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By G.R. Berridge

Fully revised and up-to-date, this complete advisor to international relations explores the artwork of negotiating foreign agreements and the channels wherein such actions happen while states are in diplomatic kin, and after they usually are not. This new version contains chapters on mystery intelligence and fiscal and advertisement diplomacy.

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This is because the parties to any negotiation generally approach them in the expectation that they will have to give concessions on some items in order to receive them on others. It is natural for them to demand that the latter should be discussed first. This creates the impression of strength and avoids trouble at home; in addition, it might lead the other side to be generous with its concessions in the hope that this will be reciprocated further down the agenda. Calculations of this sort were evident during important negotiations between the South African government and the shipping companies in the Europe–South Africa trade in late 1965 and early 1966.

If, on the other hand, powerful third parties are positioning themselves to act as mediators (see Chapter 17), they might be able – for example, by regulating the flow of arms to the rivals – to engineer a stalemate. In bitter conflicts where the stakes are high, as in that between the Indians and the Pakistanis over Kashmir, acceptance of a stalemate nearly always takes a long time. When the issues concern core values and perhaps even survival itself, there will be enormous reluctance to accept that another party has the ability to block achievement of one’s aspirations or permanently threaten an otherwise satisfactory status quo.

And this is the procedure adopted for summit meetings of the member states of the EU, the European Council. Venue, however, is not only of symbolic importance because of its implications for prestige; it might also be of symbolic significance because of the ability of a particular venue to assist one or other of the parties in making some point of propaganda. For example, Israel has generally wanted talks with the Arabs to take place in the Middle East, as was the case with some of the negotiations with Egypt after 1977 and also with the PLO after 1993.

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