CRIC conference: International Negotiation - Focal Points in Theory and Negotiation – University of Copenhagen

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CRIC conference: International Negotiation - Focal Points in Theory and Negotiation

Interested in ideas that facilitate international negotiation? How agreements can be achieved in international negotiation is focus for CRIC’s two-days conference on international negotiation and focal points.

The significance of focal  points for negotiations are striking, however, research on focal points is limited. Focal points are universal options built on common knowledge among all participants in the negotiation. This international workshop aims at examine the role of focal points in negotiations.

The international conference on Focal Points in Theory and Negotiation is organised by CRIC in collaboration with Bayreuth University and Clingendael as part of the Processes of International Negotiation (PIN) Program.

The two-day conference consists of roadshow, workshop and roundtable discussions. The roadshow is part of the PIN Program where scholars travel to different places to discuss and present their latest ideas on international negotiations. The workshop will concern the role of focal points in coordination games, practical aspects of focal points in negotiation and the normative role of focal points. The roundtable is on focal points in ‘Arab Spring’ negotiations.

Please register at cric@cric.ku.dk, no later than 15th September 2014 and please indicate in the email if you want to take part in the whole conference or part of it.
The conference is free of charge and lunch is included.

Focal Points
The role of focal points has undergone far less scrutiny in real negotiations than in game-theoretical structures, where it has been shown that focal points can guide the solution of coordination problems. The workshop wants to contribute to a change of this situation, because focal points have an obvious significance for negotiations. The formula “land for peace” of the UN Security Council Resolution 242 is a focal solution, as are the many numerical focal points in international negotiations, such as the 1% GDP contribution that was promoted by a group of countries in the negotiations on the 2007–2013 EU financial framework.

Focal points are formed by simple catch phrases, round numbers, landmarks, and symmetric distribution. More abstract and more general focal points are the “even split solution” between different positions and simple ratios for voting thresholds. The study of focal points in negotiation originated with Thomas Schelling’s ‘The Strategy of Conflict’ (1960). Schelling indicated that focal points might also play a normative role in negotiations. Indeed, it can be argued that they embody a peculiar kind of fairness in achieving negotiated agreement. Since considerations of fairness can be important for the success of negotiations, the workshop will also investigate in which way solutions can be fair by being focal.


PROGRAM


Friday 19th September 2014

ROADSHOW: PROCESSES OF INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATION

9.00 Welcome and Introducing the PIN

Nikolas Emmanuel, CRIC, University of Copenhagen
I. William Zartman, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University

9.10  Prevention

I. William Zartman, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University

9.35 Negotiating with the hereditary enemy

Valerie Rosoux, Catholic University of Louvain

10.00

Power relations in reconciliation

Mark Anstey, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

10.25  Break
10.40

Too Weak to Lead, Too Strong to Follow: Russian, Indian, and Chinese Approaches to Balancing and Bandwagoning with the West

Mikhail Troitskiy, MGIMO

11.05 Negotiating with terrorists

Guy Olivier Faure, Sorbonne University

11.30  Discussion
12.00  Lunch - for all registered participants
13.15 Negotiation workshop: simulating international negotiations

Paul Meerts and Wilbur Perlot, Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael”

14.45  Break

WORKSHOP: FOCAL POINTS IN THEORY AND NEGOTIATION

15.00 Introduction
15.15

The Concept of Focal Points

Rudolf Schüssler, Bayreuth University

16.00

to

16.45

Focal Points and Salient Solutions in Negotiation

I. William Zartman, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University

Jonas Brown, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University 

Saturday 20th September 2014 - Workshop continued

PART I: FOUNDATIONS

9.30 Focal Points in Schelling
Joachim Behnke, Zeppelin University
10.15 Lewis and Sugden on Salience
Bruno Verbeek, University of Leiden
11.00 Break
11.15 Focal Aspiration Adaptation in Bargaining Experiments
Marlies Ahlert, Halle University
12.00

Lunch - for all registered participants

PART II: NEGOTIATIONS AND THEIR PRACTICE

13.30

Focal Points in the Evolution of Diplomatic Negotiation

Paul Meerts, Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Clingendael

14.15

When are Focal Points Turning Points?

Valerie Rosoux, Université Catholique de Louvain with Dan Druckman, George Mason University

15.00

Break

15.15

Negotiating a Peace Dividend. Donor Aid Patterns and Peace Processes
Nikolas Emmanuel, CRIC, University of Copenhagen

16.00

Focal Points in Arms Control

Mikhail Troitsky, Mac Arthur Foundation/MGIMO University

16.45

Break

ROUNDTABLE: FOCAL POINTS IN ‘ARAB SPRING’ NEGOTIATIONS

17.00
to
18.00
Roundtable analysis on focal points in Arab Spring negotiations

Practical information
The conference takes place at Department of Political science, University of Copenhagen, CSS, Øster Farimagsgade 5A, 1353 Copenhagen K from 9 to 17.15 Friday 19th september and from 9 to 18 Saturday 20th september.