Research

By PON Staffon / MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program

“Action-research” is a hallmark of the Public Disputes Program, with faculty and graduate students undertaking projects that help both to build negotiation theory and to explain how and why particular processes may or may not work.

For instance, PDP (with support from the General Electric Foundation) has documented the Environmental Protection Agency’s experiments with “reg neg,” or regulatory negotiation. This technique is aimed at broadening participation in the government’s rulemaking process before draft regulations are issued, thereby improving the chances that the regulations will be viewed as legitimate and stimulate compliance.

Another example of this kind of activity is PDP’s extensive involvement in global environmental negotiation, research which has led to the publication of several books and numerous journal articles. The most recent book is Transboundary Environmental Negotiation: A New Approach to Global Cooperation, by Susskind, Moomaw and Gallagher, published in 2002 by Jossey-Bass.