Power Imbalances in Mediation: A student note by Amrita Narine

By Amrita Narine*

In recent years, mediation has become increasingly popular and now represents a viable option for parties in a variety of scenarios. Despite its rising popularity, mediation has received mixed responses because of the potential to entrench preexisting power imbalances. This paper will explore the usefulness of mediation when dealing with an imbalanced power dynamic.

In part I, this paper will focus on defining power within mediation. Part II will explore the critiques of mediation in situations where there is an imbalanced power dynamic and specifically delve into gendered imbalances and employment imbalances. After exploring the critiques and responses to them, part III will focus on specific techniques that a mediator can use to help balance out the power dynamics at play and offer best practices for dealing with power imbalances.

Read the full paper here.

*Amrita Narine is a third year JD student at Harvard Law School. She currently serves as the Managing Editor for the Harvard Negotiation Law Review and previously served as Submissions Editor. She graduated summa cum laude from the Macaulay Honors Program at CUNY Baruch where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Corporate Communications.

Eyes off the Runway: How to Prevent Piracy in Fashion

By Yaseen Eldik and Megan Michaels

“I am not interested in shock tactics. I just want to make beautiful clothes.” -Oscar De La Renta

 Fashion is an ubiquitous force in daily life. What to wear—and certainly what not to—is a deliberate choice for most individuals—a choice that inevitably forms a part of one’s identity. This manner of self-expression plays an ineluctable role in how one presents oneself socially and how one is perceived by others.1 As humans subconsciously and consciously react to visual cues, they judge others based on the clothing they wear. The Oxford English Dictionary captures the ambidexterity of the word “fashion”: it is to “make, build, shape; [so] in [a] wider sense, [it includes] visible characteristics [and] appearance [which can be] said both of material and of immaterial things.”2 This definition recognizes that fashion is a form of art.”3

Why then, have fashion designs been denied the same protection under United States’ intellectual property laws that other art forms, such as painting, sculpture, and even architecture, have been granted? The most common argument is that copyright law does not extend to fashion because clothing is strictly a “useful article”4 that serves the purpose of covering and protecting one’s body, and copyright does not protect utilitarian works.5 Others argue that fashion trends are fleeting and are recycled too often in order to warrant any period of protection.6 However, these and similar arguments do not adequately address the present text of the newest legislative proposal, the Innovative Design and Protection and Piracy Prevention Act (IDPPPA).

Fashion is a critical component of the United States economy and one of the most pervasive features of American culture; and as such, every designer and consumer is affected by the implications of this debate. Therefore, the United States must amend its current statutes or propose new regulations to grant property rights to designers and legal protection to their original ideas. This article intends to present to proponents and critics of design protection, a framework for reaching an agreement. Reframing the debate can help achieve a level of consensus such that a design copyright bill, like the IDPPPA, can be passed successfully. This article will examine the current laws that provide limited rights to designers in the United States. It will then evaluate the arguments that are made against the extension of copyright law proposed in the IDPPPA. Finally, the article will demonstrate the negative effect that the lack of design right has on the American economy, contrast the domestic legal regime with the European landscape, and recommend amendments to U.S. law based on European precedent.

Continue Reading Here

*Yaseen Eldik and Megan Michaels are second year JD students at Harvard Law School.

____________________________________________________
1The Value of Style, Psych. Today (July 1, 2005), http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200507/the-value-style.
2Fashion, Oxford English Dictionary, http://www.oed.com.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/view/Entry/68389?rskey=1MFaOV&result=1#eid (last visited Sept. 25 2014).
3Art is “The expression or application of creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting, drawing, or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” Art, Oxford English Dictionary, http://www.oed.com.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/view/Entry/11125?rskey=tgrlPJ&result=1&isAdvanced=false#eid (last visited Sept. 25 2014).
4Useful article is defined in 17 U.S.C.S. § 101 as one with “an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey information.”
5Boyds Collection v. Bearington Collection, Inc., 360 F. Supp. 2d 655, 661, (M.D. Pa. 2005).
6See Xiao, Emma Yao, Note, The New Trend, Protecting, American Fashion Designs Through National Copyright Measures, 28 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 417, 436 (2011).

