Negotiation, Meet New Governance: Interests, Skills, and Selves
55 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2008
Date Written: 2008
In this article, I critically examine two bodies of scholarship: negotiation literature and new governance literature. To that end, I consider The Negotiator's Fieldbook (2006), an ambitious survey of negotiation theory and practice edited by Andrea Kupfer Schneider and Christopher Honeyman, and key works by U.S. new governance architects, Michael Dorf, Charles Sabel, and William Simon. This comparison may surprise readers since negotiation literature largely focuses on interpersonal dynamics and new governance literature aims at institutional change. I argue that these two literatures share similar assumptions about subjectivity that drive their sense of political hopefulness. In short, both envision a flexible problem-solving subject - shaped in negotiation by a discourse of skills and in new governance by a discourse of institutional design. Based on this descriptive claim, I illustrate how reading these literatures together suggests alternative perspectives from which to consider questions of power, inequality, and distribution relevant to both fields.
Keywords: new goverance, negotiation, dispute resolution, subjectivity, skills
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