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Breakthrough International Negotiation

How Great Negotiators Transformed the World’s Toughest Post-Cold War Conflicts (with Susan Rosegrant) – Jossey-Bass, 2001Breakthrough International Negotiation pairs vivid, blow-by-blow descriptions of sensitive negotiations in the Mideast, Korea, and Bosnia with practical advice for conflict resolution professionals seeking a better understanding of the negotiation process. It takes us behind closed doors with gifted negotiators — including James Baker, Terje Larsen, Robert Gallucci, and Richard Holbrooke — to learn how they achieved breakthroughs in complex situations that seemed hopelessly locked in conflict. Breakthrough International Negotiation includes compelling accounts of the first-hand experiences of key participants, including secretaries of state, generals, academics, members of Congress, and presidential advisors. In addition, the book provides specific, action-oriented frameworks and guidelines that mediators can apply on the job. Throughout Breakthrough International Negotiation, expert negotiators show how to “shape the game” by involving new players, controlling the agenda, developing creative options, building coalitions, and managing the pace of events. While the book’s case studies focus on diplomatic negotiations, the ideas and approaches discussed can be readily applied to negotiations in government, business, and private life.Breakthrough International Negotiation won the CPR Institute’s prize for outstanding book in the field of negotiation and dispute resolution for 2001. CPR is the leading organization of dispute resolution professionals in the US.The book was named one of the top-30 business books of 2003 by Soundview Executive Book Summaries.All negotiations are complex, but they are a vital means to conflict resolution. In Breakthrough International Negotiation, Michael Watkins, a Harvard Business School associate professor and author, and Susan Rosegrant, a case writer for Harvard and a seasoned reporter, have combined their skills to offer detailed insight into the art of negotiating by charting the actions of four major players who have shaped global politics since the Cold War….The “thick descriptions” of major world events provided by the negotiators and first-hand observers involved in these intense moments of negotiation help to develop the successful methods for coping with the dynamics of internal and external negotiations. Assessing the challenges, outcomes and effectiveness of the processes of real-world negotiations creates a deeper understanding of conflict resolution. The reader is able to gain the heightened situational awareness necessary to develop better options while bargaining under time constraints.
– Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Using a “context of deep-rooted ethnic and ideological” differences, Watkins and Rosegrant … identify four core tasks in “breakthrough negotiations.” The first is to diagnose the structure of the conflict; the second, to identify barriers to resolution; the third, to manage conflicts that arise within the process; and the fourth, to build momentum with creative deal making. Four 20th-century conflicts help the authors illustrate the application of these tasks: U.S. negotiations with North Korea over their nuclear armament, the ongoing Middle East crisis, the recent strife in Bosnia, and conflict in Iraq. Watkins and Rosegrant conclude their well-organized, easy-to-understand presentation with simple guidelines for becoming a breakthrough negotiator. Complexity is at the root of all breakthrough negotiations, and, as the authors point out, “Even highly successful negotiations are points on a continuum, not the end of the story.” For academic, law, and public libraries.
– Library Journal

We have learned the hard way that much of what we knew about how to navigate in a bipolar world does not work in the post-Cold War era. If we are to meet the challenges of negotiating an increasingly complex world, we need fresh thinking. Breakthrough International Negotiation is an enormous contribution to meeting that need. It is decidedly not just another how-to negotiate book. Rather, it is an exciting, fascinating examination of recent breakthrough negotiations and their implications for negotiations of all sorts. Watkins and Rosegrant mine these experiences skillfully to fashion a set of practical tools for conducting negotiations and achieving breakthroughs. The general principles and practices that flow from their combined narratives and analytical assessments will be of great value to every practitioner in government and business.
– John P. White, Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense (1995-97)