Spring Semester 2002

Monday 4:30-7:00

527 General Classroom Building

Dr. William M. Downs

Department of Political Science

1024 General Classroom Building

Georgia State University

Tel: (404) 651-4841, E-mail: polwmd@panther.gsu.edu



Negotiation and conflict resolution are central elements of the political process, whether in international diplomacy, collective bargaining in labor disputes, post-election formation of coalition governments, or administrative budgeting. Conflict is indeed an inevitable part of political life. The task on both theoretical and practical levels, however, is to understand how conflict can best be managed. In terms of practical politics the consequences of negotiations can be of supreme importance and are readily apparent; for example, we need only cite nuclear nonproliferation agreements, government intercession in wage talks, legislative coalition building, trade wars, hostage negotiations, or brokering a ceasefire in a civil war to recognize such salience. The theoretical issues behind real world negotiations are equally weighty: How important is process? How do one-shot negotiations differ from iterative bargaining sequences? Are positive-sum solutions possible in supposedly zero-sum political settings? How do different relative power (im)balances alter the stakes and strategies of negotiations? In comparing the most popular and powerful models of negotiation effectiveness, the course will encompass the changes and rich methodological variety of research in the negotiation field. Among the topics to be addressed will be the following: power in negotiations, strategies and tactics of both distributive and integrative bargaining, coalition building, interdependence, international bargaining, third-party interventions, bargaining failure, and negotiation ethics. By the end of the course, you should be much better able to analyze negotiations as they occur in a variety of political settings; moreover, by extension you should actually find yourself a more reflective, analytically savvy, and thus more effective negotiator.


Roy J. Lewicki et al. Negotiation: Readings, Exercises, and Cases (3rd edition). Burr Ridge, Illinois: Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 1999.

Michael Watkins and Susan Rosegrant. Breakthrough International Negotiation: How Great Negotiators Transformed the World's Toughest Post-Cold War Conflicts. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001.

William Zartman, ed. Preventive Negotiation: Avoiding Conflict Escalation. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.

Notes on Articles and Chapters: Additional readings will come from select journal articles and book chapters, which will be made accessible to you via the electronic course reserves at DocuWeb. These readings may be accessed through DocuWeb (http://docuweb.gsu.edu/) and printed directly from your own computer or from a university computer. The documents are password protected, and we will discuss the details of using DocuWeb early in the semester. Please note also that numerous readings can be downloaded and printed from a campus computer via the archive of political science journal articles at JSTOR (www.jstor.org).



Students will be evaluated along three broad dimensions. Approximately one-third of your grade (30%) will come from traditional forms of evaluation (i.e., examinations). There will be a mini-midterm exam prior to Spring Break, and the class will conclude with a final exam. Carrying more weight (55%) will be three writing assignments (two essays and one research paper). The remainder of your grade will be determined by regular and active class participation. Because this is a mixed class (graduate students and undergraduate students), it is important to be clear about the expectations for graduate students. All students are formally equal in this class. There are, however, differential reading assignments and different grade weights. Graduate students will read all materials read by undergraduates but will also have additional readings commensurate with a more advanced theoretical and methodological background. Greater emphasis in grades is placed on written work and participation for graduate students, whereas relatively more weight is placed on examinations for the undergraduates. In short, graduate students will be expected to perform just as they would in a small seminar, including contributing to and leading class discussions. Additionally, there will be opportunities outside of class (e.g., on WebCT) for the graduate students to interact exclusively (and with the professor) to discuss course-related themes.

Attendance. This is a lecture-discussion course. Students are thus expected to attend all class sessions. Absences for medical reasons or for attending an official university sponsored inter-collegiate event (but not a practice) will be excused only when accompanied by a written note from the attending physician (one week following absence) or team coach (one week prior to event). Because we meet only once a week and because we lose one week due to a Monday holiday, it is imperative that we make the most of our 15 sessions. Class begins promptly at 4:30, and we will have one short break roughly at the mid-point of each class session.

Class Participation. Students must complete the assigned readings on time and actively participate in class discussions, simulations, group projects, and WebCT online discussions. Because the study of negotiation is most exciting when actual cases from the real political world are used to illustrate key analytical points, students should follow current events through the reading of a major national newspaper, such as the New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, or the Wall Street Journal. Regular reading of news magazines such as The Economist, Time, Newsweek, or US News and World Report is also recommended. All these papers are available for free on the World Wide Web.

Group Assignments. Students will periodically be paired and assigned the responsibility of preparing a set of discussion questions to guide the groupís review and debate of the literature being read for that session. These questions will be posted on a special WebCT bulletin board in advance of class.

Written Assignments. There will be two short essay assignments.

(a) Review Essay: Students will write an essay (approximately 1250 words in length) addressing a question or set of questions posed by the professor in association with the reading being discussed for that particular week. Assignments will be staggered so that several essays will be prepared each week.

(b) Case analysis: The Watkins and Rosegrant as well as the Zartman books each contain chapters detailing conflict resolution and prevention tactics in specific cases. Students will select one of the cases and then will write an essay (again approximately 1250 words in length) analyzing the link between theory and practice in the context of the particular conflict.

Research Paper. An original research paper addressing one of the areas emphasized in this course is required and due at the end of the semester (Friday, May 3 at 12:00 noon). We will discuss the specifics of this project early in the semester. You should use the paper as an opportunity to explore an aspect of negotiations of interest to you. I am flexible about paper topics. You might examine an important historical negotiation, review the literature regarding a particular aspect of negotiation behavior, do your own experiment regarding negotiation behavior, analyze data with some particular hypothesis in mind, compare formal analyses of the negotiation process and real-world behavior, etc. It is more important that you are genuinely curious about the topic of your paper than whether it fits nicely into any particular category.

