chapter  4
32 Pages

Engaging in settlement negotiations

Regardless of the existing boundary and territorial disputes throughout the world, compromise may become pos sible because a state’s claim over a disputed territory carries both bene fits and costs. When these costs outweigh the value of contested territory, compromise becomes more attractive than confrontation. The cost a state bears for pressing territorial disputes opens a bargaining space in which concessions over contested territory can be exchanged for other goals that a state may seek. When the bi lat eral (or multi lateral) ties between the states become more im port ant, coopera tion in and delaying the settlement of their ter­ ritorial disputes will become more attractive than continuing to press claims. However, conflict res olu tion and cross-border coopera tion cannot be achieved automatically in disputed areas. The art or style of settlement nego ti ations also mat ters. In this chapter, several negotiating mech an isms or techniques are sug­ gested for the settlement of boundary and territorial disputes. Specifically, they comprise (1) the round table talk; (2) third-party medi ation; (3) inter na tional arbit ra tion; (4) litigation at inter na tional court; and (5) the shelving disputes strat egy.1 These negotiating techniques can be used to seek a cessation of hostili­ ties and to facilitate cooperative behavior as a peaceful means to end a conflict or, when a conflict is largely in tract able, reduce the ten sions in cross-border areas.