Negotiation Task Force

The Negotiation Task Force at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University promotes innovative solutions to Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security challenges by creating spaces for cross-cultural negotiation research, training, and strategic analysis. We pioneer new models for high-impact knowledge dissemination, train practitioners in advanced negotiation skills, and build long-term conflict management capacity.

Upcoming Activities

RED HORIZON: A Strategic War Game on US-Russia-China-EU relations

Date: November 30 – December 2, 2018
Location: Harvard University
Find out more about this event here. Online registration will open in September.


Task Force Research Report

The Negotiation Task Force’s 2017 Research Report is available in Fung Library. It contains a collection of interviews with scholars and practitioners from the U.S., Russia, and other European countries. The report is a valuable source of data and provides insight into Russia’s complex security environment. It is especially relevant for scholars and students of Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian issues who are interested in U.S.-Russia relations, strategic stability, and the war in Ukraine.

Bell, Arvid, Ed., Perspectives in Post-Soviet Conflict: The 2017 Davis Center Negotiation Task Force Research Report, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, December 2017. Permalink:

Negotiation Case Exercises

The NTF has developed three interactive negotiation simulations about contemporary conflicts in the Post-Soviet Sphere. If you would like to use these teaching materials or work with our trainers to bring these conflict simulations to your organization, please contact the Negotiation Task Force at

Nagorno-Karabakh: A Convening of Community Leaders

This nine-party negotiation exercise focuses on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a long-standing territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Over the years, formal negotiations between the governments of each country and mediators from the Minsk Group (represented by Russia, the United States and France) have been unsuccessful. This (fictional) negotiation brings together civil society members in the hopes of reaching an agreement that could put formal negotiations back on a productive track. The conflict simulation introduces participants to the difficulties of negotiating around sacred issues, as well as the challenges of reaching an agreement when there are conflicting narratives to the same problem. From a negotiation analysis perspective, participants learn to ask probing questions in order to find shared interests with other negotiators and gain momentum towards reaching an agreement.

The Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

This seven-party, multi-issue negotiation challenges participants to solve a multidimensional conflict based on real-world circumstances, parties, and interests. This exercise’s main objective is to help negotiators better understand team and coalition building-dynamics during multi-issue negotiations. Within one coalition, the parties have to negotiate interests among three diverse camps: the European Union, the United States of America, and the Ukraine. Within the other, two roles (the Heads of the “DPR” and “LPR”) have a status that is somewhat inferior to that of another (Russia). Outside of these internal team dynamics, one party (the OSCE) acts as an undeclared/informal process leader and/or mediator. The six issues on the table are divided into two buckets, with short-term issues prioritized initially.

The Future of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

This ten-party, multi-issue negotiation deals with the future of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which currently hangs in the balance. Signed in 1987 between the United States and the USSR, the INF Treaty forms a key part of the global non-proliferation architecture, but, after multiple years of both sides accusing the other of violating the Treaty and global shifts of power towards a multipolar world, there is a risk that one or both parties withdraw. This negotiation brings together a delegation from the Russian Federation (four negotiators), a delegation from the United States (four negotiators), and representatives from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).