 

 

An Introduction to The Advocates and the Work of Professor Roger Fisher: A Prequel to the Program on Negotiation

 

By R. Lisle Baker, Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School, HLS ‘68 and former advocate on The Advocates.

Before Roger Fisher founded the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, he was nationally recognized for having created an award-winning public affairs television show, The Advocates, which aired on the Public Broadcasting System. Over the course of its five year season, beginning in 1969 (plus additional shows in 1978-79 and in 1984), The Advocates previewed some of the ideas that appeared in Roger’s many writings and, eventually, as part of the Program on Negotiation itself. As such, it may be helpful to HNLR readers to know more about the show.

The Advocates used a modified trial format to debate what Roger called an “important public trouble,” not in the abstract, but in terms of what Roger called “a decidable question”—a situation where someone, whether a public figure or an individual citizen at home, had to decide what to do. Viewers in the studio audience or at home in their living rooms were invited to weigh in by mail, and during the first season, a remote audience on location somewhere else in the country offered their opinions as well. He saw this as part of an effort to help citizens make “public affairs your affairs.”

The Advocates was produced initially through a joint effort by WGBH in Boston and KCET in Los Angeles, two flagship stations in the public broadcasting network. The Advocates addressed issues ranging from civil disobedience to same-sex marriage. In some cases, the shows are more than four decades old, but many of the issues are still timely.

RogerFisher

            [Above is a photograph of the portrait of Professor Roger Fisher by Polly Thayer given by Professor and Mrs. Fisher in 1992, which hangs in the offices of the Program on Negotiation in Pound Hall at Harvard Law School; Photo by Narine Karapetyan; reproduced with permission from the Program on Negotiation and Ms. Karapetyan. ]

When Roger was later teaching the Negotiation Workshop at Harvard Law School, in which I was a participant, he once said that preparing for trial and preparing for negotiation were very similar, except that in negotiation, “the judge you have to persuade is sitting across the table.”

With The Advocates, you begin to get a clear sense of what he meant, in that the judge was really the viewer at home, rather than an adversary or impartial jurist. On the show, Roger played multiple roles: executive editor and moderator of the show during its first season; then later, as an advocate. I saw some of his multifaceted talent in action while I worked with him on the show during that first season. I took a leave of absence from law practice from 1969-70 to appear in thirteen episodes as a Boston-based advocate on the show, arguing one side or another of the issue which was assigned to me and the producers I worked with.

Over time, The Advocates changed into more of a partisan debate on public questions, often with a regular liberal and conservative advocate, or advocates who were publically identified with a specific issue. While this perhaps made for simpler television, the show may have lost some of Roger’s original mission: to frame public choices as necessarily challenging decisions, with positives and negatives for either course of action, rather than right paths versus wrong ones. This was a preview of his later (and famous) “presently perceived choice,” the idea that something which seems sensible to you might look different to someone on the other side of a dispute.

To learn more about The Advocates, Roger Fisher’s role in it, and some of the lessons the show has for us even after over forty years, you can read my more extensive introduction to the show, The Advocates: a retrospective on an important—and still relevant—innovation in public affairs television, reproduced here on the HNLR web site courtesy of WGBH Educational Foundation, Media Library and Archives, which also includes a link to the WGBH Open Vault website about the show.

The WGBH Open Vault website presents many episodes of The Advocates in their entirety, including a newly added episode in which Roger appeared as an advocate opposite William Kunstler on the subject of civil disobedience to the Vietnam War. This episode was shown by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School at a special presentation on February 28, 2013, in preparation for a special Harvard Negotiation Law Review Symposium on Roger’s legacy held at Harvard Law School on March 1, 2013. The article for WGBH grew out of my introduction to that February 28th presentation. This article includes references to clips from that and several other episodes, and also contains a list of The Advocates shows that were produced, as well as links to those shows which have been made available on the WGBH Open Vault.

While Professor Fisher is no longer with us, we can continue to learn from his example.

