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Successful negotiators explicitly address implementation difficulties by crafting resolution terms that manage risk. A creative negotiator would also recognize conflict theory including visions of social theorys and meaningful senses as well as individuals who seek to enhance their negotiation skills and knowledge., which is promoting “the good of individuals.”One needs also to take into account the mordern use of Arbitration, and the increasing importance of arbitration as an alternative to costly litigation.

Arbitration is embraced today as a viable alternative to litigating disputes. It is more flexible procedures, with option of selecting norms as the rules of decison, whilst maintaining business relations. Even if no final solution is found it may help them to decide the best further steps for the resolution of the dispute. Although litigants may in some circumstances be compelled to enter mediation or at least be put under heavy pressure to do so it is only effective and successful to the extent that disputants find it effective.

Other factors such as the fact that this mens of alternative dispute resolution does not fit cases where a disputant is not capable of negotiating, or feels the need to establish a legal precedent, or requires a court order to control the conduct of an adversary, have resulted in arbitration being more popular and more often chosen and used as a means of alternative dispute resolution.

In the USA, already from the time of the American colonies, arbitration among merchants was common, since it proved more efficient and effective. The first US president George Washington himself  served as an arbiter of private disputes before the Revolution. However, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries arbitration enjoyed a not particularly favourable position, as there was some mistrust by the legal establishment on arbitration´s capacity to produce fair results. Moreover it was feared that arbitration, if it proved too successful, could jeopardise the livelihood of all those who relied on the court system. Nowadays the scenery is totally different and arbitration is embraced as a viable alternative to litigating disputes.

Dispute resolution is often a multistep process that can start with negotiation, move on to mediation, and, if necessary, end in arbitration or litigation. This progression allows parties to start off, quite naturally, with less-expensive, less-formal procedures before making bigger commitments.

Great books of philosophy, especially “well taught,” are an essential part of any citizen’s education, especially to become acquainted with the basic ideas of Western political.

The Political Theory, the oldest subdivision of the discipline, tackles the eternal questions of politics: speculation about human nature; analysis of the sources of human conflict; examination of the basis of authority within society, and; evaluation of different political values, forms of government, and social and economic recommendations.

Modern political philosophy begins with Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, and others who train their focus on the individual and on interactions between individuals. The purpose of politics in their view is to regulate the behavior of individuals to enable them to be peaceful and productive. They treat of behavior and virtually ignore beliefs. They are interested in social order and its maintenance, not in the salvation of the soul, the creation of a heavenly city, or the ideal society.

I use here the term self-regarding or self-seeking behavior rather than “selfish” to describe the standard assumptions about preferences to avoid the circularity arising from the fact that all uncoerced actions are motivated by preferences (those who violate norms are commonly motivated by other-regarding preferences) and hence might confusingly be termed selfish, leaving only these actions that violate one´s preference ordering to be called unselfish. Adam Smith is not alone in this view of self-seeking behavior.

As other science, many types of political behavior and analyses are based on preferences that include a concern for “the well-being of the others” and a taste not only for fairness but also for retribution. Because mutualistic cooperation will be sustained by individuals with entirely self-regarding preferences, it is treated in standard biological (Human Nature) and economic models as an expression of self-interest. In political economy, that idea and the doctrine of laissez-faire have always been closely related. Some have characterized the invisible hand metaphor as one for laissez-faire, though Smith never actually used the term himself.

In England, a number of “free trade” and “non-interference” slogans had been coined already during the 17th century. But the French phrase laissez faire gained currency in English-speaking countries with the spread of Physiocratic literature in the late 18th century. Laissez-faire, a product of the Enlightenment, was “conceived as the way to unleash human potential through the restoration of a natural system, a system unhindered by the restrictions of government.” In a similar vein, Adam Smith viewed the economy as a natural system and the market as an organic part of that system.

In its most general terms, “laissez-faire constitutionalism” refers to the notion that, beginning some time in the second half of the nineteenth century and culminating in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1905 decision in Lochner v. New York, state and federal courts hemmed in governmental intervention into the economy by imposing a host of new, or at least newly robust, constitutional conditions on the authority of the states to exercise their police Power.

