Monday, April 14, 2014

Crisis Negotiation Month: Week 3

The month of April is "Crisis Negotiation Month" at  It is a collaboration between the ACR Crisis Negotiation Section and and it will bring you articles, tips, info graphics, and a webinar throughout the month.
Enjoy below the second week's articles (see Week One here & Week Two here):

Negotiating the Impossible? The Beslan Hostage Crisis


On 1 September 2004, a group of terrorists seized more than 1,200 hostages in School Number One in the North Ossetian town of Beslan. It was the first day of the new school year. The deadliest hostage crisis in history was about to unfold.

Read more and get access to download Adam Dolnik's full report for free [here]

Research Report: Does Terrorism Help Perpetrators Achieve Their Demands?

 Max Abrahms and Matthew Gottfried explore the question of if acts of terrorism are beneficial in their forthcoming paper in Terrorism and Political Violence titled Does Terrorism Pay? An Empirical Analysis

Abrahms, who has explored the topic in previous studies with respect to terrorism being a losing political strategy, and Gottfried examine the political effectiveness of terrorism, specifically whether using the tactic increases the chances of government concessions. For reasons they carefully explain in their study, they restrict their sample to cases of hostage taking and then assess whether governments are more likely to comply to the demands when the hostages have been physically harmed. 

Their main finding is that terrorism

Download the three page report [here] and the full paper [here

Should We Negotiation With Terrorists?

From, By Chris Currie
While it may seem that those of us in the field of conflict resolution have had little to say since September 11, 2001, professional negotiators have not been silent on the subject of terrorism. Roger Fisher addressed this very question in the second edition of Getting To Yes, and in January of 1992, the Negotiation Journal published a special issue called Reflections on the War in the Persian Gulf. The insights found in these publications are just as valid in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack as they were for the terrorism of the 1980s and early 90s.

In answer to the question, should we negotiate with terrorists, Roger Fisher replies with a resounding yes, because the better our communication, the better our chances of exerting influence. But doesn’t negotiating with someone whose behavior you abhor grant them legitimacy that they didn’t have before, and therefore reward criminal activity?

Read more [here]
Negotiating With Terrorists
The argument against negotiating with terrorists is simple: Democracies must never give in to violence, and terrorists must never be rewarded for using it. Negotiations give legitimacy to terrorists and their methods and undermine actors who have pursued political change through peaceful means. Talks can destabilize the negotiating governments' political systems, undercut international efforts to outlaw terrorism, and set a dangerous precedent.
Yet in practice, democratic governments often negotiate with terrorists. The British government maintained a secret back channel to the Irish Republican Army even after the IRA had launched a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street that nearly eliminated the entire British cabinet in 1991.
Read more [here].

Should Governments Negotiate With Terrorists?

Photo Credit: Israel Defence Forces

Jonathan Powell, the long-term Downing Street Chief of Staff, who played a central role in the peace talks, says it is essential to secure an open line of communication with terrorists. He suggested that western governments should consider entering talks with al-Qaeda and the Taliban by applying the tactics used successfully in the Northern Ireland peace deal.
Read more from [here]