Main Article

Related sites, archives or other material relevant to The Advocates, Professor Roger Fisher, or the Author, Professor Lisle Baker

Procedural Justice Beyond Borders: Mediation in Ghana

By Jacqueline Nolan-Haley and James Kwasi Annor-Ohene

Abstract

Ghana enacted comprehensive alternative dispute resolution legislation in 2010 with the specific goals of providing access to justice and promoting domestic and foreign direct investment (The Act).  A significant aspect of the Act was the inclusion of customary arbitration and mediation.  The focus of this Article is on mediation as this is the first time that mediation has been included in a statute in Ghana.  The Act’s definition of mediation reflects an understanding of the mediation process based upon the western values of individual autonomy and party self-determination.  These principles represent a significant departure from the more communal values of customary mediation that has traditionally been practiced in Ghana.  Whether the Act has been successful in achieving its “access to justice” goal is too soon to determine.  However, one yardstick for measuring success is the degree to which parties experience procedural justice or fairness when they participate in the mediation process.  Studies show that procedural justice can foster perceptions of legitimacy and where parties report positive experiences of procedural justice, they are generally satisfied with the process and tend to comply with outcomes.

In this Article, we report on a preliminary procedural justice study that we conducted in Ghana during the summer of 2013. Our findings, based on a limited number of participants, suggest that the mediation provisions in the Act are perceived as legitimate and that the common characteristics of procedural justice in Ghana are consistent with the findings on procedural justice in western countries.  The opportunities to express oneself, to be treated respectfully, and to experience fairness in the process, are as highly valued aspects of mediation in the communitarian, collectivist culture of Ghana as they are reported to be in individualistic western cultures.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Unmasking Masculinity in Negotiation Scholarship

By John Miller

Men and women often experience negotiation differently. In fact, many patriarchal societal inequalities play out during negotiations, particularly when men and women negotiate with each other. Researchers like Linda Babcock, Hannah Riley Bowles, and Sara Laschever, to name just a few, have written extensively about how gendered forces in negotiations act upon women in particular.1 Not only are women held to different standards of behavior in a bargaining scenario, but women are also subject to implicit biases attached to their initiation of negotiations in the first place.2 These gendered attitudes also pervade leadership assessments, dictating that women in command must exhibit some traditionally masculine traits while still maintaining social-expected femininity.3

Once we acknowledge that gender roles are socially constructed, and not biologically inherent,4 we begin to see how women and men are trained to play certain gender roles, deviations from which are met with discomfort and even scorn.5 Invariably, many scholars’ conclusions suggest numerous ways to mitigate the difference between men and women in negotiation outcomes, affording women greater success in negotiations and the benefits that follow.

This line of analysis, and its subsequent conclusions, actually reflects a problem with much gender-based research. In much of the literature on negotiation and gender, maleness is treated as a measuring stick to compare to women’s progress in various positive outcomes. The problems are framed in comparison to male performance, and the solutions are dictated in terms of what women can do,6 or when they mention men at all, in terms of what men should do differently to help women.7 The advice is certainly useful, but it carries the assumption that masculinity is a unitary constant. Gendered research into masculinity has exposed not one, but a multitude of masculinities, acting upon men in ways unaccounted for in gendered negotiation research.8 And many of these masculinities are dominated and subservient to the same organizational patriarchy that feminism seeks to topple.9  The problem I seek to identify is a general disregard of men as anything more than a monolithic control group, considering the vast sociological and psychological evidence to the contrary.

This article will begin by explaining the anti-essentialist notion of multiple masculinity theory as it is currently understood, demonstrating the complexity missing from arguments that assume all men to operate under and happily conform to one definition of masculinity. I will then identify various issues of masculinity in negotiation scholarship that are either unexplored or underexplored, and develop why these issues are so important in the on-going conversation about negotiation and gender. The aim is not to belie the underperformance of women in negotiations, but instead to demonstrate how the dialogue must change to account for a more comprehensive view of masculinity and the forces it exerts upon both men and women in negotiation.

 

John Miller is a second year JD student at Harvard Law School. 

