Conflict Management

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2 Apr 2014
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Conflict Management 04/01/2014
Peacemaking
Peacemaking is the effort to resolve a serious conflict, one in which peace could easily break down, or
already has, into killing and mayhem.
Multiple Approaches:
Negotiation
Mediation
Arbitration  rare
Adjudication  rare
Both arbitration & adjudication pull in a third actor and they take the decision making outside of the hands of
the actors involved in the conflict
Negotiation
No third actor
Negotiation is an exchange of ideas by the parties to a dispute as to how it should be settled
It can occur at anytime during a conflict
This occurs between the conflicting parties
Bargaining occurs prior to conflict
Classic bargaining model says negotiations end once war starts, but this says that war can actually help
negotiations
Negotiation Through Force
Threatening force may make negotiations more difficult
Hardening resolve of opponent
Creating spiral of hostility
Brinksmanship can make conflict more likely
War is a continuation of politics by other means”
This means that negotiations don’t end when the bullets start flying
Military actions can convey information
Information problem?
This means conflict should be quick
Negotiate by actually using force and not just the threat of force
Hard Bargaining
Negotiating as a political trial of strength and will
Don’t solve a problem jointly
Defeat and humiliate the opponent
Don’t make suggestions—make demands
Refuse to back down or compromise
Compromise is a sign of weakness one should exploit
Let the other side blink first
Communist governments most likely exert this toward Western Democracies
B/c they are in a lesser, weaker position and thus try to make up for it by taking hardened positions
North Korea
Hard Bargaining and North Korea
North Korea has a long history of hard bargaining
Effectiveness?
Massive amounts of international aid
Nuclear weapons
Isolation and economic stagnation
Fight fire with fire?
US and hard bargaining
Bullying is what it is going to look like if take a hard position
Take too soft a position, press will get mad as well b/c U.S is a super power
Domestic politics matter, especially for negotiations
Two-level Games I
Theory holding that international negotiations involve bargaining on at least two levels
Between or among national governments
Between government leaders (or negotiators) and other domestic political actors including:
Actors within their own government and/or
Actors among relevant societal groups
Successful negotiations require:
Agreements between negotiators/countries on the basis of mutual (but not necessarily equal) benefit;
Capacity of each government to secure internal ratification of the agreement according to its relevant
(private or public) political processes
Such as the senate needing to ratify the President’s treaties
Two-level Games II
States are not unitary actors in negotiations
Negotiator’s preferences, bargaining conditions are not fully transparent
Implications