By the end of the nineteenth century, a new dispensation held sway, in which the justices asked, in effect, “What is the liberty of action deserving protection from the legislative power?” It was as though the words “due process of law” had vanished from the constitutional text, the clause now being read to say that no one shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property except by a reasonable act of legislation—with the justices being the arbiters of what is reasonable. Life, liberty, property: the axial order. One needed life before one could exercise liberty, and one needed liberty before one could acquire property. The question, at every turn, though, is whether our lives are taken, our liberty restricted, our property drawn from us, with or without justification.

To ask whether a law is justified is to test it with the canons of reason and canon of constitutional law. And that is but another way of asking whether it is “reasonable”. In that vein, we might consider as a notable test, the strands of reason that made up Justice Rufus Peckham’s argument in the long-derided case of Lochner v. New York (1905). As Supreme Court cases go, this one seemed inconsequential. In a five-to-four vote, the Court struck down a New York law that limited the hours a baker could work to ten hours a day and sixty hours a week. Yet Lochner v. New York became in the Progressive and New Deal eras what Roe v. Wade has become in ours.

For people who were unhappy with the Court’s direction, Lochner represented the entrenchment of a bad public policy based on a flawed political, economic, and social theory. They had no hesitation in describing that theory as a “do nothing philosophy” rooted in laissez-faire economics and Social Darwinism. Even worse to critics was their fervent belief that Lochner symbolized a major change in constitutional doctrine and that the Court had twisted the Constitution in order to equate that theory with a constitutional right. Although it may be an exaggeration to speak of any action of the Supreme Court as a revolution, critics of the time viewed Lochner in that light. The most vehement among them viewed the decision as a coup d’etat. They charged that the Court had usurped power that properly rested with the legislature, and ultimately in the people, in order to turn a controversial political philosophy into fundamental law of the land. Thus, Lochner became the ultimate symbol of judicial overreaching.

Lochner retains that symbolic status today. The decision is commonly ranked along with Dred Scott as a prime example of judicial malfunctioning and as the most discredited decision in Supreme Court history. It has been described as a “negative touchstone,” an “anticanon of constitutional law,” and a “paradigmatic example of judicial failure.”

Natural Law and Justice, the foundational idea connecting politics with law

For many centuries, natural law was recognized as a type of higher law that spelled out universal truths for the moral ordering of society based on a rational understanding of human nature. As a higher moral law, it gave citizens a standard for determining if the written laws and customs of their nation or any other nation were just or unjust, right or wrong, humane or inhumane. Today, natural law is not discussed very much, at least not explicitly. When mentioned at all, it is usually rejected as dangerous because it undermines existing laws or as intolerant.

This negative view of natural law can be traced to Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679), whose writings are largely devoted to showing the anarchy and civil wars caused by appeals to natural and divine laws above the will of the sovereign. Hobbes rejected traditional higher law doctrines and encouraged people to accept the established laws and customs of their nations, even if they seemed oppressive, for the sake of civil peace and security. His critique has been a leading cause of the demise of natural law and the acceptance of positive law as the only reliable guide for political authority.

One may be equally surprised to learn, however, that many people today embrace a different (and seemingly contradictory) view of natural law, and this too is traceable to Thomas Hobbes. For example, when conscientious people are confronted with violations of human rights—as in religious theocracies that violate women’s rights or in countries that allow sweatshops to trample on worker’s rights—they feel compelled to protest the injustice of those practices and to change them for the better.

The protesters usually deny that they are following natural law, but they obviously are asserting a belief in universal moral truths that are grounded in human nature—in this case, the natural equality of human beings that underlies human rights. This understanding of higher law originates with Hobbes because he was largely responsible for transforming classical natural law into modern natural rights, thereby beginning the “human rights revolution” in thinking on natural law. How is it possible for Hobbes and his followers to embrace seemingly contradictory views of natural law, rejecting one form as intolerant, self-righteous, and anarchical, while embracing another form as the universal ideal of social justice? Let us turn to Hobbes for an answer to this puzzle, and, in so doing, uncover the sources of our modern conceptions of law, rights, and justice.

