chapter  7
11 Pages

Prenegotiation: Phases and functions

Prenegotiation is such a troublesome phase concept. There is no doubt that there is something before negotiation, but it is less clear whether it is a prelude to or a part of negotiation, whether there is a difference in nature between these two, how sharp the boundaries are and how reversible the flows, or what the relation is to other contextual events such as crises and regimes. These are questions that this volume seeks to confront and elucidate. This attention to prenegotiation is timely and appropriate, for while a number of writers have identified it as an important element of the overall process of negotiation, few have developed the concept. Practitioners, in particular, emphasize that the usual academic treatment of negotiation as beginning when the parties sit down at the table in fact takes no account of the most challenging phase of preparations and therefore misses an important aspect of the process of narrowing disagreement between parties.