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Culture, Power and International Negotiations: Understanding Palau—US Status Negotiations

Chapter

Abstract

Not even one-tenth of the way into his magisterial, and never self-wounding, recounting of his years as Richard Nixon’s national security advisor, Henry Kissinger recalls his first visit (in that capacity) to Italy: ‘I have always loved the stark beauty of the country and extraordinary humanity of its people.’ He goes on:

But every visit confirmed that Italy followed different political laws and had a different concept of the role of the state from that of the rest of Western Europe. Perhaps Italians were too civilized, too imbued with the worth of the individual to make the total commitment to political goals that for over a century and a half had driven the rivalries and ambitions of the other countries of Europe.

Keywords

Conflict Resolution International Relation Free Association International Negotiation Negotiation Journal 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    H. Kissinger, White House Years (Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1979), pp. 100–1.Google Scholar
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    See K. Avruch and P.W. Black, ‘Ideas of Human Nature in Contemporary Conflict Resolution Theory’, Negotiation Journal (Vol. 6, No. 3, 1990), pp. 226–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 5.
    M. Banks, ‘The International Relations Discipline: Asset or Liability for Conflict Resolution?’, in E. Azar and J. Burton (eds), International Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice (Brighton: Wheatsheaf Books, 1986), p. 10.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    See, among many others, J.W. Burton, Global Conflict: The Domestic Sources of International Crisis (Brighton: Wheatsheaf Books, 1984)Google Scholar
  5. D.L. Horowitz, Ethnic Groups in Conflict (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1985)Google Scholar
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  7. 7.
    We mean works that are analytical of culture and negotiation, not merely memoiristic, and we limit ourselves here to Americans. First, we note the importance of Edward T. Hall, who was on the staff of the US State Department’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI) in the 1950s, and introduced many of the ideas on intercultural communication to young and future diplomats. Consider also Edmund Glenn, who was chief of the State Department’s translation services for many years, Man and Mankind: Conflict and Communication between Cultures (Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1981), and works by Glen Fisher, a diplomat and former dean at the FSI, International Negotiation: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press, 1980) andMindsets: The Role of Culture and Perception in International Relations (Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press, 1988). See also H. Binnendijk (ed.), National Negotiating Styles (Washington, DC: Foreign Service Institute, US Department of State, 1Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    See particularly R. Cohen, Culture and Conflict in Egyptian-Israeli Relations: a Dialogue of the Deaf (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1990); and Negotiating across Cultures: Communication Obstacles in International Diplomacy (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1991). See also I.W. Zartman and M.R. Berman, The Practical Negotiator (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1982), pp. 224–9. A cross-cultural approach to conflict and conflict resolution at levels below the state can be found in K. Avruch, P.W. Black and J.A. Scimecca (eds), Conflict Resolution: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (New York, NY: Greenwood Press, 1991).Google Scholar
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    For a precise definition of ‘intercultural’ conflict, see K. Avruch and P.W. Black, ‘The Culture Question and Conflict Resolution’, Peace & Change (Vol. 16, No. 1, 1991), pp. 37–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 14.
    These are just the sort of questions John W. Burton has asked for many years in his conflict-resolution based critique of power politics and realism; see, for example J.W. Burton, Conflict: Resolution and Prevention (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990). On the other hand, Burton has a constricted sense of culture. SeeGoogle Scholar
  11. K. Avruch and P. Black, ‘A Generic Theory of Conflict Resolution: a Critique’, Negotiation Journal (Vol. 3, No. 1, 1987), pp. 87–96, 99–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. J.W. Burton and D. Sandole, ‘Expanding the Debate on Generic Theory of Conflict Resolution: A Response to a Critique’, Negotiation Journal (Vol. 3, No. 1, 1987), pp. 97–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 16.
    Cited in W.J. Hickel, Who Owns America? (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1971), p. 208.Google Scholar
