• John W. Schiemann
Part of the Political Evolution and Institutional Change book series (PEIC)


The importance of cost-estimating mental models, of attitudes toward risky bargaining strategies, for determining pact-making outcomes can be seen not only by what did happen, but also by what did not—but could have—happened. The contingency inherent in pact-making in particular and bargaining generally suggests the theoretical possibility of a different pact, of different outcomes in individual cases. Had Mandela and de Klerk not moderated their bargaining strategies in September 1992 there may not have been a democratization pact in South Africa. Had there been no Elders, or at least Elders of the stature of Deng Xiaoping and Yang Shangkun, then dialogue and some form of modus vivendi might have been reached between the students and a regime led by Zhao Ziyang. If the threat by Jaruzelski and his fellow reformers to resign had been called, Poland may have had its own Tiananmen-like massacre. Historical events in Hungary also suggest the empirical plausibility of different outcomes.There were, after all, risk-taking negotiators for the MSZMP and risk-averse negotiators within the EKA.


Opposition Parti Constitutional Court Institutional Choice Historical Parti Bargaining Strategy 
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© John W. Schiemann 2005

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  • John W. Schiemann

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