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Gearing for Battle: Ancient Warrior Wisdom for Negotiation

Tan Pan: The Chinese-English Journal on Negotiation, Vol. 2

Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 16-15

10 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2016 Last revised: 16 Dec 2016

Andrea Kupfer Schneider

Marquette University - Law School

Vasudha Srinivasan

Singapore Mediation Centre

James Shing Ping Chiu

The University of Hong Kong

Date Written: December 9, 2016

Abstract

This article examines the art of negotiation through the lens of three ancient texts from diverse cultures: the Bhagavad Gita from Hinduism, The Art of War from the Chinese culture, and the Torah from Judaism. As these texts come from distinct traditions and from different parts of the world, it might be assumed there exists no common ground between them. Yet, each of these texts is designed to give leaders advice about conflict. In fact, there are allusions in all three texts to avoiding war, being just, and offering mercy. Sun Tzu has perhaps the most well-known aphorisms in Chapter 3 of The Art of War - “to subdue the enemy's army without a war indicates superlative wisdom” and “a good strategist should bring the enemy to his knees without staging a war.”

Of course the focus on war raises questions of applicability in peace-making and in negotiation. Ostensibly, these texts may seem more applicable to litigation or distributive negotiation. (And, in fact, both The Art of War and the Torah devote significant attention to deception of the enemy.) After delving deeper, however, it is readily apparent that the wisdom provided in each text provides advice that can be utilized in peace-making and in integrative (or problem-solving) negotiation. After providing a brief introduction to the texts, this article examines four lessons common to all.

Keywords: negotiation, dispute resolution, problem-solving, integrative negotiation, self-awareness, context, cultures

Suggested Citation

Schneider, Andrea Kupfer and Srinivasan, Vasudha and Chiu, James Shing Ping, Gearing for Battle: Ancient Warrior Wisdom for Negotiation (December 9, 2016). Tan Pan: The Chinese-English Journal on Negotiation, Vol. 2; Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 16-15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2883344

Andrea Kupfer Schneider (Contact Author)

Marquette University - Law School ( email )

Eckstein Hall
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201
United States

Vasudha Srinivasan

Singapore Mediation Centre ( email )

1 Supreme Ct Ln
Singapore, 178879
Singapore

James Shing Ping Chiu

The University of Hong Kong ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Pokfulam HK
China

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