Applying Negotiation Skills to Bill Clinton Approach Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Applying Negotiation Skills to Bill Clinton Approach to Freeing the Two Journalist for North Korea

For any solution to be reached, it is important that the two involved parties are ready to talk and come to a point of solution, which would be best for all concerned. It also means that a certain spirit of sacrifice and patience if required to better understand the point-of-view of the other party.

There seems to be a growing emphasis on the power of dialogue to resolve issues between various parties, so much so that today, dialoguing and negotiation is fast becoming an art form, which requires thorough research about the other party as well as a knowledge of every aspect that may play a part in securing the deal in the manner in which you want it to play out.

But things do tend to get a bit distorted when the political arena is involved. In the political sphere, a lot of time morality needs to take a back seat, so that the proper functioning can take place, which best suits the national interest of a country, even at the cost of ignoring what is right or wrong, and what is in the best interest of the other nation. This National Interest is in a fact the true driving force behind any nations way of dealing with its friends and foe's and also helps in clearing up, for a general audience, the sort of ties that any two nation's may maintain between them.

However, sometime even two countries with the worst political history may need to come to terms with each other, because of their own national interest. And in such a situation, one of the best tools that can be applied to this scenario is "Negotiation."

The importance of Negotiation as the most vital tool in International Relations can't be denied, but despite this the apparent role of Negotiation, it has always been mistaken or understood as a "parallel process that takes place during war" to end the hostilities being played out with full force (Iragorri, Revista De Derecho, Universidad Del Norte). The role that negotiations can play in avoiding this situation in the first place is altogether ignored. However, negotiation when applied properly and with respect can be a great tool to reverse or avoid confrontational situation altogether.

Understanding Negotiation

Negotiations can simply be defined as the way to reach an agreement between two parties, and of course reaching an agreement between two people, both working to secure the best deal for themselves, can truly make the entire process a daunting challenge for anyone. A lot of give and take needs to take place in the entire process and sacrifices tends to be the norm of the day when two parties finally decide to sit together and come to terms on a matter.

The process all together simply gets more complicated when the negotiation process is taking place between two countries, in which instead of personal gains, you have national interests to cater to and for!

In order for a negotiation to be successful, it becomes increasingly essential to have two factors, which would be the main contributor for even a negotiation to take place, these factors being common interest and conflict over that interests (Iragorri, Revista De Derecho, Universidad Del Norte). On the basis of these factors, a process of compromises and agreements would be reached, until a point is reached where both of the parties are substantially content with what they sought to gain through the negotiating process.

Negotiating - The Necessary Skills

Considering the fact that mostly negotiating can be a very tricky business, it needs to be kept in mind that every small gesture counts. Therefore, it is important when entering into a dialogue that certain precautions are taken into account, the most basic of these being the table manners. It is essential that the choice of language and the gestures, especially body language is being played out and how it might be interpreted by the other person. Therefore it becomes essential to even take into account the cultural differences, since they play a very important role in interpreting the actions for the other party -- this being more important in the case of a discussion taking place between two countries (Garcha)

One of the major determining and interesting point of any negotiating discussion is that in 99% of the scenario one can always know or predict what the other side would want to get out of this deal. Therefore how the deal is negotiated becomes a matter of prime importance. At this point, negotiating in a fact becomes an art performance, where cues need to be taken from the other side. Again these cues can be coming from the thinking that is being influenced by culture (Garcha), or from the historical or political background in which the negotiation is taking place.

In a negotiating process, a constant effort is taking place in which one party tries to influence the thinking, result and the outcome of the discussion. Nevertheless, for the talks to be successful, one needs to allow for themselves to be influenced too, weigh in which factors would be more suitable for them and which would be more damaging in the long run (Maiese, 2003).

Again since the demands from each side are known, when two parties finally get on the discussion table, one already has an idea what to give in, in order to make the deal happen, or what would be the best answer or sacrificing point on anyone of the possible demands that can be made. One also have chance to do enough research of the implication of each step for both of the parties.

However, there can be other outcomes to the process of negotiations; these being to either accept the terms of the agreement, to simple call of the entire process of negotiating -- a much likely situation to happen when one party is not getting what they want to out of the entire process, or "to improve the available terms through further bargaining" (Iragorri, Revista De Derecho, Universidad Del Norte).

Case Study: Negotiating between two Countries

Many negotiation agreements have now become part of history, in how and what they were able to deliver and how successful they were in the first place. Studying these case studies can give the idea of how the negotiating process between two nations is undoubtedly based and their outcomes the consequences of the National interest at stake.

Palestine and Israel, Talks between Sadat and Begin

The conflict on the Israel-Palestine issue has been playing out since 1948, with the birth of Israel and the ultimate taking over of the Palestinian territory. Since then the conflict has simply increased in magnitude with the loss of lives over it amounting to millions. Many attempts had been made to bring this issue on the discussion table and resolve it; however, none have been successful in this regard. The scale of the conflict had escalated so much that many countries including Egypt by the end of 1973 had already fought three wars with Israel, first in 1956 and then again in 1967 and again in 1973.

It was due to Anwar Sadat in 1972 that a possible point of negotiation was made apparent, when he hinted that a peace deal could be reached with Israel if the occupied territories were returned. However, since a negotiating party like the U.S.A., which could cater the deal on behalf of Egypt, didn't give any heed to this, the opportunity passed away. However, when the realization did come, talks were arranged between Israel and the various stake holders of the Middle East -- the majority being that of Muslims nation! Undoubtedly the talks failed, since the equilibrium of balance was on one side and the interests of Israel were being shadowed over by the Muslim nation Majority.

Finally in the year 1977, the visit of Anwar Sadat to Knesset, Jerusalem became the historic event which recognized Israel as a nation by the Egyptian Government. But it needs to be understood that this step was taken only in the national interest of Egypt -- a great driving force for any negotiation between two nations, and were reciprocated by Israel on the basis of what it can gain out of this.

This step was taken when the arrangement of another round of Middle East's stakeholders was in the process of being arranged, and if that would have happened, then there was a possibility that the Egyptian would have had to sacrifice the Sinai Desert forever to the Israeli's in the pressure of the greater pan-Arab interests. This was in light of the fact that Egyptians knew exactly where it stood in the Muslim World and the consequences to what bilateral talks with Israel might be able to deliver as compared to multilateral talks -- in which the Egyptian interests would be lost forever.

Talks took place for a great part of 1978 without…

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