A theoretical analysis of the Law of the Sea negotiation in the context of international relations and negotiation theory
The Law of the Sea negotiation, which was instigated as a response to increased human activities at sea, was an international law making process. The negotiation has been described as the longest, most techncally complex, continuous negotiation attempted in modem times. It was attended by almost all states in the world and contained a series of complex and overlapping issues. It was a remarkably successful process in that it concluded with an agreement, which protagonists with different interests and objectives succeeded in producing after 27 years. This thesis analyses international relations and negotiation theories that relate to the Law of the Sea negotiation, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each body of theory. The work goes on to examine the most importnt aspets of the Law of the Sea negotiation, including why the negotiation started, the core issues and principal actors of the negotiation, the process up until 1980 when the draft Treaty was devised, the American rejection of the Treaty and the process which led to the final agreement of 1994. The work then looks at these individual aspects of the negotiation in the context of the examination of international relations theory and negotiation theory that relates to the Law of the Sea. The thesis concludes by proposing a model that explains the Law of the Sea negotiation. The model questions existing theory on the meaning of the state and states' status in international society.