The key to solving this is Hobbes’s famous statement about the desire for power in Leviathan: 

first place, I put for a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire for power after power, that ceaseth only in death.” What Hobbes means by this sweeping claim is that human nature consists of ceaseless motion without a natural end that constitutes happiness or felicity; hence, Hobbes says, “there is no Finis Ultimus (utmost aim) nor Summum Bonum (greatest good) as is spoken of in the books of the old moral philosophers. . . . Felicity is a continual progress of the desire, from one object to another.”

Hobbes’s denial of the greatest good is the crucial point of disagreement with “the old moral philosophers,” Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, who expounded the classical natural law doctrine.

According to the classical view, man is a rational and social animal who has a natural inclination to his proper end, happiness, which can be attained by the virtues or the perfections of mind and character. Classical natural law was therefore “teleological”:  directed to the natural end of human beings and to the good life of virtue in a just political community. Hobbes rejects the teleological view of human nature as a false and dangerous illusion. Instead, he sees human nature as the restless striving for power after power that has no end and therefore no happiness or perfection. The rejection of end-directed motion underlies Hobbes’s revolution in thinking from classical natural law, and its perfectionist principle of virtue, to modern natural rights, and its minimalist principle of self-preservation.

Hobbes’s shift from classical natural law to modern natural rights: the idea of the greatest good is a dangerous illusion because it is vain, unreal, and never produces agreement; but the minimal good of avoiding death is the strongest, most real, and most universal passion: Hobbes supposes that no one has ever previously uderstood the actual nature of the probem face in achieving social order for their own benefit. And hopes that his work will enable people to do better means-ends analyses and therby finally to see just how improtant is having a powerful state to govern them.

In historical writings, Hobbes shows how the passion of vanity has undermined traditional political authority where kings have relied on higher law to gain obedience from the people. The defect of this arrangement is that traditional higher law doctrines are easily exploited by vain and ambitious men who claim superiority to the sovereign because of privileged knowledge of divine, natural, and common law. Hobbes’s account of the English Civil War (1642–60) in Behemoth illustrates the problem: King Charles I was overthrown by Puritan clergymen, democratic Parliamentarians, and lawyers of the common law who sought recognition for their superior knowledge of higher law, yet who could not agree among themselves about whose doctrine was right, producing sectarian wars that reduced English society to the anarchic state of nature. From this frightening analysis, however, Hobbes draws a hopeful lesson: if higher laws are not equated with intangible goods like virtue, wisdom, and salvation, then the ills of civilization can be avoided and mankind can enjoy enduring civil peace.

This shift underlies Hobbes’s famous re-definition of natural law: “A Law of Nature is a precept or general rule, found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do that which is destructive of his life or which takes away the means of preserving the same. . . . For though they that speak of this subject used to confound jus and lex (right and law), yet they ought to be distinguished, because Right consists in liberty to do or forbear, whereas Law binds to one of them; so that law and right differ as much as obligation and liberty.” From the new definition of natural law as a right or liberty to preserve one’s self, Hobbes deduces nineteen commands, such as seek peace; lay down the right to all things and transfer power to a sovereign; obey the social contract; promote the attitudes conducive to civil Peace.

The influence of Hobbes’s new doctrine has been profound but largely indirect because of the notorious reputation he acquired as an atheist materialist and advocate for absolute monarchy over constitutional government. While Hobbes’s name was “justly decried,” he convinced many people in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to change their views of the proper ends of government—from promoting the higher goods of virtue and salvation to protecting the limited goods of life, personal liberty, and property—inaugurating the natural rights principles of modern liberalism that became the basis of an enlightened middle-class materialism or “bourgeois” view of morality. Hobbes never took the step of later liberal thinkers of advocating constitutional limits on state power as the best means for securing life, liberty, and property because he was convinced that fear of the sovereign’s absolute and arbitrary power was the only way to keep people in line. A typical reason for having a constitution is to place limits on government.

