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Title: Secrecy and transparancy towards third-parties in negotiation : contribution to a historical study of international negotiation
Author: Colson, Aure´lien
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 7812
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2007
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This research studies the historical and political move from secrecy to transparency in international negotiation, and investigates to what extent the latter constitutes a political progress. • Exploring century-old texts on diplomatic practice, Chapter 1 shows how secrecy was constructed as the norm of international negotiations (from the Renaissance to the apex of absolute monarchy): both the negotiation process and outcome could be veiled. • Secrecy has then been contested by the principle of publicity, the philosophical roots of which are examined (from the Enlightenment to Wilson): negotiation process could remain secret, but it became generally agreed that its outcome should be made public (Chapter 2). • Chapter 3 introduces the concept of injunction of transparency: in contemporary times, secrecy is contested by a powerful demand for exposure, which gradually expands into negotiation arenas. Consequently, the negotiation process itself is under an increasing pressure to be made public. Simmel' s works on secret societies help analyse this evolution. It is then demonstrated, from the viewpoint of negotiation theories and techniques, that secrecy and transparency towards third-parties constitute a dilemma - or a tension, as the literature puts it - between efficiency of the process and legitimacy of the outcome. Chapter 4 builds two ideal-types of negotiations - totally secret or totally transparent towards third parties - to highlight their key characteristics. Extreme transparency dissolves the boundary between the negotiation table and "the rest of the world", enabling stakeholders to interfere. The original concepts of quasi-negotiator and quasi-multilateral negotiations are constructed. • Chapter 5 examines how the dilemma is handled in practice. Consideration is given to the "closed door diplomacy" model, followed by a discussion of partial secrecy, and temporal secrecy. The issue of asymmetry is addressed, in relation with the sustainability of secrecy over time. • In order to verify the previous findings, Chapter 6 provides a case study of the international negotiations on air services agreements, based on the 1944 Chicago Convention, and which feature the interplay between secrecy and transparency.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available