Beyond Machiavelli Tools for Coping with Conflict

The Essential Tool for Successfully Resolving Conflict. A powerful blueprint for managing conflict — international, local, or personal.

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The book’s title refers to Machiavelli’s book The Prince, where he asks the question: “What advice would you give a prince?” Similarly, the authors ask readers to step into the role of Machiavelli, encouraging them to develop advice that might influence or persuade decision makers in their lives.

A primary assumption underlying the book is the idea that individual actions make a difference on a global scale. The authors argue that what is called “international relations” is actually the cumulative effect of hundreds of daily decisions. In order to take a closer look at the decision making process, they break decisions down into two parts. First, they look at who needs to make decision in order to take constructive action. For example, where are choices weighed and decisions made, and by which individuals, committees, and departments? Next they ask, what is the best advice someone could give to those decision makers? The book concentrates on what to do in order to develop the best professional advice and to target it effectively. The book adopts the style of a handbook or how-to manual, encouraging an activist and problem-solving approach to dealing with the current challenges facing the world.


The book provide explicit guidelines to create:

  • A checklist of steps to analyze a conflict
  • A set of analytic tools to figure out why a conflict has not been settled and to develop new approaches
  • An action plan including materials to have in hand in order to present ideas persuasively to another party, such as:
  • A two-page digest of our proposal
  • A one-page of "talking points" that can be easily understood
  • A to do list of who will do what tomorrow morning

Beyond Machiavelli Tools for Coping with Conflict Attributes

Author: Roger Fisher, Elizabeth Kopelman, and Andrea Kupfer Schneider
Publisher: New York, NY: Penguin Press, 1996