HARD, UNSTABLE, SELF-SERVING STALEMATES (HUSSS) AND NEGOTIATION COLLAPSE: THE VENEZUELAN EXPERIENCE (2014-2021)

Embargo until
2024-08-01
Date
2023-09-27
Journal Title
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Publisher
Johns Hopkins University
Abstract
Conflicts and crises in a situation of deadlock that are highly resistant to peacemaking beg the question of why negotiation collapse persists, especially if the objective is to prevent these crises from becoming intractable and normalized. This research focuses on the aspect of deadlock in conflicts and its role in the likelihood of negotiation breakdown. Using the six cases of collapsed negotiations to solve the Venezuelan crisis from 2014 to 2021, a variant of stalemate where ripeness is absent is proposed. It is argued that not all deadlocks necessarily lead to the breakdown of peacemaking efforts, but under certain conditions —the presence of a Hard (polarization), Unstable (fragmentation), Self-Serving Stalemate (HUSSS)— is likely to lead to negotiation collapse. The cases of negotiations analyzed show that the combination of the three conditions of HUSSS produces a pattern of collapse, which can be overcome if there are intentional efforts at addressing the polarization between negotiating parties, fragmentation within domestic and international actors, and the self-serving nature of the status quo that has made the prospects of a negotiated agreement consistently unappealing.
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Keywords
Conflict Resolution, Peacemaking, International Negotiations, International Mediation, Venezuela
Citation