 


1 See generally Linda Babcock et al., Nice Girls Don’t Ask, Harv. Bus. Rev., October 2003, http://hbr.org/2003/10/nice-girls-dont-ask/; Hannah Riley Bowles et al., Social Incentives for Gender Differences in the Propensity to Initiate Negotiations: Sometimes It Does Hurt to Ask, 103 Org. Behav. and Hum. Decision Processes 84, 85 (2007)

2 Hannah Riley Bowles et al., Social Incentives for Gender Differences in the Propensity to Initiate Negotiations: Sometimes It Does Hurt to Ask, 103 Org. Behav. and Hum. Decision Processes 84, 85 (2007)

3 Id.

4 See Ann C. McGinley, Creating Masculine Identities: Bullying and Harassment “Because of Sex”, 79 U. Colo. L. Rev. 1151, 1161-62 (2008)

5 Bowles, supra note 2, at 86

6 See Bowles, supra Note 2; Linda Babcock et al., Nice Girls Don’t Ask, Harv. Bus.Rev., October 2003, http://hbr.org/2003/10/nice-girls-dont-ask/

7 Andrew Cohn, Women and Negotiation: Why and How Men Should Come to the Bargaining Table, 1 Oxford Leadership J. 1, 2 (2010)

8 David S. Cohen, Keeping Men “Men” and Women Down: Sex Segregation, Anti-Essentialism, and Masculinity, 332 Harv. J. L. & Gender 509, 521 (2010)

9 Id. at 522

How Obama Can Be “Tuff” in Syria

By Robert C. Bordone and Alonzo Emery

We haven’t been able to shake the image: 20 year-old Michael Brandon Hill enters a packed elementary school in Decatur, Georgia armed with an AK-47 assault rifle.  He seems determined to make the start of the school year a day of grief, tragedy and death. Amazingly, the school bookkeeper, Antoinette Tuff intervenes by using listening and dialogue to negotiate the terms of peaceful resolution.  The incident all captured during a taped 911 phone call.

When President Obama phoned Tuff to applaud her fortitude on that August day, Tuff alluded to the President’s example, saying to him, “I learned from the best.”

The President could actually learn a great deal from Tuff, especially as he decides how to respond to the Syrian crisis. Although the local community context Tuff found herself in and the geopolitical one faced by the President differ in important ways, essential lessons from Tuff’s harrowing experience can inform how we face this conflict and the inevitable conflicts we encounter in the future.

Build affiliation. At first glance, Hill and Tuff shared little in common. Barriers of race, gender, age, and life station divided them, not to mention the gulf separating a heavily armed man from a defenseless school employee. Still Tuff found a way to connect to Hill’s humanity. Instead of shutting Hill out by building a wall around herself, she did the opposite, saying, “Don’t feel bad, baby.  My husband just left me after 33 years. I am sitting with you and talking with you about it.  I’ve got a son that’s multiple disabled.”

In the face of conflict – and especially in the face of a gunman poised to kill – we understandably forget the humanity of our counterpart and what we might share in common.  At the height of her terror, Tuff built affiliation with her captor, “My mother was a Hill”, that opened Michael Hill to exploring solutions other than gunfire and mass murder.  Although Hill was the proximate cause of the problem that day, Tuff engaged him as a joint problem solver.

Despite the deafening beat of war drums, President Obama might consider how best to listen carefully through the din and use what he learns to build the type of affiliation that can lead to a more peaceful solution. The President can look to ongoing talks with world leaders as opportunities to build affiliation with those who can use their leverage with the ruling Syrian regime.  By avoiding ultimatums and fiery rhetoric, the President can learn from Antoinette Tuff by framing his engagement with other leaders as an invitation to bringing a shared problem to an acceptable end.

Build them a step, build them a golden bridge. There is a common saying in China: “For people to descend from the stage, you must provide a step.”  The allusion is to the stage of conflict and the provision of an exit for its protagonists. Western experts in conflict resolution offer similar advice, using the evocative image of building a golden bridge for your negotiation counterpart to cross to the same side. Without providing the step, without the bridge, parties become entrenched and conflict escalates.

In Decatur, Antoinette Tuff told Hill with astonishing composure: “We are not going to hate you, baby…it is a good thing you are giving up.” Thus, Hill could step down from the heights of conflict and cross a bridge to something that seemed crucially different than failure.

The people of Syria do not enjoy the luxury of time. If there is to be an alternative to direct military conflict, the global community must act quickly to find a step from which Assad and his supporters can descend and a bridge toward something worth saying ‘yes’ to.  As Tuff’s example suggests, this is not an exercise in weakness or a bridge to impunity; rather it is a strategic move to accomplish a limited but critical goal: the end of civilian casualties. In the end, both Hill and Assad must answer for their crimes.

