Simulations bring the drama of politics to life in the classroom and vividly enrich traditional learning by plunging student actors, playing specific roles, into the midst of historical or current events. Employing the analogy of a theatrical production, Ben-Yehuda demystifies the simulation encounter by clearly describing the purposes and processes of role-playing, letting students know what to expect and how to prepare, and giving them and their instructors the resources and confidence with which to embark upon a careful enactment of a scenario central to their course of study. Three in-depth case studies take students to faraway locations and different times: from appeasement in Munich in 1938, through the regional turmoil following the 1947 UN decision to partition Palestine, to the Syrian Civil War 2011 and the global confrontation with ISIS from 2016 on. Replete with examples of diplomatic exchanges, documents, behind-the-scenes insights, sources, humorous anecdotes and tips and tricks, the book provides an accessible and useful guide for students and instructors alike. Well-prepared and well-played, a successful simulation incites enthusiasm and excitement in the participants, who will remember the experience – and the subject matter – long after the lights dim and the curtain falls.
Praise for All the World’s a Stage: The Theater of Political Simulations
All the World’s a Stage is an outstanding contribution to pedagogy in general and the use of simulation in particular for the field of International Relations (IR). This fascinating new book uses a theater-based metaphor to communicate principles and approaches for carrying out simulations. The volume is distinguished by its creative yet also practical approach. Instructors and students alike will find the case studies, which focus on preparation and teamwork, to be very enlightening. The study makes excellent use of historical cases such as Munich 1938 while also maintaining a clear connection to contemporary issues in world politics. All the World’s a Stage is essential reading for scholars with interests in active learning, along with those in the field at a more general level, because of its clear and effective presentation of the most pressing issues in the field.
--Patrick James, University of Southern California
From one of academia’s most experienced designers and implementers of role-playing simulations in higher education, comes this innovative and lively book for educators and students alike. All the World’s a Stage is accessible and applicable to faculty and students, providing a unique insight into how simulations are created to advance knowledge and understanding of the real world of international politics. Anyone in higher education wishing to create simulations for their classrooms should have this book, where they are not only given clear instructions, theoretical underpinnings, and invaluable insights on role-playing simulations, but a handbook for creating their own and involving students in the process.
--Mary Jane Parmentier, Arizona State University
In this brilliant book, Ben-Yehuda brings the readers to a world stage, sharing her long-lasting experience in using simulations as a teaching tool. The pedagogical value of active learning processes - the management of an international political crisis, by playing the roles of states, nonstate actors, and media - is nowadays recognized by instructors from various universities. Enriched with tables, case studies and anecdotes, this book is a must-read for those concerned with making their courses more attracting and an essential textbook for students interested in "learning by doing." Becoming "active learners" is a practice which, once adopted, will be never abandoned.
--Daniela Irrera, University of Catania
This book is a must for amplifying student engagement and learning in political science and international studies classrooms. The author, a recognized expert on simulations, takes us inside the simulation process and highlights critical success factors. Three key, in-depth case studies bring to life the power (and fun) of simulations both for professors and students.
--Nanette Levinson, American University
List of Figures and Tables Preface Acknowledgments Abbreviations Introduction PART I THEORY Introduction to Part I Chapter 1 Hall of Fame Chapter 2 Based on a True Story: Theater Metaphor and Simulation Phases Chapter 3 Simulation Types and Goal Advancement PART II CASE STUDIES: The Theater Metaphor Applied Introduction to Part II Chapter 4 Munich, 1938: Preparation and Teamwork Chapter 5 Munich, 1938: Negotiations and Postproduction Chapter 6 A New Age of Turmoil: From Traditional to Complex Settings PART III LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD Introduction to Part III Chapter 7 The Rewards: Active Learning as a New Stage References Index