Against this background, his view of the role of political theory is the explanation and therefore the enablements of social order, a focus that continued through Locke and Hume, although they are increasingly concerned with the working of government and the nature of politics. The transformation of political theory by Hume in his Treatise of Human Nature is based on an account of normative issues that is not specifically a theory of those issues and how we should deal with them but is rather an account of how we see them and why we see them that way.

If any of these theorists were concerned with “the good society,” they would have meant a society that is good for individuals. In an important sense, they are normatively behaviorist. To say, they attempt to explain rather than to justify political institutions and behavior. Institutional theory has been important for comparative politics (one of the three main disciplines of political science, alongside political theory) and for political sceince more generally, but tends to be better at explaining persistence than explaining change.

These three theorists are also forerunners of the modern self-interest and rational-choice schools of social thought. Normative in theorist, only in the very limited sense of explaining what would get us to better states of affairs, in the sense of those states being de facto in our interest or better for us by our own lights.

To summarize it confuses sometimes our understanding, suggesting that anything one might say about normative discourse is itself normative. In doing so, it just leaves little room for those whose aim is to understand rather than to explain. A slight variant of Hobes and Hume´s view of the role of interest in the ordering of society is an assumption at the foundation of John Rawls´s theory of justice.

Rawls sees Hobbes and Hume as naturalists. He supposes Hume wants to show that morality is a natural fact, explicable in view of our natural human interests and our need for society, that morality and our practice of it are the expression of our nature, given our place in the world and our dependence on society.

  • Hume´s account is essentially psychological in order to motived groups, personality types and then their perception. And the strategists seemed to have the analytical tools to make a difference  in public policy and government possitions, (as argued of many thinkers of their subject as a political science) which accurred in the early years of Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory.

The way we see normative issues is to fit them to our interests. In keeping withtheir program to explain, not to justify, Hobbes and Hume are naturalists. Their explanations are grounded in the assumption that people are essentially self-interested and that their actions can be explained from this fact. From their time forward, the development of normative social science has depended heavily on this.

Similarly, the individual motives and grouplevel institutions that account for cooperation among humans include not only the most elevated a concern for others, fair-mindedness, and democratic accountability of leaders, for example -but also the most venal, vengeance, exclusion of outsiders and frequent warfare among groups.

In contemporary normative social theory, there are three main schools- conflict, shared-value, and exchange theories (as in contractarian theories of both explanation and justification) based, respectively, on interests, shared values, and agreement. Each of these three are based on a systematic set of theoretical assumptions. First are conflict, as represented by Thrasymachus (in Plato´s Republic), Karl Marx, and Ralf Dahrendorf (also see Wrong 1994). Hobbes is also commonly considered strictly a conflict theorist.

Conflict theories commonly turn to coercion or the threat of coercion to resolve issues. They can also lead to debates about the nature of power and compliance. Second are shared-value theories, as represented by John Locke and Talcott Parsons. Religious visions of social order are usually shared-value theories. Religious and theological theories and justifications once held sway but are now of little import in Western social science. Now religious commitments and beliefs are merely social facts to be explained.

And, third, there are exchange, which are relatively more recent than the other two schools, with Adam Smith among the first major figures, At the core of an exchange theory is individualism. Tocqueville, writing in the 1830s, says “individualism” is a new term.  It tends to isolate us from our past and our contemporaries. Hobbes, the contrubution that puts us on the track to modern political philosophy and that makes Hobbes at least partially an exchange theorist.  For him, the assumption of “individualism” was de facto a method for focusing on what is central to social order. It is also, of course, a descriptive fact of the social world that he analyzes.

It then becomes Tocqueville´s assumption in analyzing American society two centuries later, when it is also the basis for criticizing his own French society. He says that, at the head of any undertaking, where in France we would find government and in England some territorial magnate, in the United States we are sure to find an association. These associations are made up of individuals (individuals motivated by their own interests) who voluntarily take on their roles; they are not appointed to these roles, which are not part of any official hierarchy.

