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Master's Professional Reports Abstract



The Ethics of International Negotiation: A Case Study of the Euphrates
Curtis Stefferud
REPORT 2000 ST3253 Public Affairs Library

Current approaches to nonviolent conflict resolution are based on two premises: the self-serving, individual rationality of contenders and the availability of optimum solutions. Neither of these premises holds in all real conflicts. The current essay examines the dispute between Turkey and Syria in regard to the use of water from the Euphrates. A synopsis of the case is given, and its relevant features are described. The predominant analysis of resource scarcities in general by means of the prisoner's dilemma is critiqued. A review of current literature pertinent to international negotiation follows and is extended into a more general theory of negotiation that contrasts John Stuart Mill's principle of utility in Utilitarianism with Immanuel Kant's concept of duty in Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Ethics. The essay concludes that both theories have their merits, and they would compliment each other in a negotiator's judicious application to international negotiation. Whereas a utilitarian theory provides directly measurable criteria of success, a deontological theory allows a consideration of constraints that can significantly influence relations between negotiators.