Save

Back-channel Communication in the Settlement of Conflict

In: International Negotiation
Author:
Dean Pruitt Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University, 3401 Fairfax Drive, MS 4D3, Arlington, Virginia 22201 USA;, Email: dean@pruittfamily.com

Search for other papers by Dean Pruitt in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

$40.00

Abstract

Secret back-channel communication is often employed in severe conflict to explore the feasibility of front-channel negotiation. It can also be used as an adjunct to front-channel negotiation when talks become deadlocked or as a substitute for front-channel negotiation. Its value lies partly in the flexibility and future orientation it brings to talks. In the prenegotiation phase, it also provides political cover, is cost-effective, does not require formal recognition of the adversary, and allows communication with adversaries who do not meet preconditions for negotiation such as a cease-fire. Intermediaries and intermediary chains are sometimes used in back-channel communication. Heavy reliance on back-channel communication can produce flimsy agreements that are too narrowly based or fail to deal with major issues. But this problem can be avoided if enough time is spent assembling a broad central coalition.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 635 140 24
Full Text Views 358 33 10
PDF Views & Downloads 405 80 18