  14. 17.
    Report of the US Survey Mission to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (Washington, DC: The White House, 1963). The anti-compact perspective informs, inter alia, R. Aldridge and C. Meyers, Resisting the Serpent: Palau’s Struggle for Self Determination (Baltimore, MD: Fortkamp Publishing Company, 1990)Google Scholar
  15. C. Lutz (ed.), Micronesia as a Strategic Colony: The Impact of U.S. Policy on Micronesian Health and Culture (Cambridge, MA: Cultural Survival, 1984)Google Scholar
  16. S. Roff, Overreaching in Paradise: United States Policy in Palau Since 1945 (Juneau, AL: Denali Press, 1991)Google Scholar
  17. J. Anglim, ‘Palau: Constitution for Sale’, Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars (Vol. 22, No. 1, 1990), pp. 5–20Google Scholar
  18. L. Wilson, ‘Women of Belau: Confronting US Military Policy in the Pacific’, Radcliffe Quarterly (June 1993), pp. 14–16.Google Scholar
  19. 18.
    Pro-compact narrative may be found in official reports, e.g. US Department of State, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands: 37th Annual Report to the United Nations (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1984) and administration testimony in, e.g., US Senate, To Approve the Compact of Free Association, Hearings Before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 98th Congress, 2d Session, No. 98–1067, 24 May 1984; and to some extent in, inter alia, A. Leibowitz, The Last Trusteeship: The Struggle over Palau (manuscript); and A. Ranney and H. Penniman, Democracy in the Islands: The Micronesian Plebiscites of 1983 (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1985).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    For the history of the negotiations, see K. Nakamura, ‘Letter to Leadership of Fourth Olblil Era Kelulau from the President of Palau Regarding Implementation of the Proposed Company of Free Association Between the Republic of Palau and the United States of America’, Serial 0318–93 (Koror, Palau: Office of the President, 12 May 1993)Google Scholar
  21. G. Smith, Micronesia: Decolonisation and U.S. Military Interests in the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1991)Google Scholar
  22. E. Wood, ‘Prelude to an Anti-War Constitution’, Journal of Pacific History (Vol. 28, No. 1, 1993), p. 67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. J. Dorrance, Micronesian Crosscurrents and the US Role in the Western Pacific: A Case Study of US Interests, Objectives and Policy Implementation with Recommendations for Change (Washington, DC: National War College, 1975)Google Scholar
  24. D. Shuster, ‘Elections, Compact and Assassination in the Republic of Palau’, Pacific Studies (Vol. 12, No. 1, 1988), pp. 23–48Google Scholar
  25. V. Uherbelau, ‘Closing Statement: 60th United Nations Trusteeship Council’, New York, NY, 17 May 1993.Google Scholar
  26. 21.
    Among the most important of these reports are A. Boss et al., Report of the International Observer Mission, Palau Referendum, December 1986 (New York: International League for Human Rights, Minority Rights Group, 1987)Google Scholar
  27. L. Christopher, Palau’s Evolving Relationship to the United States, Report No. 88–442F (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 1988)Google Scholar
  28. S. Solarz et al., ‘Problems in Paradise: US Interests in the South Pacific’, Report of a Congressional Delegation to the South Pacific, 5–16 August, 1989, 101st Congress, 2d Session (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office). US General Accounting Office, US Trust Territory: Issues Associated with Palau’s Transition to Self-Government, Publication 89–182 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1989). See alsoGoogle Scholar
  29. R. Parmentier, ‘The Rhetoric of Free Association and Palau’s Political Struggle’, The Contemporary Pacific (Vol. 3, No. 1, 1991), pp. 146–58.Google Scholar
  30. 23.
    D. Shuster, ‘Politics, Ethnicity and Violence in Palau: The Furlough Period’ (Laie, HI: Brigham Young University, Institute for Polynesian Studies, 1990, ms).Google Scholar
  31. 24.
    For the history of Palau, see, among others, K. Nero, Cherechar a Lokelii: Beads of History of Koror, Palau 1780–1983, PhD dissertation, University of California, 1987. For recent ethnographic analyses, see C. Ferreira, Palauan Cosmology: Dominance in a Traditional Micronesia Society (Gothenburg: Acta Universitatus Gothoburgensis, 1987)Google Scholar
  32. R. Parmentier, The Sacred Remains: Myth, History and Polity in Belau (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1987)Google Scholar
  33. D. Smith, Palauan Social Structure (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1983). For bital ma bital as metaphor, see R. and M. Force, ‘Keys to Cultural Understanding’, Science (Vol. 133, No. 3460, 1961), pp. 1202–6.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

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