As the U.S. weighs its options in Syria and continues to build strategy to persuade world leaders, President Obama can “learn from the best” in Antoinette Tuff by extracting two valuable lessons from her heroism: Create a sense of affiliation with those influencing the outcome. Build a golden bridge that allows the other to end conflict swiftly. Lessons learned from Tuff might fare as well in Damascus as they did in Decatur.

 

Robert C. Bordone is the Thaddeus R. Beal Clinical Professor of Law and the Director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program at Harvard Law School. Alonzo Emery is a Lecturer on Law and Clinical Instructor at Harvard Law School.

 

Let’s Try a Presidential Dialogue

By Robert C. Bordone and Heather Scheiwe Kulp

UPDATE: See the authors’ related Los Angeles Times op-ed here.

After the first presidential debate, it was hard to tell whether the pollsters and pundits were talking about the NFL or the candidates’ meeting.  President Obama’s “prevent defense” and “two-yard runs down the middle” were criticized, while Romney was said to have “spiked the football.”

If the presidential debate was reported more as a sporting event, the vice presidential debate seemed more a horror movie. The next day’s newsbytes cited the Vice President’s “show of teeth” and “barroom brawling” and Rep. Paul Ryan’s “lacerating blows.” Some even called Biden “unhinged.”

As conflict resolution professionals whose entire professional lives are devoted to teaching others how to listen more effectively to each other and engage in genuine, learning dialogue, we had high hopes for the “town hall” format of Tuesday’s Presidential debate. Here, at last, would be a chance for a real conversation between citizens and candidates and, as the format originally intended, between the two candidates themselves. The format, in theory, would invite both candidates to respond directly to questions from undecided voters in the room, making the kind of hand-to-hand, tit-for-tat jousting of previous debates more unseemly and inappropriate in front of the seated citizens.

But joust and tussle they did, all night long.  By the time the first question from an undecided voter had been answered, the citizen/voters in the room were relegated to mere pawns, props in the candidate’s epic battle.  CBS’ Norah O’Donnell wondered afterward whether the candidates might even come to blows at times.

Sadly, at home, we too kept score. We tweeted and we blogged. We cheered when our candidate had a good zinger.  We booed when the other seemed out-of-line.

So how is it that during these debates, even we, purported conflict resolution professionals, were so easily sucked into a win/lose mentality? After all, virtually every day we counsel our own students that it is precisely in situations where stakes are high and emotions are strong—like in this election—that deploying conflict management skills matter most.

In the past few election cycles, news coverage of debates has come to resemble more closely SportsCenter or TMZ than considered engagement of nuanced issues in a representative democracy. The language of performance has seeped into our political speech, even with processes that did not used to be so fraught with scorekeeping.

The Lincoln-Douglas senatorial debates give some historical perspective. The original debates were a series of seven three-hour conversations between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas designed to inform the citizenry about a shared value—freedom—and which slavery policies would best preserve that value in America. Thousands of rural Midwesterners came out to participate. After each debate, newspapers around the country published the full text, so other citizens could engage the material around their own pot roasts, pool halls, and church pews.

But when the post-debate talk  ̶  both on TV and in our own homes – is more about who won the 140-character Tweet fight than about the deeper values, priorities, and visions articulated by the candidates, something has gone awry.  Voters have been transformed from active citizens to mere political spectators.

With entertainment rhetoric firmly in place, “We the People” too often mistake a presidential or senatorial debate for a WWF wrestling match.  We voter/fans consume product pitches and spit back chants (“De-fense! De-fense”) instead of expecting that our political leaders engage in fruitful dialogue. Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen even admitted that the debates were “theater,” designed so that voters can “see great performances because it helps [a party] spread the word that this is a ticket worth buying.”

So are presidential debates doomed to be just another excuse to gather friends, family, and other partisans around snacks and beer to enjoy the show?

We hope not. Political entertainment does little good for the voters or the country.  Despite the troubling dumbing-down of our political campaigns and news coverage of them, we believe that at heart most of us still tune in to the debates because we want to understand how the candidates will address the most challenging and important issues of the day.

But form must follow function. The current debate structure, with two-minute-per-candidate answers to questions, whether from a reporter or a hapless undecided voter, along with the endless post-game scorekeeping-posing-as-analysis, doesn’t allow such discussion.

