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When the Stars Align: Devising a Shared Justice Formula in Negotiations on Protracted Social Conflicts
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
(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 [en]
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: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-398616OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-398616DiVA, id: diva2:1376130
Available from: 2019-12-08 Created: 2019-12-08 Last updated: 2019-12-12
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Tritschoks, Annkatrin

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CiteExportLink to record
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