With the deepening of political divisions on societal challenges, policymakers must navigate increasingly tense environments to engage in constructive dialogues across political fault lines. They must be equipped with relevant sense-making frameworks, analytical tools and interpersonal skills to maintain productive dialogue with difficult counterparts on contentious issues such as the response to the pandemic, climate policies, gun control or irregular migration. Public officials and civil society organizations alike are not only expected to craft a constructive dialogue with all stakeholders but also to prevent and mitigate the risks of instrumentalization by various groups. To fulfill their role in such environments, policy professionals need to acquire strategic capabilities to lead constructive engagements with a wide range of stakeholders from the most supportive to the most disruptive while managing risks effectively in a tense public arena.
Student who take MLD-234 Conducting Negotiation on the Frontlines with Claude Bruderlein develop a solid understanding of the social, behavioral and cognitive implications of political tensions in society and equip students with the required strategic frameworks and practical tools to engage in high-stake policy dialogue and negotiation. It will provide students with core competences on strategic planning and crisis negotiation informed by current practices from the political, commercial and humanitarian sectors. It will further expand their technical skill set and self-confidence to engage with adversarial or intimidating counterparts while facilitating their connections with US-based frontline negotiators. This course is designed for students who intend to work in high-intensity environments at the domestic or international level. It complements the January-term course IGA-353M Frontline Negotiation Lab examining negotiation practices in the response to the Ukraine crisis in Europe.
Please note, this is a jointly offered course hosted by the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and, accordingly, students must adhere to the academic and attendance policies of HCSPH.
MLD-234 is taught in close collaboration with the Centre of Competence and Humanitarian Negotiation and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, enabling students to engage with frontline humanitarian negotiators from the UN and other international agencies operating in crises around the globe. This course offers a unique safe space to review and discuss current challenges and dilemmas with stakeholders of ongoing negotiation processes and examine practical tools and methods to overcome these challenges. Students will also be encouraged to develop their own critical thinking about these issues and to test their negotiation skills in simulations and other practical exercises.
Claude Bruderlein is Adjunct Lecturer on Global Health and Senior Researcher at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. He also holds a secondary appointment at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. In his research, Mr. Bruderlein focuses particularly on the conduct of negotiation in complex and hostile environments.
Since 2012, he is serving as Strategic Advisor to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, focusing on strategic relationships, communities of practice and institutional development. He also serves as Senior Researcher at the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN), a joint endeavour of the ICRC, the World Food Program (WFP), the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and Médecins- Sans-Frontières (Doctors-Without-Borders) (MSF). In 2010, he co-founded the International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection and served as its first President of the Board until 2012.
Before joining Harvard University, Mr. Bruderlein served as Special Adviser on Humanitarian Affairs to the UN Secretary General, focusing particularly on issues related to the negotiation of humanitarian access and the targeting of sanctions. He worked on negotiation of access in Afghanistan and North Korea. He also served as an independent expert to the UN Security Council on the humanitarian impact of sanctions in Sudan, Burundi, and Sierra Leone. He has previously worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as a field delegate in Iran, Israel and the Occupied Territories, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Yemen.
MLD-234 is an excellent complement to the fall course MLD-236 Continuing Conflict: Old Challenges and New Debates with Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Bruderlein’s own January course IGA-353M Frontline Negotiation Lab, and other MLD negotiation courses. Questions about other MLD negotiation courses or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator.