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Contrasting Dynamics of Crisis Negotiations: Barricade versus Kidnapping Incidents

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Over the past several decades, crisis negotiation has become the primary method of dealing with hostage incidents in many countries of the world. This article uses the analytical framework of interest-based negotiation to provide a comparative analysis of the negotiation dynamics involved in barricade versus kidnapping incidents. The primary difference between the two scenarios is that the location of the victim(s) as well as that of the perpetrator(s) is unknown in kidnappings. As a result, many of the components of crisis negotiation that have been so successful in resolving barricade situations are inapplicable to kidnappings. This article should help the reader understand the critical differences between the two scenarios, and the implications of those differences for the likelihood of success of different crisis negotiation strategies. Central focus is devoted to premeditated incidents perpetrated by organized groups with a political, criminal, or religious motivation.


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