Many normative or moral theories might yield explanations of behavior but only idiosyncratically, so that we can explain much of your behavior and commitments but not those of your neighbor. Hobbes and Hume are not alone in this view of self-seeking behavior, Adam Smith and many social choice theorists and economists, conclude that self-seeking behavior in certain very important and pervasive contexts promotes the good of society in the-to them-only meaningful sense, which also promoting the good of individuals. Such behaviors might be explained as particularly complex forms of self-interest, with apparent altruism actually satisfying social demands or gratifying a conscience weaned on generosity. But even so, they require some initial spark of altruistic possibility.

It may helpful in our understanding of altruism to slightly alter the biological definition to read “behavior by an individual organism that reduces or risks the reduction of its own reproductive fitness while improving the reproductive fitness of at least one member of the same species.

One of the most important is that our willpower obtains its power from our expectations of the future, and fair assessment is requires both the immediate discomfort as the future dividend, but the profits in the future is not only that the idea of risking ones own lives to save ones children that make us feel to do the good, but the idea that not doing what you can to save your children seems to be far more horrific than the immediate risks it will expose.

We do in other words, a judgment where we weigh the immediate sacrifices against future rewards, and immediate sacrifices against an even worse future suffering.

Altruism will be strongly favored if it leads groups to win wars. In the past, when kings fought for “the good “, risks that warring soldiers are prepared to expose themselves during a war was based on assessments of this kind.

Warfare might have accelerated the development of altruistic, but the truth of the altrustic behavior depends on (as scientists have suggested) our social as well as biological changes. How that came to be is a mystery. One plausible candidate is the evolutionary dynamics of combat between small groups, which appears to have been a fundamental part of life for most of human history. That the ability to put others’ well-being ahead of one’s own could have such brutal origins seems counterintuitive. Then again, so is altruism.

We have probably had the same cognitive capacity from the time of our species origin Stone.

The three grand, broadly established schools of political thought, conflict, shared values, and agreement or exchange are right about particular aspects of social order. But they, today, miss the central mode of social order in a complex modern society, which is coordination. The fourth theory is coordination. Because there generally is conflict in any moderately large society.

Coordination interactions are especially important for politics and political theory and probably for sociology, although exchange relations might be most of economics, or at least of classical economics.

States also experience many coordination problems, situations in which their interests generate multiple equilibria and for which thy need some mechanism for what has been called equilibrium selection.

Consequently, there will typically be a conflict of interest among various groups and individuals over the choice of economic institutions, a collective choices of the society, in large part for their economic consequences.

developments15e 01 2014 konferens dag på KVA

Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, and others who train their focus on interactions between individuals, purpose of politics view is to regulate the behavior of individuals to enable them to be peaceful and productive also when the traffic is heavy enough.

To grossly simplify much of the problem of social order in a complex society, consider the relatively trivial problem of maintaining order in traffic on roads.

There are two main coordinations at stake. The first is the obvious one of merely getting all drivers to drive on the same side of the road.-either all on their left or all on their right in order to prevent constant accidents and difficult problems of negotiating who gets to go first.

The second is the problem of controlling the flow of traffic at intersections, for which traffic signals and signals and signs are used when the traffic is heavy enough. Cells in our body’s, (Machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells” ), with its different compartments called organelles, faces a similar problem.

Two striking things about the collection of drivers are that they are not genuinely in conflicts and that they do not typically have to share any general social values in order for these coordinations to work well. Furthermore, there is no exchange or contract between them that they can make to solve the problems arising from their interactions.

Contract or agreement theories suggest a need or at least an urge to explain why we agree, and the answer often must be that it is in our interest to agree on some particular social arrangement or that we share the values on which we are to contract.

