PSCI 3510 - Simulation

PSCI 3510





UN Counter-Terrorism Committee/Security Council Simulation


Contents (scroll down to find each section)




Writing Assignment #1

Writing Assignment #2

Preparation for Simulation

Procedural Rules for Debate

Instructions For All Writing Assignments



The class will undertake a simulation of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee/Security Council (UNSC) debate on terrorism and counter-terrorism measures. (The Counter-Terrorism Committee has the same membership as the Security Council.) In order to do well, you will have to research your roles so that you can accurately adopt the persona of the country you represent. For the time we are in simulation, you are no longer a student in Kalamazoo, Michigan. You are your country's permanent representative ("ambassador") to the United Nations.


There are 27 students in the class. The Security Council is made up of 15 members, five permanent and ten rotating. Twelve other countries critical to the issues of terrorism and counter-terrorism are invited to participate in the deliberations but do not have a vote.


The goal of the simulation is for the UNSC to pass one or more resolutions on counter-terrorism policy.


Items for deliberation:

  1. Improving the United Nations Global Counterterrorism Strategy.
  2. Responding to state sponsors of terrorism.


You'll find a link to research resources below ("research guidelines"), but one site you'll certainly want to consult is a log of decisions regarding terrorism made by the UN as reported by Security Council Reports.


Country Roles

France: Olivia Moray**

Ivory Coast: Noah Haines (chair)*

Iran: Sabrina Cisnerost

Russia: George Hiller**

Kazakhstan: Elijah Cook*

Israel: Maida Medart

UK: Moritz Cherubin**

Kuwait: Quimcy Norman*

Kenya: Alex Dillont

United States: Alex Wagner**

Netherlands: Noah Cocoli*

Nigeria: Tatiana Habsburgt

Bolivia: Espoir Murondanyi*

Peru: Melanie Mackew*

Saudi Arabia: James Larsont

Eq. Guinea: Brianne Rodgers*

Poland: Maggie Niemi*

Turkey: Matt Gygaxt

Ethiopia: Niels van Eijndhoven*

Sweden: Peter Krause*

Ukraine: Joshua Beert


Indonesia: Josh Kubiakt


* Voting member

** Voting member with veto (P5)

t Non-voting participant

Source Material

Google searching is not enough. Google's algorithm cannot be relied on to link to sources that are either reputable or useful. A more productive approach is to be familiar with source material. Since you are likely not reading foreign policy news and reports on a regular basis, I'm suggesting some good sources. I have indicated the conventional wisdom about political orientation. Note, however, that news sources in the US that tend liberal sometimes do not stray from official foreign policy, especially on issues as emotional as terrorism.


Writing Assignment #1: Due Saturday, October 27 at midnight [11:59 pm + one minute]

Your first assignment is to write a profile of your country according to the points below.


1. Look up the following indices to see where your country ranks. Put them in a table in Word.

2. Also, for point of comparison (not for the table, however):

  • Look up the population of your country. What other country or US state has approximately the same population?
  • Look up the size of your country. What other country or US state is approximately the same size?

3. Write no more than one page analyzing the indicators in the table. Which are the key to understanding your country's place in international politics?

4. Look at sites on the "research guidelines" page. Then look up up news stories using Google News and/or Yahoo News (they bring up different results). Then go to and enter your country and the keyword "terrorism" to find peer reveiwed sources (NOTE: I will not accept the first paper if it has no peer-reviewed sources).

  • Has your country been the site of a terrorist attack in the last ten years (or so)? (Look up your country in the Global Terrorism Database as well for this question.)
  • Has a group in your country been implicated in a terrorist attack at home or abroad (same time frame)?
  • Is there evidence that your country is currently threatened by terrorism?
  • Has your country been accused of sponsoring terrorism?
  • What role does your country play in the international effort to combat terrorism?

One page of your paper should be comprised of the table. The analysis of the table of indicators is a second page. Finally, the last item (#4) should take up no less than two pages. Thus, your paper will be no less than four pages long (note: four pages is not three and a half). NOTE: See "Instructions for all writing assignments" below.


Writing Assignment #2: Due Saturday, November 17 at midnight [11:59 pm + one minute]. Revised versions based on feedback due Sunday, December 3 by midnight (<-- note new date).

Each delegate will write two position papers in response to the Secretary-General's report, "Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism" from December 24, 2015. The papers will address the two items for deliberation noted in the Overview above:

  1. Improving the United Nations Global Counterterrorism Strategy.
  2. Responding to state sponsors of terrorism.



Sample position papers:


Published Position Papers


Preparation for Simulation

There are several steps you need to take to be prepared.

  1. Learn the basic rules for how the meeting is conducted (see next section).
  2. Get accustomed to the norms for writing a resolution. See instructions and samples:
  1. Acquaint yourself with common action words for preambulatory and operative clauses.
  2. Sketch out the parameters of what you'd like to see in resolutions for each debate question (see overview). This might best be done in cooperation (to be done outside of class) with other countries you think are amenable to your approach. In general, you should go into the simulation aware of who your likely allies and opponents are.


Keys to success:

  1. Know your country.
  2. Know your allies.
  3. Know the issue.
  4. Know the rules.


Procedural Rules for Debate

Click here for detailed guidelines for the conduct and rules of the simulation as well as the grading criteria.


Instructions For All Writing Assignments

Submitting assignments

  • You are required to submit your assignments in the elearning dropbox. I won't accept hard copies. Your papers must be in Microsoft Word compatible. (If you use Open Office, use this site to convert to docx format or see instructions here.) Note: Microsoft Works is not acceptable.

Explicit instructions

  • There are minimum lengths. Short papers will be penalized severely (up to a grade for each half-page short). There is no maximum for paper #1, but I will not be impressed by long papers that are full of fluff. Paper #2 is strictly limited to two pages.
  • Text should be double-spaced with no skipped lines between paragraphs.
  • There should be no spelling mistakes, typos, grammar mistakes, or syntax problems. Verbs should agree with subjects. Sentences should officially end before the next one begins. Don't jump around among tenses. Never use "you." Don't capitalize nouns unless they're supposed to be capitalized. Keep straight the difference between its and it's, and between their, there and they're. And never, ever use apostrophes for plural nouns.
  • Spell-check will not catch all your spelling mistakes. There is no substitution for careful proofreading.
  • Avoid both fluff and excessive verbiage. Don't wander off into tangents. Be concise, but sufficiently detailed to make your argument.
  • I doubt if I need to say this to any of you, but it needs to be on the record: don't play games with margin width and font size to make your paper longer. Margins should be no greater than 1" on the sides and 1" at the top and bottom. Font size should not exceed the equivalent of 11 point Times New Roman or Calibri.
  • Keep your font black.
  • Adhere to the deadline. Late penalties are draconian, and could result in your premature death or dismemberment. (Actually, I'm serious. See late penalty policy on the syllabus page).
  • One third of your grade will be on writing quality and on whether you followed these instructions. If you write a brilliant paper, but one that's sloppy and ill-written, and does not correspond to the parameters written here, you can get a D.

Citation Style

  • Frankly, I don't care what style you use. But what I do care about:

* Pick one. Stick with it. Be consistent. And don't make up your own style.

* Include all pertinent information.

  • Never use a web link to a peer-reviewed source you found through the library databases. Follow the citation format of the style you choose.