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I. William Zartman

Abstract

Negotiation is less taught than might be expected in International Relations (IR) programs. Yet an upper-level university course is needed to address three audiences: future citizens, diplomats, and scholars. Since there is no single theory of negotiations, such a course needs to address the various conceptual approaches, grouped as Behavioral, Processual, Integrative, Structural, and Strategic. Conceptual presentations need to be supplemented with practitioners’ testimonies, simulations, and case studies, the latter using participants’ accounts as well as analyses. Games and a sample syllabus are presented.

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I. William Zartman

The evolution of the Arab Spring in eight countries is primarily a matter of negotiation. The instances can be broken down into Short Track (Tunisia, Egypt) and Long Track (Syria, Libya, Yemen) Transitions and Short Track (Algeria, Morocco, Bahrain) Reactions. They bring a number of lessons for negotiation analysis, primarily on scope and power, and their deviation from an ideal type model can be explained by the predominance of distributive over integrative negotiation and the imposition of a three-dimensional scene for negotiation and legitimization, with an Islamic dimension overlaying the usual left-right spectrum.

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I. William Zartman

A mutually hurting stalemate is a necessary but insufficient condition for the opening of negotiations, direct or mediated. It is subject to perception, buffered by many insulating ploys even if it seems to exist objectively. Thus, the major challenge for a mediator in most cases is to ripen the parties’ perceptions. In addition to the attitudinal challenge, there are structural challenges posed by other types of stalemates and near-stalemates, which call for not only persuasion but also manipulation by the mediator. The ultimate challenge to a mediator is to move successful negotiations producing conflict management onto the consummating phase of negotiations for conflict resolution. But the first removes the incentive for the second, since it ceases the violence that is the most effective source of pain.

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I. William Zartman

Abstract

Negotiating with terrorists is possible, within limits, as the articles in this issue show and explore. Limits come initially in the distinction between absolute and contingent terrorists, and then between revolutionary and conditional absolutes and between barricaders, kidnappers and hijackers in the contingent category. Revolutionary absolute are nonnegotiable adversaries, but even conditional absolutes are potentially negotiable and contingent terrorists actually seek negotiation. The official negotiator is faced with the task of giving a little in order to get the terrorist to give a lot, a particularly difficult imbalance to obtain given the highly committed and desperate nature of terrorists as they follow rational but highly unconventional tactics. Such are the challenges of negotiating with terrorists that this issue of the journal explores and elucidates.

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I. William Zartman

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I. William Zartman

Abstract

Case studies embody a deep knowledge of the subject and can be used to test or generate theoretical propositions for explaining negotiated outcomes. Their value is increased when they are employed comparatively, using a number of instances of negotiation – flawed or successful – in the same conflict or problem or a number of negotiations of different conflicts. While it might appear that statistical studies of large numbers of cases would be even more advantageous, these studies tend to lose the feel and understanding that comparative cases can command. Thus, comparative case studies lie at the crossroads of reality and theory; they present their evidence through the eyes of a knowledgeable specialist and they test it against the hypothetical constructs of a creative conceptualist. The challenge is as high as the payoffs.

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I. William Zartman

Abstract

This issue contains an examination of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations with an effort to break through the deadlock strategically. It analyzes the past record of failure and addresses the basic problem of asymmetry. Despite the solutions that have been advanced for all the specific issues, it is the forward-looking matter of trust that is the impediment to productive negotiations. The declaration of a Palestinian state and its recognition by the international community are now the basic elements necessary to break the asymmetry of the parties. A second element – allegedly favored by the Trump administration – is to reduce a symmetry by enlarging the playing field to include surrounding states, as proposed in the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

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Larry Crump and I. William Zartman

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I. William Zartman and Bertram I. Spector

Abstract

This thematic issue of the journal revisits the thesis introduced ten years ago in the book, Getting It Done: Post-Agreement Negotiation and International Regimes, that regimes are recursive negotiations and not merely one-off settlements that turn next to ratification. Seven cases are presented in the issue and discussed in this article that develop a number of reasons why regimes are marked by post-agreement negotiations. They examine the dimensions of these different types of encounters, all negotiations to be explored by established negotiation analysis but incomplete and incomprehensible without the context of the previous agreement, which then they complement.