This article describes the way time-series designs are used in research on international negotiation and related processes. Both quantitative and qualitative applications are discussed. One use of the techniques is to predict known outcomes of historical cases of negotiation. Both inductive and deductive approaches have been used in studies that evaluate alternative models of the way that negotiators respond to each other through the course of the talks. Another use of the techniques is to evaluate the impacts of such interventions as mediations or combat (referred to as interruptions) on the dynamics of conflict between nations. A third approach involves probabilistic forecasting with Bayesian analysis. This consists of revising initial probabilities of events (coups, peace agreements) based on current information about indicators that signal the occurrence of the event. Qualitative techniques have also been used to capture changes in conflict processes over time. These include charting changes in typological categories or in the use of influence strategies used by national actors in enduring rivalries. They also include tracing of paths to agreement or stalemate in negotiation, documenting progress in small-group dialogues, and developing chains of communication leading to peace agreements. By combining several of these techniques an analyst can draw conclusions about the likelihood that an event will occur (Bayesian analysis), its impact on a process (interrupted time series), and the way it emerged from prior events (process tracing).
The impact of group attachments on negotiating behavior is a theme (or variable) that runs through many articles published in International Negotiation. It is also a popular topic for research on groups reported in other outlets. This literature set in motion the analytical probe discussed in this article. Focusing attention primarily on ingroup-favoring biases, four questions are asked: What is the phenomenon? Why does it occur? How can it be reduced? Where is it manifest in a larger policy context within which negotiations take place? Highlighted in this essay are the prevalence of the bias, the variety of plausible explanations for its occurrence, the distinction between patriotic and nationalistic group attachments, and the connections between group loyalty, policy making, and collective action. The insights achieved also reveal a number of areas for further research. This topic is one example of the many research accomplishments that herald the birth and maturity of a field of study and practice. In this special issue, we take pause to document these accomplishments as we look forward to another decade of progress.
Research on negotiating representatives has been a popular topic since the 1960s. The early experimental studies revealed a variety of situational influences on the decisions made by representatives. Construed as constraints, these variables are shown to move negotiating processes in the direction of agreement or impasse. More recent research extends the portfolio of influences by examining the roles of trust, immoral behavior, group status, and divided constituencies. Of particular interest is the finding that hawkish constituents have more influence on representatives than dovish constituents. The effect is, however, weaker when the hawks have low group status. It is also weakened when representatives are primed to have a pro-social orientation. Another recent line of research focuses on collective representation and shows how several features of constituencies influence those decisions. The article concludes with a summary of key findings and a suggestion for bridging the behavioral and interpretative traditions of scholarship on representation.
The conflict environment is among the most important aspects, if not the most important, in determining peace operation success. Most notably, the conflict environment sets the parameters for the peace operation and determines many of the tasks that need to be performed. In this article, we identify and discuss the key features of the conflict environment from the perspective of policymakers and planners, with special attention paid to those elements that will most dramatically impact peace operations. We divide the set of environmental factors into three broad categories: characteristics of the conflict, local governance, and the local population. Within each of the categories, we discuss the key variables, general indicators, malleability of the conditions to actions by the peacekeepers, and the likely impact of the factors – separately and as interactive influences – on operational outcomes. Some challenges posed by assessment issues are entertained before concluding with a discussion of modeling considerations.
A theory-oriented approach to teaching and training about negotiation is discussed in this article. Following the flow of a course taught on several continents, I emphasize the value of conceptualizing about the negotiating experience. This is done with concepts, metaphors, frameworks, and research findings summarized in the form of a set of narratives. A series of exercises bring the concepts to life. These include the difference between negotiating values and interests, designing scenarios, and enacting the negotiating functions of analyst, strategist, and designer. Students are also given an opportunity to perform as negotiators and observers in a complex multi-issue negotiation involving security issues similar to those discussed recently between the U.S. and Iraq. They are provided with a research experience that entails coding selected peace agreements for distributive and procedural justice as well as for the durability of those agreements. Lessons learned are generated in de-briefings of the exercises. They are also discussed in a final class where students’ insights, gained from comparative case analyses, are organized by the framework introduced during earlier classes.