*This is a required course open only to first year MPP students.*
Conflict is an evitable part of the human experience--in relationships, at the work place, in public administration and especially in the public policy making process. Unresolved conflict can hinder decision making and impede organization change, but when conflict is addressed, managed or transformed, it is possible for relationships, organizations, and systems to grow and succeed. Drawing on empirical research and case studies, this skills-based course will begin with a discussion of the impact of conflict in systems and a taxonomy of forms of conflict with an eye toward public administration. Then the course will focus on the development of strategies that can be used to resolve or manage conflicts, with opportunities for students to develop those skills through in-class exercises. Special attention will be paid to skills that can be used to address conflicts that emerge across differences such as race and ethnicity, political orientation, and gender.