Examinations. There will be a "mini-midterm" exam, which will take one-half of one class period to complete. The midterm will count for 10% of the final grade. A comprehensive final exam will constitute 20% of each student's grade. Material discussed in class as well as material covered in required readings will appear on the exam.


The final course grade will be determined on the basis of the following weights:

Paper Assignment 1 10%

Paper Assignment 2 15%

Group Presentations and Participation 15%

Midterm 10%

Research Paper 30%

Exam 20%






January 7 Introduction To Study and Analysis of Negotiation

Introductory comments and discussion of seminar format


January 14 Interdependence, Mixed Motives, and Strategic Choice

Lewicki et al., Negotiation, Section 1 (pp. 1-49)

Dean G. Pruitt, "Trends in the Scientific Study of Negotiation and Mediation," Negotiation Journal (July 1986): 237-244.

John S. Murray, "Understanding Competing Theories of Negotiation," Negotiation Journal (April 1986): 179-186.

Richard Cottam, "Understanding Negotiation: The Academic Contribution," (Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, 1986).

January 21 No Class (MLK holiday)


January 28 Distributive ("Win-Lose") vs. Integrative ("Win-Win") Bargaining

Lewicki et al., Negotiation, Sections 3-4 (pp. 79-145)

Fen Osler Hampson, "Cooperative Disputes: Knowing When to Negotiate," in Zartman, Preventive Negotiation (pp. 165- 186).

Peter J.D. Carnevale and Edward J. Lawler, "Time Pressure and the Development of Integrative Agreements in Bilateral Negotiations," The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 30, No. 4. (Dec., 1986), pp. 636-659.


February 4 Negotiation Breakdown: When Bargaining Fails

Lewicki et al., Negotiation, Section 12 (pp. 397-418)

Bryan M. Downie, "When Negotiations Fail: Causes of Breakdown and Tactics for Breaking the Stalemate," Negotiation Journal (April 1991): 175-186.

Roy Licklider, "The consequences of negotiated settlements in civil wars, 1945-1993,"
American Political Science Review 89:3 (1995): 681-690.

Kaare Strom, "The Presthus Debacle: Intraparty Politics and Bargaining Failure in Norway," American Political Science Review 88:1 (1994): 112-127.




February 11 Power in Negotiation

Lewicki et al., Negotiation, Chapter 6-1 (pp. 180-192)

Heinz Waelchli and Dhavan Shah, "Crisis Negotiations Between Unequals: Lessons from a Classic Dialogue," Negotiation Journal 10 (1994): 129-145.

Ellen Giebels, Carsten K W de Dreu and Evert van de Vliert, "The alternative negotiator as the invisible third at the table: The impact of potency information," International Journal of Conflict Management 9:1 (1998): 5-21.

William Mark Habeeb and I. William Zartman, "The Panama Canal Negotiations" (Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, 1989).

February 18 Ethics in Negotiation

Lewicki et al., Negotiation, Section 7 (pp. 225-268).

Richard Christie, "The Machiavellis among Us," Psychology Today (1970).

Rodney A. Snyder, "Negotiating with Terrorists: TWA Flight 847" (Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, 1988).

David R. Mapel, "Prudence and the Plurality of Value in International Ethics," Journal of Politics 52:2 (1990): 433-456.

February 25 Mini-Midterm (first hour of class)

Cultural and Behavioral Approaches to Studying Differences in Negotiations

Lewicki et al., Negotiation, Sections 8, 10-11 (pp. 269-309, 339-396).


March 4 No Class (Spring Break)





March 11 Analytical Issues in Multilateral and International Negotiations: Alliances & Coalition Theory

Lewicki et al., Negotiation, Section 9 (pp. 311-338).

David A. Lax and James K. Sebenius, "Thinking Coalitionally," in H. Peyton Young, ed., Negotiation Analysis (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991).

David A. Lax and James K. Sebenius, "Negotiating through an Agent," The Journal of Conflict Resolution 35:3 (1991): 474-493.


March 18 Third-Party Intervention in Negotiations: Mediation & Arbitration

Lewicki et al., Negotiation, Section 13 (pp. 419-469).

Steven J. Brams et al., "Arbitration Procedures," in H. Peyton Young, ed., Negotiation Analysis (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991).

Marieke Kleiboer, "Understanding Success and Failure of International Mediation," The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 40, No. 2. (1996), pp. 360-389.


March 25 "Breakthrough Negotiation": Foundations of the Breakthrough Approach

Watkins and Rosegrant, Breakthrough International Negotiation, pp. 1-130


April 1 Breakthrough Negotiation in Practice

Watkins and Rosegrant, Breakthrough International Negotiation, pp. 131-306.




April 8 Preventive diplomacy I: Concept and Reality

Zartman, Preventive Negotiation (Chapters 1-6)

April 15 Preventive Diplomacy II: Cases

Zartman, Preventive Negotiation (Chapters 8-14)

April 22 Putting It All Together: Case Simulation I

The Cristóbal Colón Project

April 29 Putting It All Together: Case Simulation II

The Israel-P.L.O. Declaration of Principles


May 3 Research paper due

May 6 Exam (5:00-7:00)


Note: This course syllabus provides a general plan for the course; deviations may be necessary.

Note: Students are responsible for the information contained in the Universityís Academic Honesty policy http://www.gsu.edu/%7Ewwwreg/ugcat2002/acadreg.pdf. While the penalty for academic dishonesty is a matter of the instructor's discretion, in the Department of Political Science the customary penalty for a violation of the academic dishonesty rules is an "F" in the course.

Note: The last day to drop and receive a "W" is March 11.