From Negotiation to Mediation

  • Valérie RosouxEmail author
Part of the The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series (SPIRP)


The chapter questions the links between diplomacy and negotiation. It focuses on three major questions. The first is knowing whether one should negotiate. Can everything be negotiated? Certain realities are non-negotiable a priori. Beliefs, values, and identities are not the result of compromise. They are by nature non-divisible and unlikely to be modified by any dealings. Furthermore, can one negotiate with everyone? Many cases remind that many parties refuse to sit down at the negotiating table with another party presented as illegitimate. The second question is to specify when to negotiate. The time variable is decisive in terms of timing and duration. The third question concerns how to negotiate. Alongside the manuals for good negotiators, many articles and books present different approaches for grasping the mechanisms of negotiation. Five of them are particularly emphasized. The structural approach concentrates on the notion of power. The behavioral approach highlights the actors’ attitudes and psychology. The strategic approach was drawn from game theory. The procedural approach identifies the various phases of negotiation. Lastly, the cultural approach stresses historical and cultural factors. Far from being incompatible, they often prove complementary in understanding the specific dynamics in each case study.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS)UCLouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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