A win-win solution is out there!

Bringing academic research to the negotiating table


I sometimes think academics and government negotiators live in separate worlds when it comes to advancing the international policy agenda. Academics do intensive research; present in-depth analyses; and propose ways to resolve complex issues. Negotiators prepare briefs; try to reconcile diverging interests within their own countries; hold informal talks with their counterparts in other governments; and sit through long and exhausting international debates. Academic thinking rarely finds its way to the negotiating tables of the world, while political realities and constraints often are not considered in academic research.

Having a foot in both worlds, I believe I understand some of the reasons: academics cannot spare the time and money to attend international negotiations, while negotiators are simply too busy to subscribe to and regularly read academic journals.

Blog conf 29-10-14               Blog acad 29-10-14

An initiative by the Review of European Community and International Law (RECIEL) may help address at least the second of these constraints. As government representatives from around the world meet in Bangkok next week to debate preparations for the entry into force of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, RECIEL offers one month of  free access to its latest issue, devoted to chemicals management. Among other things, the issue features two articles on the Minamata Convention. I hope that during their flight to Bangkok, some negotiators might find time to relax and see what RECIEL’s contributors have to say. Who knows, some of it may thus find its way into the conference room!

The chemicals issue of RECIEL is available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/reel.2014.23.issue-2/issuetoc.



Author: kummerpeiry

The way forward is often blocked by endless discussions without decisions, or sabotaged by premature actions. Both end in frustration and waste. As a natural negotiator, I give exploratory discussions, concrete decisions and structured action plans their due place. This has been key to my successes throughout my career, both as a leader and when sitting at the negotiating table. I actively listen to others in order to enhance my perspective and understanding of the bigger picture. Innovative, unconventional ideas and methods are part of my toolkit when seeking solutions everyone can live by. In tense situations, a touch of humour can shift the space and work wonders. My passion and current professional focus is to find that win-win solution: industrial development that will protect the environment and create jobs, turning wastes from a problem into a solution. Both, I believe, are entirely possible - if the negotiation is managed right. I am at my best when communicating, building relationships and solving problems. My extensive experience in multi-cultural environments has convinced me that treating people as individuals rather than parts of a system gets the best results. I find that inspiring and motivating others supports them in achieving excellence.

2 thoughts on “Bringing academic research to the negotiating table

  1. Thank you for sharing such great insights. I wish RECIEL huge success for both parties. 🙂
    Will you go there too?


  2. Thanks so much, Gaëlle! It has taken me a while to get back to the issue…… I did not make it to the meeting, unfortunately – but I hope some of the participants will have taken up RECIEL’s offer!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s