Center for Negotiation Analysis
Research from the Center
All of the following papers have been authored by the Center and published in journals and books or issued as technical research notes.
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Post-conflict anticorruption initiatives often focus on the legal and institutional factors that facilitate corrupt behavior, but research shows that these have only nominal impacts, because most of these reforms can be circumvented by government officials, powerful citizens and businesspeople who are relentless in their quest for self-interest. My recent book, Curbing Corruption: Practical Strategies for Sustainable Change (Routledge 2022) argues that, instead, we should target basic individual and group drivers of corrupt behavior and through them promote sustainable behavioral change.
Emerging changes to post-agreement negotiation structures and actors can have important implications for the process and outcome of negotiated agreements. These innovations include the coexistence of negotiated global and regional regimes on the same policy issue, as well as civil society organizations that assert their “right to negotiate” at the domestic level to promote national compliance with regime standards and provisions. The evolution of these factors within the post-agreement negotiations of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) is used as a case study. Globalization and communications technology trends play a major role in promoting these changes.
This paper provides a brief overview of how the negotiation process can be used by NGO advocacy groups to promote and facilitate getting things accomplished with government. The conditions needed for commencing negotiations are described, as well as the stages and activities that define negotiation behavior. Ultimately, moving from confrontation to achieving results and desired reforms requires a “culture of negotiation” on the part of both advocacy groups and government agencies.
International and bilateral donors have poured large sums of money into post-conflict countries like Afghanistan and Iraq to hasten security, stabilize the peace, rebuild governance, and stimulate economic and social development. Often, a cross-cutting goal is to combat corruption, and major programs have been designed and implemented to promote anti-corruption reforms, but they have yielded few immediate results. Are the expectations of these programs unrealistic or are post-conflict countries just not ready or capable of implementing the difficult legal, political, economic, and cultural changes that are required to reduce or prevent corruption?
The family of decision analysis techniques can be applied effectively to support practical negotiators in international settings. These techniques are most appropriate in support of the prenegotiation phase, when parties are diagnosing the situation, assessing their own plans and strategies, and evaluating likely reactions and outcomes. The paper identifies how these approaches have and can be used to assist negotiation practitioners, offers a rationale for the application of decision analytic approaches in terms of the particular analytical requirements of the prenegotiation period, suggests how these process-oriented tools can be integrated with substantive tools, and discusses ways in which these tools can be presented and delivered to practitioners in a practical and confidence-building manner.
International development situations are rife with conflict. Societies receiving development assistance are usually undergoing dramatic changes to their social, economic and political fabric. These changes can alter the status quo and reapportion the stakes within civil society and between civil society and government, often yielding discord, and sometimes outright hostility and violence, among groups that perceive a loss of power or influence. If these groups have both the political will and the capacity to defend and promote their interests, they may decide to negotiate their differences and prevent, manage or resolve the conflict. But in many cases, civil societies in developing countries have the motivation and will, but not a sufficiently mature capacity to negotiate, enabling differences to escalate into conflicts undeterred. A major impact of such conflicts is to distract attention from, or derail, the initiating development activities and objectives. This chapter examines the concept of ‘negotiation readiness’, which combines the motivation and willingness to negotiate (ripeness) with the capacity to negotiate with the external environment. Negotiation readiness adds to Zartman’s concept of ripeness (1996), but is different from Pruitt’s conception (1997). It is patterned on the concept of military readiness, which emphasizes both the willingness and capacity to act or respond in armed conflict situations.
An earlier article examined the conditions under which it is reasonable to negotiate with rogue states. This article extends the argument to non-state terrorist “villains.” Despite the risks inherent in negotiating with terrorists, the risks of following a no-negotiation policy are likely to be more deadly. States need to assess terrorist interests and intentions to find if there are reasonable entry points for negotiation and take advantage of these to transform the conflict.