Shared-value theory may possibly turn into the most commonly asserted alternative to rational choice in this time as contractarian reasoning recedes from center stage in the face of challenges to the story of contracting that lies behind it and the difficulty of believing people actually think they have consciously agreed to their political order.

For this discussion, assume that we live in a well-managed society. This is the economic version of what John Rawls called a well-ordered society. An important subcategory of shared-value theory is the body of norms and laws (one of the requirements for well-managed society) that regulate our behavior on social interaction.

The category of norms is much broader than that for social order, but it its these that matter for political theory. With this background, one of the major results of modern economics is the invisible-hand theory, which refers to the efficiency of competitive markets. This is put eloquently in The Wealth of Nations.

One of the most important and least appreciated aspects of the invisible hand is its  “informational efficiency”. This will became particularly important when we consider how to deal with our externalities. The example of driving , a well -managed society will deal with driving externalities through multiple laws and customs including speed limits, stoplights, insurance regulations, and liability laws that govern behavior.

In a well-managed, we may ignore most negative externalities because we look to laws and customs to deal with. In the case of driving, I need to be attentive to the hazards of the road. At the same time, I am not expert on traffic engineering, so I leave it to engineers to decide where stoplights should go, and it seems reasonable to keep within the boundaries of society´s traffic laws.

To simplify Rawls a bit, we can think of states as being of three kinds, liberal, quasi-liberal, and antiliberal. “The most common agreement, is that – the advantage of justice as a foundational idea connects politics with law.

In order to accomplish this, Rawls develops the “veil of ignorance.” Essentially, it means that if an individual had no idea as to what they where they would fit in a social or political order, they would make decisions with the least benefitted individuals in mind. They would do this because this could be them. Few would create decisions that would benefit the upper echelon of a social order because in a veil of ignorance, there is a distinct possibility that an individual could wind up at the bottom rung of a social order. If a rational person had to select policy within the veil of ignorance, they would do so ensuring that that the lower levels of society would be represented in some manner for this could be them.

The veil of ignorance is what Rawls uses formulate his two premises of justice in that individuals have the right to individual liberty and freedom in so far as it does not interfere with another and that social/ political orders have accountability to ensure that those who are marginalized are spoken for in this political order as justice being fairness, under the veil of ignorance, demands.

Lawyers and historians believed that there was, an ancient English constitution, going back to the days of the Anglo-Saxons, that protected individual English freedoms. They argued that the Norman invasion of 1066 had overthrown these rights, and that Magna Carta had been a popular attempt to restore them, making the charter of an essential foundation for the contemporary powers of Parliament and legal principles such as habeas corpus.

Magna Carta is an important symbol of liberty. A part of England’s statute law and English political life. Britain´s peace gift to the world.

The sealing of Magna Carta in 1215 and the Montfort parliament of 1265 marked the start of the journey towards modern rights and representation, paving the way for the House of Commons and democracy as we know it today.

The most important contribution of the Magna Carta to the rule of law was that King John accepted that his authority was limited, not absolute, and that the limitation was open to negotiation. From this beginning, the rule of law gradually replaced unrestricted sovereign authority,  shaping the world for the best part of a millennium helping to promote arguments for justice and freedom. And it’s powerful persist long after it’s original usefulness. To this day, three of the 60 clauses of Magna Carta remain valid. One of those is a clause right at the heart of the Charter. It states that no free man should be seized or imprisoned or stripped of his rights or outlawed or exiled except by the judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.

Magna Carta is something every person in Britain should be proud of. Its copies may be faded, but its principles shine as brightly. The Magna Carta helped usher in government with a separation of powers. It helped create conditions in which centralized authority could not totally control fiscal, political, religious or intellectual life. It helped usher in the modern Anglo-Saxon state model, with its relative emphasis on the open movement of people, ideas and things.

The Anglo-Saxon model has its plusses and minuses, but it is very attractive to people around the world. Today, as always, immigrants flock to nations with British political heritage. Forty-six million people in the United States are foreign born, almost 1 in 6. That’s by far the highest number of immigrants in any country in the world.

