Information on the Negotiating Parties
Negotiations will be conducted at the highest level. Basran Representative – incumbent President John Seripan, who is for the third term in office, may be showing signs of authoritarianism, as the legitimacy of the last election is called into question. The representative of Carpathia is President Jacque Meruza, who has authority among the population and demonstrates features of moderate leadership, as he was able to calm radical groups inside his country.
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Basran people’s ethnicity is Luba. The state practices Catholicism and positions itself as democratic. Carpathia, on the contrary, is an Islamic country with Matobo ethnicity.
Brief Description of the Conflict
The United Nations Organization was approached in search of help and solution by Kolechia representatives. Their country is suffering from an influx of refugees that are fleeing the conflict between Basran and Carpathia. Kolechia does not have enough resources to assist the victims.
The disputed issue is a territorial type of conflict that has been escalating for twenty years. The last victims were representatives of civilians. Both countries claim their rights to the disputed territory – the Kehmed region. The claims of the parties may be influenced by economic benefits. This is justified by the presence in the area of a rich generation of natural minerals, especially uranium.
In both countries, there are representatives of the population who are sympathetic to the conflicting side. Moreover, both countries have been given material and political support by more influential actors in international relations. Christian Basran supports Endastan, and Islamic Carpathia supports Wakunda.
The preparation of negotiations is a crucial stage, as it is the foundation of the forthcoming process (Hopmann 1996). Each element of preparation is essential and affects the results of the negotiation. During this stage, the negotiating team will:
- set the goal of negotiations;
- collect additional information about the representatives and the conflict;
- prepare topics and questions for discussion;
- define negotiating strategy;
- organize negotiations.
To prepare negotiations between the conflicting Basran and Carpathia, a ceasefire must be agreed upon in advance. Then the parties will not be able to strengthen their positions in the region at the last moment, and the negotiations will take place in a calmer environment. For effective negotiations, the forces of the parties must be approximately equal (Zartman and Rubin 2000). The talks’ purpose is to establish agreed stages for the settlement of the conflict between Basran and Carpathia. Oye noted the advantages of cooperation before the other strategies (1985). Thus the task of the negotiating team is to encourage the parties to cooperate (CC) and compromise.
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At this stage of the negotiations, it is necessary to identify the real interests of each of the parties, possible hidden objectives, and agree on the main topics for discussion (Jeong 2016). It is crucial for a full understanding of the parties. If one opponent intends to show a tough negotiating style, his opponent may avoid revealing his interests.
Now, the team can determine that the main interest of Basran and Carpathia countries is an economic benefit. Kehmed region is rich with valuable natural resources, including uranium. The interest of intermediaries is to preserve peace in the Kehmed region so that the mentioned natural resources are available for purchase to the whole world.
Offers and Proposals
To resolve the conflict issue, the parties need to put forward suggestions and compare them (Ikle 1964). Then the main differences between them will be revealed. Firstly, after the exchange of proposals, conditions will be identified that do not cause disagreement among the parties. In such a case, these conditions are fixed, and the parties can proceed to discuss other proposals. Secondly, parties identify conflicts that need to be resolved through bargaining. It is necessary to note the importance of the parties putting forward all their suggestions to strengthen positions.
Both parties want to join the Kehmed region to the territory of the country. Thus, it can be assumed that the representatives will propose a ceasefire in exchange for recognizing the region’s belonging to their country’s territories. Such a conflict cannot be resolved without bargaining and compromise.
Incentives are crucial for the parties to move from their initial positions towards the opponent’s ones (Axelrod and Keohane 1985). Such impulses are concessions (if one concedes in the limitation of the number of weapons, the other may concede in the dates of withdrawal of troops), signals (interest, indifference, curiosity, etc.), time (in negotiations the parties invest time in the result of the agreement) and emotions (Schelling 1960). Thus, bargaining in talks is the exchange of concessions, signals, time, information, and emotions to overcome disagreements.
To implement the decisions taken effectively, at this stage, the parties must take a critical look at the conditions agreed earlier. If the terms do not satisfy one of the parties, the conflict may escalate. Thus, it is necessary to assess whether the objectives of the negotiations have been achieved, agreements are feasible, and parties are satisfied. In case there is no doubt, the agreement will be fixed. In case of doubt, the parties will return to the discussions.
The intermediary party should study the history of the region and determine the legitimacy of the two countries’ rights on it. If the territory was attached to Basran as a result of an agreement backed by a valid international treaty, the integrity of Basran is recognized. However, the illegal occupation of the territories would be in favor of Carpathia’s claim. Such a decision may not satisfy either party. Then it is necessary to discuss possible compromise solutions. For example, independent elections can be held in the Kehmed region, under UN control to prevent interference by conflicting parties.
The Final Stage of Negotiations – Treaty-making
The main task of the negotiating team at this stage is to record the results of the meeting and eliminate possible ambiguity, without leaving the negotiating table. Here are the main conditions the team will follow to establish agreements properly:
- avoiding ambiguity of formulations;
- written confirming of the reached agreements;
- coordinating criteria of performance;
- approving steps to implement agreements;
- establishing terms;
- defining responsible parties.
The negotiation team is making necessary preparations for conducting successful talks. It will make a research of the Kehmed region’s history for a deeper understanding of the conflict. The main task is to establish cooperation as the leading negotiation strategy for the parties’ representatives.
Axelrod, Robert, and Robert O. Keohane. 1985. “Achieving Cooperation under Anarchy: Strategies and Institutions.” World Politics 38 (1): 226-254.
Hopmann, P. Terrence. 1996. The Negotiation Process and the Resolution of International Conflict. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.
Ikle, Fred Charles. 1964. How Nations Negotiate. New York, Evanston, and London: Harper & Row Publisher.
Jeong, Ho-Won. (2016). International Negotiation: Process and Strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Oye, Kenneth A. 1985. “Explaining Cooperation under Anarchy: Hypotheses and Strategies.” World Politics 38 (1): 1-24.
Schelling, Thomas C. 1960. The Strategy of Conflict. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
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Zartman, I. William, and Jeffery Z. Rubin, eds. 2000. Power and Negotiation. Ann Arbor: International Institute for Applied System Analysis.