International Negotiation

International negotiation requires the ability to meet special challenges and deal with the unknown. Even those experienced in cross-cultural communication can sometimes work against their own best interests during international negotiations. Skilled business negotiators know how to analyze each situation, set up negotiations in ways that are advantageous for their side, cope with cultural differences, deal with foreign bureaucracies, and manage the international negotiation process to reach a deal.

The Program on Negotiation notes that in any international negotiation, several critical tactics should be considered:

  • Research your counterpart’s background and experience.
  • Enlist an adviser from your counterpart’s culture.
  • Pay close attention to unfolding negotiation dynamics.

Researchers have confirmed a relationship between national culture and negotiation style and success. An ongoing project sponsored by Northwestern University’s Dispute Resolution Research Center is exploring the link between process and outcomes—specifically, how cultural tendencies lead to certain process choices, which, in turn, can lead to better or worse negotiation results.

For example, while conventional wisdom tends to hold that there’s strength in numbers, some cultures may dislike being faced with a sizeable negotiating team, poisoning the negotiations right from the start.

At the same time, diplomatic negotiations, such as those between the U.S. and Iran over nuclear capabilities, can be quite different from business negotiations. For example, it’s critical to maintain a reputation for impartiality, and to be aware how your international goals potentially interact and contradict, so you can establish a consistent stance in your relations with groups you are trying to woo.

Finally, due to the enormous influence of China in today’s world markets, PON offers numerous insights into Chinese negotiation styles, which include a strong emphasis on relationships, a lack of interest in ironclad contracts, a slow dealmaking process and widespread opportunism.

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“The Military and the Media: Two Perspectives- Iraq and Pakistan”

PON Staff   •  03/14/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Events, International Negotiation, The Kelman Seminar

“The Military and the Media:  Two Perspectives– Iraq and Pakistan”

with

Wajahat Khan,
and

Emma Sky

Date: March 29, 2011

Time: 4:00-6:00 PM

Where: Knafel Building, 1737 Cambridge Street,
Bowie Vernon Room (Room N-262), Cambridge MA
Contact Chair: Donna Hicks (dhicks@wcfia.harvard.edu).

Speaker Bios
Emma Sky left Iraq in September 2010, where she had served for three years as Political Advisor to General … Learn More About This Program 

“Understanding public protests in Egypt and Iran: What is similar, what is different”

PON Staff   •  02/18/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Events, International Negotiation, The Kelman Seminar

“Understanding public protests in Egypt and Iran: What is similar, what is different”

with

Hoochang Chehabi
and
Nazila Fathi
Date: February 22, 2011

Time: 4:00-6:00 PM

Where: Knafel Building, 1737 Cambridge Street,
Bowie Vernon Room (Room N-262), Cambridge MA
Contact Chair: Donna Hicks (dhicks@wcfia.harvard.edu).

Speaker Bios
Houchang Chehabi is Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University. He specializes in Middle … Learn More About This Program 

The Longest War: Challenges and Negotiation Strategies in Afghanistan

PON Staff   •  02/16/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Events, International Negotiation, Opportunities for Students, Student Events

“The Longest War: Challenges and Negotiation
Strategies in Afghanistan”
with
Hassina Sherjan and Michael O’Hanlon
co-authors of “Toughing It Out In Afghanistan”

 
Date: February 18, 2011

Time: 12:00PM to 1:30PM
Where: Hauser Hall, Room 105, Harvard Law School Campus
Bring your lunch. Drinks and dessert will be served.
Click here for a campus map.

About the Speakers
Hassina Sherjan is the president of Aid … Learn More About This Program 

Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood – Obstacles to Peace in the Middle East or Opportunities?

PON Staff   •  02/12/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Events, International Negotiation

“Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood-
Obstacles to Peace in the Middle East or Opportunities?”
with

Robert Pastor
Date: February 15, 2011

Time: 12:00PM to 1:30PM
Where: Pound Hall, Room 202, Harvard Law School Campus
The foreign policy of the United States and its allies have been based on the premise that all three organizations are immutable threats to … Learn More About This Program 

Norwegian Foreign Minister visits PON

PON Staff   •  12/16/2010   •  Filed in Daily, International Negotiation

On December 6, 2010, faculty and associates from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School met at a private lunch with Norway’s Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Store, and the ambassador of Norway to the U.S., Wegger Chr. Strommen. At the meeting, the Foreign Minister described how he helped bring decades of negotiation with the … Read Norwegian Foreign Minister visits PON 

New PON Teaching Materials About the Work of Martti Ahtisaari, 2010 Great Negotiator Award Recipient

PON Staff   •  12/09/2010   •  Filed in Daily, International Negotiation, Negotiation Skills, Pedagogy at PON

The Program on Negotiation’s 2010 Great Negotiator Award was given to former Finnish President, Martti Ahtisaari, for his many significant achievements in the fields of negotiation and diplomacy. He was central to the Namibian independence negotiations in the late 1980s. He also served as chief United Nations negotiator to Kosovo from 2005-2006, and was instrumental … Learn More About This Program 

The Kosovo Model for Mideast Peace

PON Staff   •  11/18/2010   •  Filed in Daily, International Negotiation

Nir Eisikovits (director of  Suffolk University’s Graduate Program in Ethics and Public Policy) and Ehud Eiran (associate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School)

“Once Israelis and Palestinians start talking to each other again, all parties may need to find a new way of thinking about what these fragile negotiations … Read The Kosovo Model for Mideast Peace 

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