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Negotiations in the UN Commission on Sustainable Development: Coalitions, Processes, and Outcomes

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This research examines state coalitions' negotiation processes during four sessions of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). It asks whether coalition type affects the negotiation process and whether process affects the negotiated outcome. Negotiation analysts expect convergent bargaining behaviors to lead to compromises between negotiators' positions and problem solving behaviors to lead to the integration of these positions, with the latter assumed to be the superior outcome. The CSD negotiations offer an empirical test of these hypotheses, as well as hypotheses regarding expected negotiation processes for different coalition types. The study uses data gathered by the author at CSD sessions in 1994, 1996, 1997, and 1998 and finds support for the process-outcome hypotheses. The examination also provides a basis from which to offer lessons for future CSD sessions. I explore how changes in process timing, third party roles, and issue framing could encourage a problem solving process and integrative decisions at the CSD.

Affiliations: 1: Earth Negotiations Bulletin, 1212 Marengo Ave., S. Pasadena, CA 91030, USA


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