International negotiations

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Presentation on theme: "International and Cross-Cultural Negotiation".

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A number of texts offer a broad and practical introduction to the subject of negotiation, both in the sense of “how to” negotiate but also how to engage in negotiations in very differing contexts. These works can be helpful in conflict management, transformation, or resolution between states, whether in terms of bilateral or multilateral negotiations. They can also be helpful in dealing with conflicting groups within a society. One can also not overlook the importance of maintaining appropriate interpersonal relationships among those who are actually engaging in the negotiating process.  Asal, et al. 2005  offers a number of insights as to how to mediate during international crises.  Berridge 2002  is one of the few books on traditional diplomacy that explores the negotiation process. Crocker, et al. 2004 discusses diplomatic bargaining strategies with respect to “forgotten” and “intractable” conflicts in arguing that such conflicts may be difficult or stubborn, but are not impossible to resolve or manage. Fischer and Ury 1991 is a classic “how-to” text explaining how to reach agreements. Fischer, et al. 1997 is a how-to book on problem-solving and conflict-management skills for diplomats and heads of state. Mnookin 2010 looks at ways in which negotiators have dealt with “rogue” leaderships in the past and in recent times. Mnookin and Susskind 1999 offers a framework for understanding the complexity and effects of negotiating on behalf of others. Watkins and Rosegrant 2001 identifies the four core tasks in which negotiators need to engage to achieve a “breakthrough.”  Zartman and Berman 1992  draws on both theory and practice to present a model of the international negotiation process.

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This course will help you to be more precise about different dimensions of culture, from one region or country to another, while helping you to avoid simplifications, clichés and stereotypes. It will also lead you to a better overall awareness of your own culture. In addition the course modules will guide you to a better understanding of when and how cultural differences are likely to influence the different dimensions of a negotiation - the people, problems and processes. Armed with that understanding, your awareness, preparation and strategy will be enhanced when you are faced with negotiators from cultures and regions different from your own. Your ability to anticipate and react, your negotiation flexibility, will be improved and refined. The course also gives you a concrete look at quite different national and regional negotiation styles (we look at the French, Chinese, North American and Middle Eastern). In addition, an examination of negotiation in two multicultural settings (European Union institutions, on the one hand, and the recent COP 21 climate conference in Paris, on the other) highlights the importance of well-designed negotiation processes for getting both efficiency and fairness.