Incomplete Negotiations: The Belgium Case

Fridl, D. (2005). Incomplete Negotiations: The Belgium Case. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-05-041

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Why do some negotiations end in agreement and some do not? Are there lessons that can be learned from studying negotiations that did not end in agreement? In this paper, I examine the history of 19th century Belgium and the events that led up to the negotiations over its future in 1830, which ended without agreement. The Kingdom of the Netherlands which consisted of Belgium, Luxembourg and northern Netherlands was formed at the Vienna Congress in 1815 with a specific purpose of serving as a buttress against French expansion. In 1830, due to unfavorable treatment by the Dutch, the Belgians rebelled and declared independence. This paper analyzes reasons for the lack of agreement in the negotiations that took place at the London Conference between the Dutch and the Belgians with the great powers of Europe (Russia, Prussia, Austria and Great Britain) acting as mediator. The reasons that contributed to lack of agreement in negotiations were the following: the actors all had perceived power asymmetry; the great powers were ineffective in their role as a mediator due to their own strategic interests; there was a lack of trust between the negotiators as well as towards the mediator; King William I could not see benefits of Forward-Looking Outcomes that the neutrality of Belgium could bring to his country; finally, during the course of negotiations the mediator neither created nor provided opportunities for Mutually Hurting Stalemates or Mutually Enticing Opportunities. As a result of these different factors, the negotiations between the Dutch and Belgium did not reach agreement. These reasons can be used to understand the outcomes of other negotiations as well as to provide guidelines for effective negotiations.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: Processes of International Negotiation Network (PIN)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:18
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:19

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