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Strategic Barriers to Dispute Resolution: A Comparison of Bilateral and Multilateral Negotiations

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This paper compares strategic barriers to the resolution of conflict – those that may arise because rational self-interested actors try to maximize individual returns – in two party and multi-party negotiations. It suggests that the Pareto-criterion may not provide an appropriate standard to evaluate efficiency in multiparty bargaining because a requirement of unanimity may create potential holdout problems that pose severe strategic barriers. While a variety of procedural rules may permit decision-making without unanimity, the paper briefly explores the application of an unusual procedural rule – the "sufficient consensus" standard – that was employed in the multiparty "constitutional" negotiations in South Africa and in Northern Ireland.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2003

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  • Founded as Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft in 1844.

    As one of the oldest journals in the field of political economy, the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) deals traditionally with the problems of economics, social policy, and their legal framework. JITE is listed in the Journal of Economic Literature, the Social Science Citation Index, the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, and COREJ.

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    From 2013 on all accepted articles are published in an Online First version (in their final layout) to make them searchable and citable by their DOI immediately after peer review and acceptance. Once the article is published in an issue of the journal, the Online First version will be removed.

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