Experiential learning theory provides the conceptual underpinnings for effective pedagogical techniques, such as simulations and games, to teach about negotiation processes. Learning theory also may offer a useful framework to integrate many negotiation process concepts using a common paradigm. Bill Zartman’s use of roleplaying games and his many contributions to the negotiation field are applied to illustrate the value of learning theory as an integrative framework.
Many countries in transition suffer from chronic and systemic corruption that compromises governance and slows economic growth. As a primary manifestation of corruption, bribery is conceived in this chapter as a classic negotiation transaction between public officials and citizens, but one that exists in an illegal context. The satisfaction of interests through bribery negotiations may serve personal goals, but subvert the larger system of governance. While governments and international donor organizations have been seeking effective approaches to fight or prevent bribery and corruption through stricter law enforcement, administrative and institutional reforms, and public education strategies, one novel approach may be to deconstruct the bribery negotiation process to eliminate the opportunity for such transactions. The chapter analyzes this particular negotiation context in relation to Zartman’s ripeness theory to identify ways to change the process and alter incentives, making negotiations concerning bribery a rare and high risk activity.
Deadlocked international negotiations risk prolonged uncertainty and, worse, the possible onset of hostilities. While the negotiation research literature is replete with strategies and tactics that seek positive sum outcomes, there is a paucity of reliable advice for negotiators faced with stalemate on what they can do to avert failure and get back on the negotiation track. This study suggests that international negotiations can learn from the field of developmental psychology about the concept and practice of resiliency. Resiliency is the human capacity to face, overcome and be strengthened by experiences of extreme adversity. It is a basic and powerful human competency that negotiators, faced with impasse, need to master to avert failure and achieve successful negotiation outcomes. If people have the capacity to bounce back from adversity in their personal lives, negotiators in their professional lives should be able to mobilize this capacity to bounce back from impasses, as well. Several propositions based on research findings are examined.
This study seeks to identify, characterize, and distinguish typical Austrian negotiating behaviors in international fora. Two compatible approaches are used. The first is an introspective method in which a group of Austrian diplomats were asked to reflect on their experiences in a wide range of negotiation situations in order to characterize their perceptions of the Austrian national approach. The second technique is a more systematic observational method in which many key attributes across a large number of negotiation cases were classified and structured into a data base that was then analyzed in a comparative fashion across cases. Twenty four extended interviews with senior Austrian negotiators were conducted to capture their observations in 24 different negotiation cases. These cases were analyzed and a descriptive profile of Austrian negotiators was generated that exhibits clearly recurrent and pervasive behaviors. An additional 15 non-Austrian negotiation cases were collected, coded, and contrasted with this Austrian data base to determine if Austrians display significantly different negotiating behaviors than would be expected from diplomats socialized into a universal negotiation culture.
There are many opportunities for disagreements and disputes to arise among stakeholders when a country’s policies are being changed or reforms are being implemented. Attempts to reform laws, regulations, procedures or institutions may impact a variety of interested parties on all sides of the issue. It is easy to imagine how disputes can emerge if resources are redistributed; certain groups are empowered at the expense of others; latent political, economic, social and cultural problems rise to the surface; new grievances are aired; and strict regulation and enforcement are imposed.
This paper presents a framework for understanding the impact of conflict on implementing policy change and various practical approaches to managing or resolving conflict, with special attention to how these might be introduced in developing countries. Conflict resolution activities are described in the context of strategic management processes that support policy implementation. Throughout this paper, the terms “dispute resolution” and “conflict resolution” are used interchangeably. functions. Several examples of the successful application of conflict resolution methods to accomplish technical assistance assignments in the Implementing Policy Change (IPC) Project are offered to demonstrate the feasibility and practical utility of these approaches.
Regulations are a common mechanism used by governments to guide and facilitate the implementation, management, and enforcement of policy change. Through regulations, governments establish the rules that specify, control, and direct compliance with new decisions. However, if these rules are not complied with as intended, policy implementation may not proceed smoothly. Research has shown that the effectiveness of many regulations is strongly influenced by the process by which they were initially formulated. This paper describes a participative process used to formulate regulations successfully.