Reputation and Egotiation: The Impact of Self-Image on the Negotiator

  • Paul Meerts
  • Siniša Vuković
Part of the Advances in Group Decision and Negotiation book series (AGDN, volume 7)


Egotiation is a new term in negotiation research, proposed by one of the authors (Meerts in Pinpoints network newsletter, IIASA, Laxenburg, pp. 28–29, 2010). “Ego” will not be used here in the classical psychological/Freudian sense. For the purposes of this chapter, “egotiation” is a factor in international negotiation processes which will work against the material interests of the negotiator and his party. It has an emotional as well as an interest dimension, a unconscious as well as a conscious side, accidental, and purposeful. The ego of the negotiator, meaning the face/honor/status of the negotiator in question, will be a parasite of the negotiation process. It will flourish through the process, but at the detriment of the interests of the party the negotiator is representing. The authors will look at a series of famous negotiators and ask themselves to what extend these actors gave precedence to face saving over the defense of national and other interests. The authors will then ask themselves what the consequences of “egotiation” have been in different cases. They will try to diagnose if “egotiation” is a typical phenomenon to be found among decision makers of higher or lower rank, politicians or diplomats, etc. They will also look at the question if countries have such an ego and if so, what the function of that ego is in international relations.


International negotiations Egotiation Reputation Self-image 



The authors would like to thank Vlad Badea for his help in providing part of the literature that made this chapter possible.


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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Processes of International Negotiation (PIN) ProgramNetherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’HagueThe Netherland
  2. 2.School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)Johns Hopkins UniversityWashingtonUSA

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