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Thoughts on How to Organize a Data Set on Diplomatic Methods of Conflict Management

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At the initial stages of organizing a data generation effort it is useful to think through the theoretical foundations for the data and the range of questions to which the data could be brought to bear. There are four areas where data on diplomatic interventions should prove particularly fruitful: (1) the notion of “ripe moments,” (2) sequencing of escalation and deescalation, (3) differing ideas about the outcome of diplomatic efforts, and (4) capturing the process of negotiation. A theoretical construct is discussed that can guide the generation of data on negotiations and point toward operational indicators of negotiation consistent with these constructs. Of particular importance, moreover, is a coherent focus on the outcome of the process to be recorded. There is considerable merit in designing a data set that allows testing of ideas about how diplomacy works. In effect, organizing a data generation effort in a manner that captures the essence of the bargaining process (concessions, ideal points, reservation points, etc.) can greatly enhance our knowledge of conflict management.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political Science, PO Box 6000, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000, USA (E-mail:


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