Thursday, September 19, 2013

SPEA in Ireland Program

I am the Resident Director of the new SPEA in Ireland Program, a newly approved study abroad program which will be offered in June, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland. The title of the course offered isCross-cultural Conflict and Dispute Resolution.  Although this is a SPEA program, it is open to all students at Indiana University. 
Students can apply for any SPEA Abroad program by visiting the webpage at

Gary L. Branham

Adjunct Faculty

Indiana University

School of Public and Environmental Affairs

1315 E. Tenth Street - SPEA 412

Bloomington, IN  47405-1701

(765) 620-7193


SPEA V482: Cross-cultural Conflict and Dispute Resolution

SPEA in Ireland

Summer 2014


Gary Branham

Class Meeting Time
Various – see below
Instructor contact Information
Gary Branham, Adjunct Faculty
SPEA 412
Office:  (812) 855-7980
Cell:  (765) 620-7193 (call or text) anytime 8 am – 11 pm
Jennifer Mitchner
(812) 855-7980
Teaching Assistant
Nikki Purcell
Office Hours
By appointment



Ireland, with its tortured history of conflict and ongoing reconciliation, provides the perfect backdrop for this course which explores the theoretical and historical impact cultural differences have on conflict and dispute resolution processes.  It integrates theories of conflict and dispute resolution with an analysis of differences in dimensions of culture including religion, values, identity, world views and language.  Additionally, this course will look at the reconciliation process and the key challenges in transforming personal, social and structural relationships that have been damaged or destroyed by conflict.



The course explores the way cultural differences can impact dispute resolution processes including communication, negotiations, mediation and the reconciliation process.  This course is designed to equip the student with an analytical framework within which he or she may engage in communication, negotiations and dispute resolution processes involving cross cultural influences.  The goal is for students to be able to utilize the knowledge and skills acquired in dealing with conflict across cultural lines whether internationally or within an organizational environment.



Course readings will be provided on Oncourse and should be downloaded and read prior to class.  Students will be able to access Oncourse in Ireland, so you will not need to take printed copies with you to Ireland.



The course will emphasize both lecture and discussion.  I will introduce the pertinent subject matter and tie together the various readings on a topic, but you will be expected to actively participate in discussion.  You are expected to read and comprehend all of the required readings.  Students should be prepared to respond to questions from the instructor.  The instructor may call on students at random to discuss readings, lecture material, and cases.  All assignments and examinations will be based on lectures, in-class exercises, cases, readings, and discussion questions.


Power Point presentations that are used for class lectures will be posted to Oncourse after the class session on the Resources tab.  Announcements and links to relevant articles also will be posted to Oncourse.  Students are expected to access Oncourse and review the items posted.  Any announcements will also be sent to your IU e-mail address, so please check your mail regularly.


Final Paper

Most of your grade for this course will be based on your final paper.  The topic for the final paper will be given on the last day of class and you will have 3 weeks to complete and turn your paper in via Oncourse.  All papers MUST be turned in ON ONCOURSE by July 11, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. EST.  Your paper will be graded based on how well you incorporate the concepts presented in class and your experiences on our excursions in Ireland.




There is a very strong correlation between attending my classes, PARTICIPATING IN CLASS and earning good grades.  Because of this, attendance will be taken each day.  Your attendance/participation grade will be based on a combination of your attendance and how much you have participated in class.  It’s not enough to just show up. You are expected to participate.  It is up to each student to manage his/her absences.  Students who attend each and every class session (i.e., never missing for any reason) will receive strong consideration for a higher final grade if they are on the borderline between grades. 



Final Paper                                      100

Reflection Papers (4)                        80

Attendance/Participation                  20

TOTAL                                          200 points

Points Needed
Below 120
Below 60%


Final Paper

The Final Paper will be a group project which will be due after your return from Ireland.  You will be applying the concepts learned in class using references from lecture, guest lectures, excursions, and readings.  More information regarding the final paper will be given during class.


Reflection Papers

There will be 4 Reflection Papers due during the course which you will submit on Oncourse.  These papers will require you to reflect on your experiences while in Ireland and apply concepts form the lectures, reading and your personal experiences.  More information will be given regarding the Reflection Papers prior to departure.



SPEA Student Honor Code:

Standards of academic conduct are set forth in the School’s Student Honor Code,  All examinations, tests, written papers, and other assignments are required to be completed according to the standards set forth in this code.     All work must be entirely your own.  When you quote from others’ work, you must give full credit by footnote or endnote.  Failure to use quotation marks when quoting, failure to give full credit when paraphrasing, use of others’ ideas or work products, submission of work prepared through impermissible collaboration, and also submission of work prepared by you for another class are all examples of violations of the Student Honor Code and will result in sanctions.     By registering in this class, you have acknowledged your awareness of the Student Honor Code, and you are obliged to become familiar with your rights and responsibilities as defined by the Code.  Violations of the Student Honor Code will not be treated lightly, and disciplinary action will be taken should such violations occur.  Please see me if you have any questions about the academic violations described in the Code in general or as they relate to particular requirements for this course. Failure to comply with the requirements of the Student Honor Code can result in failure in the course, as well as more serious academic sanctions.  


Policy Regarding Academic Dishonesty:

SPEA faculty do not tolerate cheating, plagiarism, or any other form of academic dishonesty.  If you have not done so, you should read the IUB Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, which can be accessed at, so you will be sure to understand what these terms mean and what penalties can be issued for academic dishonesty.  Academic dishonesty can result in a grade of F for the class (an F for academic dishonesty cannot be removed from the transcript).  Significant violations of the Code can result in expulsion from the University. 


