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Rosania: Building peace

Understanding complexity, acting strategically

Why do conflicts escalate? Why don't all parties want peace? What makes people enemies? Why does war go faster than peace?

Since the winter semester 2009/10, the Center for Conflict Research has offered the simulation game "Building Peace" for Bachelor and Master students. This is the first simulation game in Germany that allows students to simulate conflict escalation and peace processes on different levels. The simulation consists of three individual games that take place in the fictitious country of Rosania. Between the simulation games, time and level jumps take place and thus the students simulate the situation before the outbreak of a violent conflict, first peace negotiations and the local attempt to overcome the past. The conception of the simulation game was implemented by Planpolitik  from Berlin.

In the first simulation game, "Rosania in Crisis," the complex causes of conflict are laid out. Due to the structural disadvantage of population groups and a political power vacuum, but also due to the political and economic self-interests of individual actors, the conflict escalates increasingly in the course of the simulation. With the second simulation, "A Peace Plan for Rosania," the conflict takes on an international dimension, as it now also becomes clear that neighboring countries and other states are pursuing specific interests in Rosania. Under the mediation of the League of Nations, the participants are encouraged to find a political solution. The third simulation game, "Peace and Reconciliation in Rodan," again reflects efforts at the local level, the city of Rodan, to deal with the legacy of massive experiences of violence and to develop measures for a peaceful future.

The simulation games thus ensure students an alternative approach to the topic and place great emphasis on understanding an often contradictory social reality. In the first simulation game, students experience for themselves the ways in which a conflict escalates, as the preservation of power and interests becomes the motive guiding their actions. They understand the dynamics of action and decision-making processes and must actively work to protect their interests. In this way, the simulation also promotes the social competence and assertiveness of the students, because the ability to relativize one's own point of view and the practice of tactical behavior are trained, especially by changing into different roles.

The simulation takes place twice a year, in the winter semester in English and in the summer semester in German, and offers 40 places. For each simulation the students receive their individual role profile, thus the simulation comprises a total of 120 roles. In the course catalog, you will find the simulation in the module Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies.