Beyond negotiation deadlocks: The importance of mediation and leadership change

Jacob Bercovitch, Carmela Lutmar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


International conflicts have become quite a common feature of international relations. When they arise, numerous methods may be used to get out of a conflict or to resolve it. Of these we wish to pay particular attention to negotiation. Negotiation is one of the most common responses to any conflict. It is a complex process used to settle disputes over competing interests, resources or positions. The scale of negotiations varies greatly from frequent daily negotiations between individuals through to complex negotiations between states. Similarly, negotiation outcomes may have different consequences. The outcomes of negotiations at the interpersonal level will usually affect those directly involved in the process. At the international level, negotiations may, when successful, lead to a cessation of violence and new ways of interactions, or, when they fail, be responsible for an even larger scale of violence affecting many in all sides of the conflict. We are interested here in one aspect of negotiation, namely, why do some negotiation efforts drag on and on, and finally fail? We want to understand what conditions in international relations produce such deadlocks and how best to break a deadlock. Negotiation and conflict management. Negotiation is the most frequently used method of conflict management in international relations. This is so not only ‘because it is always the first to be tried and successful, but also because states may believe its advantages to be so great as to rule out the use of other methods, even in situations where the chances of a negotiated settlement are slight’.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeadlocks in Multilateral Negotiations
Subtitle of host publicationCauses and Solutions
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780511804809
ISBN (Print)9780521113748
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2010.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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