Because the current meaning of “debate” is so fraught with analogies to sport and show, we question if debate is what the country really needs. Perhaps we ought to reframe and retitle these important national moments as “Presidential Dialogues” and invite our candidates to model a productive, positive discourse for the American people, one that will be necessary if either of them is likely to be successful as our next leader.

Thomas Jefferson knew that public exposure to national dialogue was the only remedy against a concentration of power. In 1778, he introduced A Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge. The preamble asserted that even the most conscientious of governments gets sucked in to hunger games. The only check, he believed, was to “illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large.” The people, then, could identify perversions of power and engage fully in national conversations about their own individual rights.

The spin doctors say that people have no attention span for such engagement, that the general population won’t understand the complexities of social security or the tax code. “Spoon feed them; make words sticky,” they say.

Most people are more thoughtful than that. Indeed, the questions the citizens asked last night were important, thoughtful, and relevant. Voters want and need substance and real dialogue, not sound bites.

A Presidential Dialogue, modeled on a dinner table conversation between two neighbors with competing visions but shared hope for a better community, could bring us back to something closer to the original intention of political debates.  It could engage more of us, for longer, than a 90 minute brawl.

Imagine what it would be like to see two candidates aspiring to high political office, both with divergent and conflicting views, able to engage such a challenging dialogue.  It might show us a real example of leadership, one that would inspire the rest of us to model it with our own neighbors, friends, and even our foes. We call it trickle-down dialogue.

Robert C. Bordone is the Thaddeus R. Beal Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Director of the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program. Heather Scheiwe Kulp is a Clinical Fellow at the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program

Why Camp David II Failed: a Negotiation Theory Perspective

Rochelle-Leigh (Shelley) Rosenberg

 

“I don’t think they will ever reinvent the wheel. And the difference between this moment until the moment of reaching an agreement will be how many names–Palestinians and Israelis–will be added to the lists of death and agony. At the end of the day, there will be peace.”–Saeb Erekat

  

On July 24, 2000, after fourteen straight days of negotiations at the Camp David II presidential retreat, President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasir Arafat returned to their respective countries unable to reach a deal. Despite the summit’s failure to produce a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in accordance with the 1993 Oslo Agreements, Arafat requested another meeting. Nearly five months later, the parties reconvened at the White House on December 19, 2000, and following separate meetings with both parties, Clinton offered his last proposal. Barak, who had wagered his political career on the potential deal, endorsed it. Arafat made no counteroffer and gave no explanation. Instead, he simply walked away.

Arafat’s exit shocked the world: “Arafat’s decision to walk away from these offers, effectively ending the Oslo peace process and inflaming the burgeoning second intifada . . . stunned the U.S. and Israeli leaders.”[1] Shortly after, in his New York Times column “Foreign Affairs; Yasir Arafat’s Moment,” Thomas Friedman explained to the American public that Arafat “played rope-a-dope. He came with no compromise ideas of his own on Jerusalem. He simply absorbed Mr. Barak’s proposals and repeated Palestinian mantras about recovering all of East Jerusalem.”[2] Even Arab leaders admitted that they were caught off guard when Arafat cut off negotiations.[3] In his autobiography, My Life, Clinton reflected on an exchange he had with Arafat upon his abrupt departure. “You are a great man,” Arafat told Clinton after Camp David II. Clinton responded, “I am not a great man. I am a failure, and you have made me one.”[4]

This paper examines the failure of Camp David II from a negotiation perspective. For the purposes of this paper, Barak and Arafat represent the nations of Israel and Palestine, theoretically unified entities. It should also be noted that due to the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this paper takes a simplistic view of the hypothetical unified parties’ primary interests at a single point in time. It begins with a sketch of each party’s primary interest. It then evaluates why the Clinton proposal did not offer a Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA).[5] The paper concludes with suggestions for use in future negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians in the hope that one day a “final settlement” will be reached.

CONTINUE READING HERE


[1] Russell Korobkin & Jonathan Zasloff, Roadblocks to the Roadmap: A Negotiation Theory Perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict After Yasser Arafat,30 Yale J. Int’l L. 1, 24 (2005).

[2]Thomas L. Friedman, Foreign Affairs; Yasir Arafat’s moment, N.Y. Times, July 28, 2000, www.nytimes. com/2000/07/28/opinion/foreign-affairs-yasir-arafat-s-moment.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm.

[3]Elsa Walsh, The Prince: How the Saudi Ambassador Became Washington’s Indispensable Operator, New Yorker, Mar. 24, 2003, at 48.

[4] Bill Clinton, My Life 633 (Knopf Publishing Group, 2004).

[5] Robert H. Mnookin, Scott R. Peppet, & Andrew S. Tulumello, Beyond Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in Deals and Disputes 19 (Library of Congress-Cataloging-in-Publication-Data, 2000).


Is Voting for Santorum Below a Voter’s Reservation Value?

An able negotiator knows that a crucial step in entering any negotiation is understanding when to break off negotiations i.e., knowing your BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement). To discover your BATNA, you must first determine your reservation value. Your reservation value is the lowest value at which you would consider the negotiation worthwhile. Once you have determined your reservation value you must  establish all possible alternatives to the negotiation. Finally, at any point during the negotiation, you can compare your reservation value to your possible alternatives and readily determine your best alternative, or your BATNA.

These are among the basic principles of negotiation, but they are not limited to negotiation. These are principles that can be applied to most decisions we face, from important, to less important decisions.

We are currently in the midst of an exciting contest for the Republican nomination for the Presidential Candidate to face off against incumbent President, Barrack Obama. Recently, voters in Iowa came out strongly in favor of Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. I would like to explore why people voted for Santorum, and was it really better than their BATNA, using the principles laid above.

The first question is why cast a vote at a primary/caucus. I suppose that people vote because they want to participate in choosing the candidate who will represent their party in the general election and ultimately, serve as President. The second question is why vote for a specific candidate. This is a more difficult question because there is broad range of possibilities. Voters may believe that the candidate’s beliefs and opinions are most closely aligned with the voters’ own beliefs and opinions and because they would prefer a kindred spirit running the country, they will vote for that candidate. Other voters may not have strong feelings about the hot topic issues and instead looks for leadership qualities befitting a Head of State. Hopefully, most voters recognize that these considerations should not be considered in a vacuum, because a candidates opinions and leadership qualities, are both vitally important.

Following the principles of negotiation, I will attempt to demonstrate why voting for Santorum is  indefensible.  In this illustration, voting will take the place of sitting at the negotiating table. A voter must know his/her BATNA and so must first determine his/her reservation value. In voting in a primary, one could argue that there is no reservation value for voting, because there is no possible negative outcome for voting for the candidate of the voter’s choosing, in the way that remaining at the negotiating table can lead to agreeing to a deal detrimental to negotiator. Thus, there is no need to discover other alternatives or even the best alternative, because there is simply no point at which the voter will not vote (this discussion is not factoring in the de minimis costs of casting a vote such as time).

However, this analysis is fundamentally incorrect. There is a possible negative outcome for a voter who votes for an unelectable candidate such as Rick Santorum (of course if a republican voter’s second choice after Santorum is Obama, then the following discussion does not apply, but I do not believe that such a voter exists). A voter’s reservation value should include an analysis of the unelectability of the candidate. The voter must factor in the importance having a candidate from his/her own party win the election. Thus, the reservation value for voting for a specific candidate, must at the very least be the point at which a candidate will have a chance at winning the general election. Voting for an unelectable candidate is not only a waste of time and utility, but  also should be understood to be outside a voter’s ZOPA, or Zone Of Possible Agreement, and thus below the voter’s reservation value, and the voter’s BATNA would either be not voting, or voting for the most tolerable electable candidate.

Voting for Santorum in the hope that he will represent the Republican Party in the upcoming presidential election against Obama should be recognized as below any Republican voter’s reservation value of having a Republican in office. His stances on banning contraception gay marriage may have support from the far right, but will alienate the all important moderate republicans and independents and render him utterly unelectable. Voting for Santorum is akin to voting for Obama.

 

International Weapons Negotiation

Photo credit: MTSU
Photo credit: MTSU

Hello Dedicated Readers,

In case somehow you have not heard the news, I will inform you of the recent events in Geneva.

In brief, States from across the globe gathered in Geneva to negotiate a multi-lateral international agreement regarding Cluster Munitions. The basic mechanism of Cluster Munitions is that a large bomb containing many smaller munitions is dropped or launched on an area. These smaller munitions spread out over a large area and are intended to explode on impact. One of the problem presented by Cluster Munitions is that too often, these smaller munitions do not explode on impact and remain in place for years. They are hidden killers, picked up by children mistaking them for toys, stepped on by unsuspecting farmers. To prevent further civilian killings States attempted to add a Protocol to the Convention of Conventional Weapons (CCW) to regulate Cluster Munitions.

For further background information, this agreement was negotiated in the backdrop of the already existing Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), which absolutely bans the use of Cluster Munitions, but is not signed by the major user states. Many states feared that a weak agreement in the CCW would undermine the gains realized by the CCM. In the end the CCW proposal failed to gain the necessary consensus and died there.

For a more detailed analysis on these exciting events by actual participants and fellow HLS students, here is a blog post written by Anna Crowe and Nicolette Boehland for the HRP blog found here http://harvardhumanrights.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/dispatch-from-geneva/

Diplomats from more than 100 countries are currently engaged in heated deliberations in Geneva over a proposed protocol, put forward by the United States and others, that would allow the use of certain cluster munitions indefinitely.  The International Human Rights Clinic has joined a group of nongovernmental organizations in arguing against the proposal, which would threaten the impact of an existing international treaty that protects civilians by absolutely banning the weapons.

If adopted, the proposed protocol would directly compete with the Convention on Cluster Munitions, a treaty that seeks to eliminate the devastating effects of cluster munitions on civilians.  More than 108 countries have signed on to that convention, which went into force August 2010, and 66 states are full parties, bound by all its provisions.  The convention prohibits use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster munitions and obliges states to provide assistance to victims of past use.

The United States, which is not a party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, has led the charge for the new protocol over the last week at the Review Conference of the Convention for Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva.  The protocol would be attached to the CCW framework convention, an umbrella treaty with protocols governing specific types of weapons.  Protocol supporters argue that certain major stockpilers and users of cluster munitions who are not currently party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions might join this proposed protocol because it is not a complete ban.

But the Clinic argued in a paper distributed to delegates last week that the new protocol would constitute an unprecedented step backwards in terms of international humanitarian law.  The international community has never adopted a treaty that provides weaker protections for civilians from armed conflict than a treaty already in force.

Furthermore, adoption of the proposed protocol would water down the stigmatization of cluster munitions by permitting future use.  Though the proposed protocol would ban cluster munitions produced prior to 1980, it would allow states to continue to use some other models of cluster munitions for 12 years and some forever.  The proposed treaty also contains weak and inadequate provisions regarding stockpiling destruction and victim assistance.

The Clinic strongly believes that, much like antipersonnel landmines, cluster munitions cause an unacceptable level of harm to civilians.  Because they release dozens or hundreds of explosive submunitions across a large area, civilian casualties are virtually guaranteed when cluster munitions are used in populated areas, as they often have been.  In addition, the submunitions frequently fail to explode on impact, leaving explosive remnants that can kill and injure civilians months or years after a conflict has ended.

A team from the Clinic traveled to Geneva this week as part of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) delegation.  The Clinic has a longstanding partnership with HRW on weapons issues; Senior Clinical Instructor Bonnie Docherty is also a senior researcher in HRW’s Arms Division.  We, along with Robert Yoskowitz, JD ’13, are working under her supervision at the CCW conference this week.

During the conference, we have provided real-time legal analysis of each new draft protocol text.  We have also written articles for the regular CCW Newsproduced by the Cluster Munitions Coalition (CMC), a coalition of NGOs, including HRW, that campaigns to ban cluster munitions and that helped create the CCM.  The Coalition is lobbying hard this week to prevent the proposed protocol from moving forward.

In order for the CCW conference to adopt a new protocol on cluster munitions, there must be consensus—and there is clearly no consensus yet.  There are still two days of negotiations left, however.  The atmosphere is tense, but hopes are high for a good outcome.

Nicolette Boehland, JD ’13, and Anna Crowe, LLM ’12, are members of the Clinic’s Cluster Munitions team.