Plagiarism is using another person's words, ideas, artistic creations, or other intellectual property without giving proper credit.  According to the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, a student must give credit to the work of another person when s/he does any of the following: 

a)      Quotes another person’s actual words, either oral or written;

b)      Paraphrases another person’s words either oral or written;

c)      Uses another person’s idea, opinion, or theory; or

d)     Borrows facts, statistics, or other illustrative material, unless the information is common knowledge.

Policy Regarding Course Withdrawal

Students who stop attending class without properly withdrawing from the class will receive a grade of F.  It is important to withdraw from a course within specified timeframes (refer to the Office of the Registrar website at


Policy Regarding Laptop Computers and Cell Phones

Students are  allowed to use laptop/netbook computers, iPads, or any other equivalent device in the classroom.  However, if they become a distraction, you will be prohibited from using these devices in class AND your participation grade will be adversely affected.   Also, TURN YOUR CELL PHONES OFF BEFORE ENTERING THE CLASSROOM. If you have an emergency that requires your cell phone to be on during class, please consult with me before class begins to receive.


Academic support:  If you experience difficulty in this course for any reason, please do not hesitate to consult me.  In addition to the resources of the department, a wide range of services is available at the University to support you in your efforts to be successful in this course. I will direct you to each and any of these upon request.  

If you have a disability and might require accommodations in this course, please notify me via Disabled Students Services (DSS) early in the semester so that I can make arrangements to address your needs. 


Policy Regarding Civility

Civility is important in an academic community to ensure that all parties—students, staff, and faculty—are working in an environment that fosters achievement of the individual's and community's goals and objectives.  Civility requires all parties to demonstrate personal integrity and conduct themselves in a manner that shows respect, courtesy, and tolerance to others.  Examples of discourteous behaviors during class include reading the newspaper, doing work for other classes, listening to headphones, talking or laughing with others, chronically arriving late, and so forth.  Maintaining and fostering civility inside and outside the classroom is especially important to SPEA, which is a professional school. 


Therefore, I expect all students to conduct themselves with professional courtesy, which includes (but is not limited to) the following:

·         Respect for fellow students, the profession, and the instructor.  Please treat other students respectfully.  When I am in front of the class lecturing or addressing a question from a student, I expect your full attention.  This means no talking with other students or in any way distracting me or the class from my lecture/discussion.  Do not carry on a conversation with someone else in the class. 

·         Attendance and willing participation.  Chronic unexcused or illegitimate absences will not be tolerated.  If you have a legitimate excuse for not attending a class session, please let me know, in advance if possible.  I reserve the right to take into account any special circumstances that arise.

·         Promptness. Please do not be late to class.  I expect all students in their seats and ready to begin at 5:45 PM.  I reserve the right to take further action if students are continually late to class.

·         Do not leave the classroom except for health reasons or if you have notified me in advance for that day.


Policy Regarding Disabilities

If any student will require assistance or appropriate academic accommodations for a disability, please contact me after class, during my office hours, or by individual appointment.  You must have established your eligibility for disability support services through Disability Services for Students in Franklin Hall, Room 006, 855-7578.


Syllabus Disclaimer

The instructor reserves the right to change the syllabus as needed throughout the course of the semester.  Whenever a change is made, students will be notified as early as possible during class and/or via e-mail about the change(s).


Mon, JUN 2
Foreign travel orientation and course introduction
                        Reading 1 and 2
Tues, JUN 3
Introduction to Conflict and Dispute Resolution processes
                        Reading 3 and 4
Wed, JUN 4
Introduction to “The Troubles”
            Reading 5
Sun, JUN 8
Donnybrook, Dublin
Welcome Reception – O’Connell’s Restaurant
Mon, JUN 9
UCD - Dublin
“History of Culture and Conflict in Ireland and its connection to the United States”
Dr. Mary McAuliffe, professor of woman’s studies, UCD
Tues, JUN 10
UCD - Dublin
“Identity-based conflict in Ireland – historical perspective”        
                        Reading 6
Dr. Jennifer Todd, UCD
Wed, JUN 11
UCD - Dublin
“Dispute resolution processes and foreign policy”
Tour of the Clinton Institute
                        Reading 7
Dr. Liam Kennedy, Director, Clinton Institute at UCD
Thurs, JUN 12
Glendalough, Ireland
Tour of Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains
Fri, JUN 13
Student free day to explore on their own.
Sat, JUN 14
Experience Gaelic Games
Mon, JUN 16
DCU - Dublin
Visit Dublin City University - The Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction
                         Reading 8
Dr. John Doyle, professor and director
Various guest speakers including political figures and others involved in the reconciliation process
Tues, JUN 17
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland
                        Reading 9
“The Northern Ireland Conflict – Is it religion-based, political-based, ideology-based?”  Dr. David Tombs, professor Trinity College Dublin
“Language identity’s role in the Conflict” - Pádraig Ó Tuama, Trinity College Dublin.
“Mediating the Conflict in the Reconstruction stage” – David Hollowell, Mediator Practitioner, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Screening of the motion picture “Five Minutes of Heaven” starring Liam Neeson and based on Alistair Little’s experience.
Wed, JUN 18
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Debrief previous day
“The Conflict from a former militant’s perspective” – Alistair Little
Tour of Belfast, Northern Ireland
Thurs, JUN 19
UCD - Dublin
Debrief previous day
                        Reading 10
Hop On – Hop Off Tour of Dublin
Fri, JUN 20
UCD - Dublin
Debrief previous day
Review of final paper requirements
Closing comments