The ‘Power of Process:’ How Negotiation Management Influences Multilateral Cooperation

In: International Negotiation
Kai Monheim London School of Economics and Political Science Houghton St, London WC2A 2AE United Kingdom

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Management of a multilateral negotiation has frequently played a crucial role in developing global regimes but is often ignored in International Relations theory. The long-awaited un climate summit in Copenhagen, for example, broke down in 2009 but negotiations reached agreement one year later in Cancún. This article argues that power and interests remained largely constant between Copenhagen and Cancún, and that significantly altered negotiation management by the host government and the un explains much of the difference. An analytical framework is presented to address whether and how the management of a multilateral negotiation by the organizers increases or decreases the probability of agreement. The empirical focus is on the Danish and Mexican Presidencies of climate negotiations, with extensive evidence from participant observation and 55 interviews with senior negotiators, high-level un officials, and lead organizers. The argument adds to the scholarship on regime development by complementing structural with process analysis.

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