International Negotiation: A Journal of Theory and Practice

Vol. 18, No. 3    2013



This issue

Revisiting Post-Agreement Negotiation and International Regimes


Guest editors

Bertram I. Spector, Center for Negotiation Analysis

I. William Zartman, The Johns Hopkins University



Post-Agreement Negotiating within Multilateral Regimes

I. William Zartman and Bertram I. Spector


This thematic issue of the journal revisits the thesis introduced ten years ago in the book, Getting It Done: Post-Agreement Negotiation and International Regimes, that regimes are recursive negotiations and not merely one-off settlements that turn next to ratification.  Seven cases are presented in the issue and discussed in this article that develop a number of reasons why regimes are marked by post-agreement negotiations. They examine the dimensions of these different types of encounters, all negotiations to be explored by established negotiation analysis but incomplete and incomprehensible without the context of the previous agreement, which then they complement.


A Forty-Year Search for a Single-Negotiating Text:

Rio+20 as a Post-Agreement Negotiation

Lynn M. Wagner


This article elaborates on the place of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, also known as Rio+20) in a forty-year trajectory of international sustainable development negotiations, particularly through the processes placed in motion during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit event. The negotiation of the final UNCSD document also can be evaluated in its own right, and the article examines this process in the second section, keeping in mind the negotiating system in which the talks took place. The final section focuses on the process as a post-agreement negotiation and considers the role of the twenty-year milestone negotiations in shaping the sustainable development regime. The paper explores in particular the role that consensus negotiated agreements have played as the regime’s decision-making procedure, and how this procedure has faltered as the complexity – including the number of issues, actors and obligations incorporated into the regime – has increased. Two elements from the Rio+20 outcome – a “take-it-or-change-it” facilitation approach of the Brazilian hosts and the adoption of a process to create “sustainable development goals” as a different means to focus international expectations – are presented as new directions for decision making in the regime’s next rounds of regime governance and regime adjustment negotiations.



Post Agreement Negotiations in the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Regime

Mordechai (Moti) Melamud


When considering the concept of post-agreement negotiations (PAN), the CTBT presents a particularly interesting case, because of its elusive status caused by the unusually long time lag between the treaty’s adoption in 1996 and its still unattained entry into force. For almost two decades, negotiations on key elements have been ongoing in the Preparatory Commission (PrepCom) in preparation for entry-into-force as required by the treaty. This article explores the challenges of PAN in the framework of the PrepCom and its place in the CTBT regime evolution. Using four factors in regime development -- adjustment, maintenance, cybernetics and exogenous factors -- the work of the PrepCom concerning verification is analyzed. Technical and political issues are described as examples from the PrepCom's work since the opening of the CTBT for signature illustrating regime building through post agreement negotiations.


Nuclear Politics of Denial: South Africa and the Additional Protocol

Joelien Pretorius


South Africa was one of the first states to conclude an Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2002, allowing the IAEA greater right of access to safeguard nuclear activities and material. In light of this, some observers in the arms control community find it odd that South Africa’s representatives at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) would be the main objectors to making the conclusion of an Additional Protocol a precondition for states wishing to import uranium enrichment and reprocessing technology (classified as sensitive nuclear technology and material). The South African objection should be viewed as only the most recent in a series of objections to measures that may seem obviously in line with nuclear non-proliferation. This emerging pattern in South Africa’s nuclear diplomacy and, more specifically, the objection to the Additional Protocol condition are related to its membership in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and can be investigated through the lens of a politics of denial.  Denial is the act of saying “no”, but it is also in psychological parlance the unconscious thought process manifesting a refusal to acknowledge the existence of certain unpleasant aspects of external reality. It will be argued that South Africa’s opposition to the Additional Protocol condition can be explained in the context of two instances of denial: (i) a perceived denial by the nuclear haves of what the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty codifies as an inalienable right to peaceful nuclear technology – something that South Africa is cautious to be complicit in; and (ii) the nuclear weapon states’ denial (the psychological meaning) of the unpleasant reality of a hypocritical nuclear order – something that South Africa wants to expose or at least something with which to engage to limit the effects for itself and other NAM members. The politics of denial does not yield to a pragmatist/utopian dichotomy in the nuclear realm, but instead reveals the dialectic nature of realism and idealism in nuclear politics, especially as reflected in South Africa’s nuclear diplomacy.


CTBT On-Site Inspection: A Special Case of Post-Agreement Negotiation

Mordechai (Moti) Melamud


This article examines negotiations expected to be conducted during actual implementation after entry-into-force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). It analyzes the negotiations to be undertaken with regards to on-site inspection (OSI) procedures, and their unique character as post-agreement negotiations (PAN) is identified. In particular, the OSI negotiations will be conducted at the Executive Council (EC) level and will analyze whether violations of the treaty have occurred. This discussion further explores another level of negotiation that will occur during the OSI, between the inspected state and the inspection team, concerning the technical details of implementation. Our analysis demonstrates how these inspection negotiations will likely have an impact, well beyond the OSI itself, on the PAN in the EC regarding OSI, and further on PAN in policymaking organs, and thus on regime evolution.


Multilevel Regimes and Asserting the “Right to Negotiate:”

Fitting the Public into Post-Agreement Negotiation

Bertram I. Spector


Emerging changes to post-agreement negotiation structures and actors can have important implications for the process and outcome of negotiated agreements. These innovations include the coexistence of negotiated global and regional regimes on the same policy issue, as well as civil society organizations that assert their “right to negotiate” at the domestic level to promote national compliance with regime standards and provisions. The evolution of these factors within the post-agreement negotiations of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) is used as a case study. Globalization and communications technology trends play a major role in promoting these changes.


Theorizing the Impact of Trust on Post-agreement Negotiations:

The Case of Franco-German Security Relations

Philipp Brugger, Andreas Hasenclever and Lukas Kasten


In this article we argue that trust is fundamental to post-agreement negotiations in the field of international security. We present our concept of interstate trust and discuss its relation to two core mechanisms of international cooperation: control and policy integration. Our main hypothesis is that growing trust reduces a dyad’s reliance on control and leads to intensified policy integration. To specify how the trust-control nexus and the trust-integration nexus structure post-agreement negotiations, we first assume that post-agreement negotiations are likely to follow interstate crises. Second, we theorize crisis reactions and differentiate between low-trust and high-trust situations. In low-trust situations, a crisis indicates a failure to control the actions of others. As a response, demands for institutional reform will stress new and improved control mechanisms. In high-trust situations, the trusting bias defuses most of the doubts about the other’s cooperative preferences and points to miscommunication as the principal issue. Therefore, negotiations will be about intensifying policy integration. States do so for three purposes: sustaining valuable integration, overcoming the crisis, and building trust. As a first plausibility probe for our argument, we look at post-agreement negotiations between France and Germany.


Is Reconciliation Negotiable?

Valérie Rosoux


The purpose of this article is to question some basic assumptions regarding reconciliation after wars and mass atrocities. Indeed, how can numerous policy-makers, practitioners, and scholars contend that reconciliation is necessary while it is often distrusted and rejected by victims? Are there not cases where calls for reconciliation would prove to be fruitless and even detrimental for peace and/or democracy? To answer these questions, it is worth looking at the interactions between reconciliation and negotiation. Beyond a theoretical interest, this question has a direct impact for practitioners; a better understanding of the issue is actually a sine qua non condition for more efficient interventions. In terms of methodology, this study refers to various examples as illustrative cases (Afghanistan, Rwanda, South-Africa, and the Franco-German case). Its objective is not to capture the complexity of each case study but to determine to what extent reconciliation can be considered as negotiable.