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Settling the Scales: Justice in International Environmental Negotiations and Beyond
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Description
Abstract [en]

Parties to international negotiations typically invoke conflicting notions of justice. If these can be reconciled, this has positive effects on the negotiation process and outcome. If conflicts over justice persist, negotiations can stall or result in suboptimal outcomes. However, research to date paid scant attention to the means by which justice in international negotiations can be attained. This dissertation addresses this gap and studies two aspects of justice in international negotiations, as well as factors that shape them. The first two essays of the composite dissertation focus on perceptions of justice during negotiations; the latter two on shared justice formulas that parties devise to guide the negotiations. The empirical focus lies primarily on international environmental negotiations – an issue area where justice is central and often explicitly addressed. The final essay extends the analysis of justice to the Cyprus Talks – negotiations on a protracted social conflict that share some key characteristics with environmental negotiations in terms of complexity and interlinkages. Essay I develops the concept of justice and suggests a comprehensive approach to justice in international environmental negotiations. This conceptualization better explains variations in parties’ perceptions of justice than conventional approaches, which only cover some of the four components identified in the comprehensive approach. Essay II finds that the relationship between the chairperson and the negotiating parties affects perceptions of justice. Justice is attained, when the actors involved build a cooperative relationship based on their ability to form expectations and on a positive assessment of their exchange. If necessary, such relationship formation can be facilitated through the involvement of intermediary actors. Essay III distinguishes between three different types of shared justice formula that parties devise in international environmental negotiations. A cursory analysis shows that different explanatory factors shape the different types of shared justice formula, which furthermore are linked in different ways to negotiation effectiveness, both fruitful avenues for future research. Essay IV finds that ripeness theory – in a modified form that accounts for complexity and relationships among a multitude of players – helps to explain when parties devise a shared justice formula to guide negotiations. In conjunction, the essays contribute to current debates in the literature on justice and international negotiations, by taking account of complexity in the study of justice, and by stressing the importance of relationship formation with actors beyond the negotiating parties to attain justice.

Abstract [de]

