Library Header Image
LSE Theses Online London School of Economics web site

Time to agree: time pressure and 'deadline diplomacy' in peace negotiations

Pinfari, Marco (2010) Time to agree: time pressure and 'deadline diplomacy' in peace negotiations. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Download (9MB) | Preview


The research explores the impact of various forms of time pressure on the outcomes of negotiation processes in territorial conflicts in the post-Cold War period. Deadlines are used increasingly often by mediators to spur deadlocked negotiation processes, under the assumption that fixed time limits tend to favour pragmatism. Yet, little attention is typically paid to the durability of agreements concluded in these conditions; moreover, research in experimental psychology suggests that time pressure may impact negatively on individual and collective decision-making by reducing each side's ability to deal with complex issues, complex inter-group dynamics and inter-cultural relations. The comparative section of the research assesses the impact of natural and artificial deadlines on negotiation outcomes through a fuzzy-set comparison of 68 episodes of negotiation in territorial conflicts between 1990 and 2005. The results reveal that high levels of time pressure can be associated with both 'broad' and 'limited' agreements, but that low levels of time pressure or its absence are consistently associated with more durable ones. Other exploratory models also confirm the findings of experimental psychology and show that 'complex' negotiations are more likely to result in durable agreements when they take place under no or low time pressure. These results are explored and discussed in detail in two pairs of case studies: the Bougainville and Casamance peace processes, and the Dayton and Camp David proximity talks. These cases confirm the intuitions of the comparative section; they provide evidence of the negative impact of time pressure on the cognitive processes of the actors involved and highlight, in particular, how in certain conditions the absence or low levels of time pressure can impact on the durability of agreements by making possible effective intra-rebel agreements before official negotiations, and that time pressure works in proximity talks only when applied to solving circumscribed deadlocks.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Peace Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International Relations

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics