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PIN Book | Power and Negotiation | cover

Power and Negotiation

Zartman IW, Rubin, J Z (eds.) (2000). The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

PIN Book | Power and Negotiation | cover


Power and Negotiations produces new findings about the concept of power and about its applications in negotiations. Rejecting the notions of power as a resource and power as an ability, the work defines power as an act that is designed to cause another party to move in a desired direction, thus separating the concept both from its source and from its effects and leaving it open to much more detailed analysis. At the same time, this book examines perceived power on the basis of which symmetries and asymmetries in the relations between parties can be identified.

As I. William Zartman and Jeffrey Rubin argue, negotiations between countries that are not equal in power tend to be more efficient and effective than during symmetrical negotiations. When weaker and stronger parties are negotiating, each knows its role and is able to get appropriate benefits in the agreement. In cases of symmetry or near symmetries, the countries, whether equally weak or equally strong, tend to spend most of the time maintaining their status and allowing inordinate amounts of time to pass before reaching an agreement. These conclusions run counter to the most accepted wisdom of negotiations although they do confirm evidence from careful experiments.

The book looks at negotiations with clear asymmetry (the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement, U.S.-Egyptian aid, U.S.-Indonesian aid, E.C.-Andorra trade association, Nepal-India water resource agreement, and the North-South coalitions at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development), two cases of symmetry (the Mali-Burkina Faso armistice negotiations and the U.S. Chinese armistice negotiations in Korea), and one mixed situation (Arab-Israeli peace negotiations). The book concludes with a careful examination of lessons for practice and lessons for theory.



  • 1 The Study of Power and the Practice of Negotiation I. William Zartman and Jeffrey Z. Rubin


  • Asymmetry in Negotiating the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement, 1985-1987 Gilbert R. Winham and Elizabeth DeBoer-Ashworth

  • US-Indonesian Negotiations over the Conditions of Aid, 1951-1954 Timo Kivimäki

  • US-Egyptian Aid Negotiations in the 1980s and 1990s William M. Habeeb

  • The Andorra-European Community Trade Agreement Negotiations, 1979-1987 Guy Olivier Faure and Patrick Klaousen

  • Nepal-India Water Resource Relations Dipak Gyawali

  • The Impact of Multiple Asymmetries on Arab-Israeli Negotiations Saadia Touval

  • Asymmetry in Multilateral Negotiation between North and South at UNCED Gunnar Sjöstedt


  • Compensating for Weak Symmetry in the Mali-Burkana Faso Conflict, 1985-1986 Jean-Emmanual Pondi

  • Seeking Honor under Strong Symmetry in the Korean War Armistice Negotiations Xibo Fan


  • Lessons for Practice Jeswald W. Salacuse

  • Symmetry and Asymmetry in Negotiation I. William Zartman and Jeffrey Z. Rubin