Typischerweise berufen sich Parteien in internationalen Verhandlungen auf Gerechtigkeitsprinzipien, die sich gegenseitig widersprechen. Können diese widersprüchlichen Positionen in Einklang gebracht werden, hat dies positive Auswirkungen auf den Verhandlungsprozess und das Ergebnis. Bleiben sie allerdings bestehen, kann dies das Fortschreiten der Verhandlungen beeinträchtigen und zu suboptimalen Ergebnissen führen. Die bisherige Forschung befasst sich kaum damit, auf welche Art und Weise ein Übereinkommen in Bezug auf Gerechtigkeit erreicht werden kann. Die vorliegende Doktorarbeit adressiert diese Forschungslücke und erforscht zwei Aspekte von Gerechtigkeit in internationalen Verhandlungen sowie Faktoren, die diese beeinflussen. Die ersten beiden Essays widmen sich Gerechtigkeitswahrnehmungen während des Verhandlungsprozesses. Die anderen beiden erforschen die von Parteien gemeinschaftlich entwickelten Gerechtigkeitsformeln zur Lenkung der Verhandlungen. Der empirische Fokus liegt primär auf internationalen Umweltverhandlungen – ein Gebiet auf dem Gerechtigkeitsfragen besonders zentral sind und oft explizit angesprochen werden. Der letzte Essay weitet den empirischen Kontext auf die Analyse von Gerechtigkeit in den Verhandlungen des Zypernkonflikts aus, und damit auf einen „protracted social conflict“, einen langwierigen Konflikt. Dieser hat einige wichtige Eigenschaften mit internationalen Umweltverhandlungen gemein, vor allem in Bezug auf Komplexität und Verkettungen. Essay I setzt sich mit dem Konzept der Gerechtigkeit auseinander und entwickelt einen umfassenden Ansatz zu Gerechtigkeit in internationalen Umweltverhandlungen. Diese Konzeptualisierung ist besser geeignet, unterschiedliche Gerechtigkeitswahrnehmungen der Parteien zu erklären als konventionelle Ansätze. Letztere decken oft nur einzelne der vier Komponenten ab, die in dem umfassenden Ansatz enthalten sind. Essay II stellt heraus, dass die Beziehung zwischen dem Vorsitzenden und den verhandelnden Parteien die Gerechtigkeitswahrnehmung beeinflusst. Gerechtigkeitsempfinden kann erzielt werden, wenn die involvierten Akteure eine kooperative Beziehung entwickeln. Grundlage hierfür ist zum einen die Fähigkeit beider Seiten, Erwartungen für den gemeinsamen Umgang zu formulieren und zum anderen eine positive Einschätzung des Austausches. Sofern nötig, kann eine solche Beziehungsentwicklung durch mittelnde Akteure unterstützt werden. Essay III unterscheidet zwischen drei verschiedenen Typen von Gerechtigkeitsformeln, die die Parteien in internationalen Umweltverhandlungen entwerfen. Eine erste Studie der Typen skizziert, dass diese von verschiedenen Faktoren geprägt werden und sich des Weiteren unterschiedlich auf Aspekte der Verhandlungseffektivität auswirken – beides interessante Ansatzpunkte für weiterführende Forschung. Essay IV modifiziert das Konzept der „Ripeness Theory“, um Komplexität und Beziehungen zwischen einer Vielzahl an Akteuren in Betracht zu ziehen. Dies trägt zur Erklärung bei, wann Parteien eine Gerechtigkeitsformel zur Lenkung der Verhandlungen entwerfen. In Kombination tragen die Essays zu aktuellen Debatten in der Literatur zu Gerechtigkeit und internationalen Verhandlungen bei. Sie berücksichtigen die Komplexität in der Studie von Gerechtigkeit und unterstreichen die zentrale Bedeutung der Beziehungen zwischen den Parteien sowie mit weiteren Akteuren, um ein Gerechtigkeitsempfinden oder eine Gerechtigkeitsformel zu erzielen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Peace and Conflict Research , 2020. , p. 49
Series
Report / Department of Peace and Conflict Research, ISSN 0566-8808 ; 120
Keywords [en]
chair, climate change, conflict resolution, Cyprus, environmental negotiations, international negotiations, justice, protracted social conflict, UNFCCC
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-398617ISBN: 978-91-506-2797-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-398617DiVA, id: diva2:1377592
Public defence
2020-02-14, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-01-23 Created: 2019-12-12 Last updated: 2020-01-23
List of papers
1. Rethinking Justice in International Environmental Negotiations: Toward a More Comprehensive Framework
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rethinking Justice in International Environmental Negotiations: Toward a More Comprehensive Framework
2018 (English)In: International Negotiation, ISSN 1382-340X, E-ISSN 1571-8069, Vol. 23, no 3, p. 446-477Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Justice is of central importance in international environmental negotiations. Key characteristics of this type of negotiation augment the complexities of justice issues and warrant a customized approach. Based on a discussion of these characteristics, the article derives four components that are central to a more comprehensive theoretical framework for analyzing justice in environmental negotiations: 1) going beyond narrow self-interest, 2) extending the notion of reciprocity, 3) linking backward- and forward-orientation, and 4) connecting process and outcome. The usefulness of the framework is illustrated by applying it to two important Conferences of the Parties (<small>COP</small>) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – COP15 in Copenhagen and COP21 in Paris – which are compared. The framework is suited for a systematic analysis of the complex role played by justice issues in international environmental negotiation, as a key avenue for addressing global threats emerging from anthropogenic environmental change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leiden: Brill Nijhoff, 2018
Keywords
COP15, COP21, international environmental negotiations, justice, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-357803 (URN)10.1163/15718069-23031159 (DOI)000444496300005 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2012-5580
Available from: 2018-08-21 Created: 2018-08-21 Last updated: 2019-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. Fair Chair – Fair Share?: The President, the Parties, and Perceived Justice in Climate Change Negotiations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fair Chair – Fair Share?: The President, the Parties, and Perceived Justice in Climate Change Negotiations
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Previous literature links perceived justice to improved negotiation effectiveness. However, the means by which the latter can be attained remain poorly understood. Tying into debates on the importance of leadership in international negotiations, this study suggests that the relationship between the chair and the parties contributes in important ways to perceptions of justice. Drawing on Leader-Member-Exchange (LMX) theory, the theoretical framework contributes to the existing literature by explicitly taking parties’ demand for leadership into account. Using a two-layered research design, I first compare two Conferences of the Parties (COPs) under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change. The comparison shows that, at COP6, the chair and the parties were able to form expectations for their engagement, and they assessed it positively as well. This made it possible for a cooperative relationship to emerge at the conference, which in turn resulted in perceived justice. At COP15, by contrast, an impeded ability to form expectations and a negative assessment of the engagement resulted in a non-cooperative relationship, and consequently in perceived violation of justice principles. I then proceed to an in-depth analysis of the recent COP24, wherein I explore further how the involvement of the president in the preparatory process shaped relationship formation and perceptions of justice. The second component of the analysis also disaggregates expectations and assessment on the part of individual parties. It corroborates findings from the first component, whereupon it further notes that, when the president’s involvement in the preparatory process is impeded (for example by time), the formation of a cooperative relationship – and perceived justice in turn – can be furthered if intermediaries are involved. These findings contribute theoretically to the literature on leadership, justice, and international negotiations; and empirically to our understanding of climate change negotiations. They also hold important policy implications for how to increase perceived justice, and in turn for how to improve negotiation effectiveness in climate change negotiations, which are one of the main avenues for addressing one of the key challenges of the Anthropocene.