For America’s founding fathers, Magna Carta symbol­ized the “rule of law,” the precept that a government is bound by the law in deal­ing with its people,” Ralph Turner, history professor emeritus at the University of Florida, said in an article titled Magna Carta in the United States. There’s something about the Magna Carta that rings a bell and chimes with the fundamental American belief about the way society should organize itself.

Negotiation and Leadership: Practical Lessons from the Great Negotiators.

Imagine a global contract, as many of Rawls´s critics propose? Rawls, on the contrary, purpose that we can design the institutions of justice for a society,  and he intends his theory to produce a constitution. Although he grants that the design of institutions would have to deal with many social constrains, thus making its content contingent. Depending on how it is conducted, and the problem is compounded, the foundation of those principles, the former basing the theory of good and the latter on a formal theory of right.

It seems, that global justice and international ethics cannot do without the theory of morality. Moral concerns that are voiced today in the language of human rights are also expressed in the languages of “common morality” binding on all.

The clim that of morality is analogous to mathematics – is a perverse variant of intutitionsm in ethics (quasi-Kantian positions or commitments in ethics). Institutionalists believe they can intuit whether, say, a particular action is right or wrong.

Mandela was a lawyer, and lawyerly in his manner. He was simply an independent thinker. And he convinced the collective that perhaps there is another way. We’ve had lots of independent thinkers in different parts of the globe.

“Nelson Mandela was, however, a great leader and “the greatest negotiator” of the 20th century,” wrote HLS  prof and Program on Negotiation Chair Robert H. Mnookin. in his seminal book, Bargaining with the Devil, When to Negotiate, When to Fight. In his chapter on Mandela, Mnookin cites Mandela’s patience, tenacity, pragmatism, and strategic thinking.

“He rejected the simple-minded notion that one must either negotiate with the Devil or forcibly resist. He did both. He was willing to make concessions, but not about what was most important to him. With respect to his key political principles, he was unmovable.”

If all of us reject some principle, presumably no one would disagree with the conclusion that we should collectively reject applications of that principle in practice and , furthermore, that it is reasonable for us to do so, whatever reasonable might mean in this vernacular claim.

When negotiating with difficult people, you may need to build a “golden bridge,” writes William Ury, author of Getting Past No: Negotiating with Difficult People (Bantam Books,1991). Ury’s term for letting your opponent save face and view the outcome as at least a partial victory.

How do you help your difficult opponent save face, while still standing up for yourself?

Ury suggests reframing the problem so that you draw your opponents in the direction you want them to move.

When two groups are embroiled in a conflict, it is common for the party with less power to have difficulty convincing the more powerful party to sit down at the negotiating table. This tendency can be a particular problem in international negotiations, particularly those involving a protracted conflict.

Successful negotiations, it is to be an active listener: A powerful force that can promote mutually beneficial agreements. it’s likely that parties will value certain issues more than others.

Whenever a dispute flares up, the parties involved must ask themselves which course of action will yield the best outcome. Should they negotiate, litigate, or simply walk away and accept the status quo?

The decision to litigate should not be taken lightly, and the power of negotiation should not be underestimated.

In fact, litigation and negotiation are not mutually exclusive. Both can—and often should—be pursued simultaneously. Speaking with regard to the Middle East conflict (and paraphrasing David Ben-Gurion’s famous quotation),

former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin often remarked that he would fight terror as if there were no peace process and make peace as if there were no terror. In other words, he would give up neither negotiation nor the use of military force.

Although clearly controversial in the realm of global politics, Rabin’s twopronged Strategy illustrates the fact that dispute resolution sometimes requires both a power-based and an interest-based approach, such as the simultaneous pursuit of litigation (the use of legal power) and negotiation (attempts to reconcile each party’s interests).

Here are some strategies that can help disputants keep self-interest-based bargaining alive even after legal action has been initiated:

  1. Keep communication lines open.
  2. Ask other parties to mediate.
  3. Don’t lose sight of your underlying interests.
  4. Understand your lawyer’s role and perspective.