advanced Negotiation and Mediation Skills for Managers

Through readings, discussions, case studies, and simulations, students further develop the negotiation skills (in situations of greater complexity in terms of issues and parties) and the facilitative and meditative skills needed by today?s consensus-building manager. The course also examines strategies for managing and utilizing conflict in organizations and the design of systems for handling an institution?s routine internal and external disputes. Students participate in a team project focused on designing such a system for a hypothetical organization. Students are encouraged to apply the principles and methods of effective conflict resolution to their own professional lives.


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Date Publication/Paper
2011

Panero, Marta , Hyeon-Shic Shin, Allen Zerkin and Samuel Zimmerman. 2011. Peer-to-Peer Information Exchange on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Bus Priority Practices Prepared for the United States Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration by the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service in collaboration with the National Association of City Transportation Officials
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Abstract

The purpose of this effort has been to foster a dialogue among peers at transportation and planning agencies about their experiences with promoting public transit and, in particular, the challenges they face related to bus rapid transit (BRT) projects, as well as the solutions that they have developed in response. Agencies from dozens of large cities around the United States participated at three (3) peer-to-peer exchanges in New York City, Los Angeles, and Cleveland. The facilitated discussions were structure to address the unique barriers to BRT implementation on the streets of dense and/or highly congested large urban centers. Three major themes were the focus of the workshops: Network, Route and Street Design, Traffic Operations, and BRT as a Driver of Economic Development; Building Political, Interagency and Stakeholder Support. The results of the workshops make clear that better public transportation in general and BRT in particular can be cost-effective and useful tools for improving transportation, the environment and for restoring the livability of America‘s large cities.

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12/23/2012
What's the Deal? [Video]
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