Negotiation as One Among Many Tools
9 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2018
Date Written: 2004
Even as this symposium examines the "canon" of negotiation, we think it is also important to consider negotiation's context. In many cases, negotiation cannot be the first or the only activity that takes place. To make significant progress in the resolution or management of some conflicts, other activities will have to precede or supplement negotiation. This can be particularly true in large-scale, multi-party public disputes.
Consider the following situation, one that might be unfolding even as you read this in any number of places in the United States. The setting is the state of Grace, a relatively small state with a healthy mix of rural, metropolitan, and suburban populations. Grace is struggling these days to determine how its laws should treat same-sex couples. Grace's neighbors to the north have seen judicial and legislative battles over marriage and civil union for same-sex couples. To the south, a neighboring state quietly passed domestic partnership legislation extending some but not all of the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples. Policymakers in Grace have followed these developments with interest.
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