Unlike conventional bilateral negotiations, multilateral negotiations are characterized by intensive international discussions that involve multiple actors and interests, highly complex agendas, and differentiated international settings. Political scientist Fen Osler Hampson, with the assistance of trade specialist Michael Hart, studies the component parts of the multilateral negotiation process to identify those factors making for success or failure. The authors argue that multilateral negotiation is, in essence, a coalition-building enterprise involving states, nonstate actors, and international organizations. Individual case studies include discussions on security, the environment, economic issues, and non-governmental actors -- such as scientists and environmental groups like Greenpeace International -- in prenegotiation and negotiation phases.
Although there are more instances and many case studies of multilateral negotiations, there are almost no conceptual-let alone theoretical-studies of the subject... Fen Hampson has rendered a great service in helping to fill this gap by testing and deriving insights about multilateral decision making from a number of empirical exercises. The work is a major contribution to understanding an important diplomatic activity and to opening up a new field of analysis... This book is a major step in putting multilateral negotiations on the map and in the curriculum as a subject to be taught and analyzed. -- I. William Zartman * American Political Science Review * Hampson and Hart offer detailed evidence that multilateral negotiation can be a viable alternative to global disorder or imposed regimes. Multilateral Negotiations gives cause for reasoned optimism by showing how individual leaders, epistemic communities, small countries, and international bureaucrats can all help reduce complexity to manageable proportions. -- Nancy W. Gallagher * Mershon International Studies Review * How are scholars to comprehend the rapidly changing world? One valuable tool for their intellectual arsenal should be this book by Fen Osler Hampson with Michael Hart. -- Frederic A. Bergerson and Patrick J. Flores * Perspectives on Political Science *