Problem-Solving Negotiation: Northern Ireland's Experience with the Women's Coalition
17 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2004
This paper is part of a Symposium that considered the relevance of domestic conflict resolution theories in broader cultural contexts. The Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (Women's Coalition) participated in the negotiations leading up to the 1998 Good Friday/Belfast Agreement. Members of the Woman's Coalition responded to thirty years of sectarian violence with a negotiation process based on accommodation, inclusion, and relationship building, concepts that resonate with American-style problem-solving negotiation. Using the Women's Coalition as a case study, this Article suggests that there are procedural aspects of problem-solving negotiation theory that may work across domains, specifically in multi-party, intractable conflict situations, where not all players share the same end game. Topics discussed include: (i) background of the conflict in Northern Ireland, the "Troubles", (ii) problem-solving negotiation theory, (iii) strategic approaches of the Women's Coalition during the multi-party negotiations leading to the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement, (iv) perspectives on comparative dispute resolution, and (v) relevance of inclusion, trust and relationship building.
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