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23 Practical and Cultural Aspects of International Mediation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides some of the practical and preparatory aspects of international mediation and then discuss some of the cultural issues that arise. A key aspect of international mediation is that the parties are based in geographically distant places and the issues that are involved inevitably cross borders. Individualism and collectivism are often regarded as the most important dimensions underlying cultural differences. More recently, there has been a growing interest in the application of the broad scholarship on culture to negotiation theory. It is here that the international mediator may need to help the parties to adapt their approach to the process to lead them towards a successful negotiation. The assumption that international diplomatic and business negotiations should normally open with a tough adversarial phase is less obvious to many non-Western societies.

Keywords: collectivism; cultural differences; individualism; international mediation; negotiation theory



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