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Negotiating with Terrorists: The Hostage Case

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This article provides an overview of hostage negotiations, drawing upon historical cases and analyzing them from the perspective of negotiation theory. Various situational factors are studied, including the parties involved, hostage taker motivations and profiles, negotiator objectives and what is considered to be negotiable, the issue of legitimacy, and the negotiation context. The article also analyzes the dynamics of the negotiation process, addressing the different phases, hostage attitudes, information gathering, and the role of the media and public opinion. The intercultural and psychological dimensions of hostage negotiation are also addressed. The final section of the article considers end-game scenarios, and assessing the negotiation outcome of such complex and uncertain processes.


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