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Elusive Peace: How Modern Diplomatic Strategies Could Better Resolve World…

par Douglas E. Noll

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This in-depth analysis goes behind the headlines to understand why crucial negotiations fail. The author argues that diplomats often enter negotiations with flawed assumptions about human behavior, sovereignty, and power. Essentially, the international community is using a model of European diplomacy dating back to the 18th century to solve the complex problems of the 21st century. Through numerous examples, the author shows that the key failure in current diplomatic efforts is the entrenched belief that nations, through their representatives, will act rationally to further their individual political, economic, and strategic interests. However, the contemporary scientific understanding of how people act and see their world does not support this assumption. On the contrary, research from decision-making theory, behavioral economics, social neuropsychology, and current best practices in mediation indicate that emotional and irrational factors often have as much, if not more, to do with the success or failure of a mediated solution. Reviewing a wide range of conflicts and negotiations, Noll demonstrates that the best efforts of negotiators often failed because they did not take into account the deep-seated values and emotions of the disputing parties. In conclusion, Noll draws on his own long experience as a professional mediator to describe the process of building trust and creating a climate of empathy that is the key to successful negotiation and can go a long way toward resolving even seemingly intractable conflicts.… (plus d'informations)

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Diplomacy, it is suppose to cure the ails of the world. To stop wars, solve famines, and the bring the different sides of a conflict together to work towards peace. But often times that peace is fragile and does not last for long. Is the problem diplomacy itself, diplomats focused on the big headline, or is it still stuck in the previous century? The answer is all three according to Douglas Noll. He argues that diplomats still think it is the 1800s, they are using strategies that do not work in a modern world, and people rely on big names to swoop down to fix things immediately and then leave. Mr. Noll makes the case for better strategies, to focus less on the big names and more on actually getting results. He would like to see more mediation of conflicts happen, rather than the traditional diplomatic approach. His examples are mainly failed diplomatic examples, and how the issue would have been solved through mediation. || The book is not that bad, his argument is persuasive. One of the problems is the role playing examples he gives are not that well written and hard to read; almost cringe worthy. It moves along at a nice pace, though I wish he made room to explain some of the words he used throughout the book. ( )
  Wabbit98 | Oct 26, 2011 |
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This in-depth analysis goes behind the headlines to understand why crucial negotiations fail. The author argues that diplomats often enter negotiations with flawed assumptions about human behavior, sovereignty, and power. Essentially, the international community is using a model of European diplomacy dating back to the 18th century to solve the complex problems of the 21st century. Through numerous examples, the author shows that the key failure in current diplomatic efforts is the entrenched belief that nations, through their representatives, will act rationally to further their individual political, economic, and strategic interests. However, the contemporary scientific understanding of how people act and see their world does not support this assumption. On the contrary, research from decision-making theory, behavioral economics, social neuropsychology, and current best practices in mediation indicate that emotional and irrational factors often have as much, if not more, to do with the success or failure of a mediated solution. Reviewing a wide range of conflicts and negotiations, Noll demonstrates that the best efforts of negotiators often failed because they did not take into account the deep-seated values and emotions of the disputing parties. In conclusion, Noll draws on his own long experience as a professional mediator to describe the process of building trust and creating a climate of empathy that is the key to successful negotiation and can go a long way toward resolving even seemingly intractable conflicts.

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