Issue Salience and Controversy: Any Effect on Chair’s Autonomy in Multilateral Negotiations?

Issue Salience and Controversy: Any Effect on Chair’s Autonomy in Multilateral Negotiations? High issue salience and controversy negatively affect the probability of success of multilateral negotiations. In such a context, Chairpersons acquire an important role in agenda management and brokerage among the bargaining partners. If they perform these functions neutrally and impartially, Chairs increase their effectiveness and emerge as key determinants of negotiation success. However, Chairs as agents often seek some degree of autonomy to pursue their own interests. We expect high issue salience and controversy to create a non-conducive environment for Chairs to follow their own agenda, due to greater principals’ sensitivity, thus leading any such autonomy-seeking attempt to failure. We discuss four case studies of negotiations taken from the un setting, in which Chairs sought autonomy in a highly polarized and controversial bargaining environment. Whereas in the first two cases, the Chairs’ attempts ended in failure confirming our basic hypothesis, in the latter two cases the Chairs were successful. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Negotiation Brill

Issue Salience and Controversy: Any Effect on Chair’s Autonomy in Multilateral Negotiations?

International Negotiation, Volume 20 (2): 199 – Apr 27, 2015

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1382-340X
eISSN
1571-8069
D.O.I.
10.1163/15718069-12341305
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

High issue salience and controversy negatively affect the probability of success of multilateral negotiations. In such a context, Chairpersons acquire an important role in agenda management and brokerage among the bargaining partners. If they perform these functions neutrally and impartially, Chairs increase their effectiveness and emerge as key determinants of negotiation success. However, Chairs as agents often seek some degree of autonomy to pursue their own interests. We expect high issue salience and controversy to create a non-conducive environment for Chairs to follow their own agenda, due to greater principals’ sensitivity, thus leading any such autonomy-seeking attempt to failure. We discuss four case studies of negotiations taken from the un setting, in which Chairs sought autonomy in a highly polarized and controversial bargaining environment. Whereas in the first two cases, the Chairs’ attempts ended in failure confirming our basic hypothesis, in the latter two cases the Chairs were successful.

Journal

International NegotiationBrill

Published: Apr 27, 2015

Keywords: chair; autonomy; multilateral negotiations; United Nations ( un )

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