Keywords
Chairman, Climate Change, Conflict Management/Resolution (Mediation, Negotiation), Environment, Leadership, Justice
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-398381 (URN)
Available from: 2019-12-05 Created: 2019-12-05 Last updated: 2019-12-12
3. Constructive Ambiguity, Compromise, or Comprehensive Solution: A Typology of Shared Justice Formulas
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Constructive Ambiguity, Compromise, or Comprehensive Solution: A Typology of Shared Justice Formulas
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Parties enter international negotiations with conflicting notions or differing interpretations of the justice principles that should guide the negotiations. Previous research has linked parties’ ability to devise a shared justice formula to different aspects of negotiation effectiveness. While empirics suggest that parties take differing approaches to accommodating conflicting justice principles and that shared justice formulas take different forms, studies to date have not differentiated between such types. This limits the theorizing and study of both the determinants and the effects of different types of shared justice formula. In this study, I develop a conceptual typology of shared justice formulas based on the approach that parties take to accommodate conflicting justice principles. Constructive Ambiguity is based on circumvention, Compromise on a distributive approach, and a Comprehensive Solution on an integrative approach. Applying the typology to a set of 16 international environmental negotiations highlights the value of the typology in differentiating cases and uncovering trends. The study also draws on the set of cases to illustrate opportunities for future research to investigate the impact of different types of shared justice formula on aspects of negotiation effectiveness and its determinants in the context of aspects of relational power. This analysis highlights the contribution of the conceptual typology to the growing research on justice in international negotiations.

Keywords
Climate Change, Conflict Management/Resolution, Environment, Justice, Negotiation, Typology
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-398412 (URN)
Available from: 2019-12-05 Created: 2019-12-05 Last updated: 2019-12-12
4. When the Stars Align: Devising a Shared Justice Formula in Negotiations on Protracted Social Conflicts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>When the Stars Align: Devising a Shared Justice Formula in Negotiations on Protracted Social Conflicts
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In protracted social conflicts, longevity, complexity, and deep emotional roots impede the negotiation of substantive issues and make finding a solution immensely difficult. In view of this, previous research has suggested to focus initially on the mode of engagement necessary for rebuilding trust. A shared justice formula to guide the negotiations can serve this purpose, and it has also been linked previously to negotiation effectiveness. This study explores a question not yet addressed in the literature, namely: when do parties converge on or diverge from a shared justice formula, here understood as principles for guiding the negotiations? A turning point analysis of the latest phase of the Cyprus Talks – i.e., the period between 2004 and 2019 – serves to trace and to compare moments of ripeness to devise a shared justice formula that occur when relevant actor constellations align in a motivation to escape the conflict. The analysis is based on novel interview data collected in Cyprus in early 2019, as well as on research, policy, and media reports. The findings show that convergence on or divergence from a shared justice formula is not driven by a single actor constellation; rather different actors play a decisive role at different points in time. Rather than complete alignment being necessary, there is a threshold effect for ripeness to devise a shared justice formula, which arises when enough of the key actors are aligned. Given the positive role that a shared justice formula plays in resolving protracted social conflicts, as well as in other complex, multilateral negotiations, the findings here are relevant to both research and policy, and they should encourage future research on the subject.

Keywords
Conflict Management/Resolution, Cyprus, International Conflict, Justice, Negotiation, Protracted Social Conflict
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-398616 (URN)
Available from: 2019-12-08 Created: 2019-12-08 Last updated: 2019-12-12

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