"The Practical Negotiator" by I. William         Zartman

The Practical Negotiator I. William Zartman, Maureen R. Berman

Publication date:
10 Sep 1983
Yale University Press
250 pages: 210 x 130mm

The art of international negotiation can be learned, according to William Zartman and Maureen Berman.  Their purpose in this book is to teach aspiring diplomas and others how to negotiate most effectively.  Drawing on a wide range of sources—historical material from past negotiations, interviews with experienced negotiators, the theories and ideas of other students of the problem, and findings on bargaining behavior from experiments and stimulations—they introduce their own scheme of organization to clarify the nature of negotiation.


They portray negotiation as a three-stage process involving prenegotiation, developing a formula, and working out details, and they provide insights into the appropriate behaviors for each phase.  Their examples from several dozen postwar negotiations, based on the reflections of seventy participants interviewed for this study, are particularly vivid and illuminating.  Viewing negotiation as a paradoxical process in which both conflict and cooperation are required, Zartman and Berman present a more positive and constructive model than previous studies have done.  Their major prescription—that negotiators try to find agreement on a formula before turning to matters of detail—clearly facilitates the framing of joint decisions among opposing parties.

"A compact but powerful guide to the essential of diplomacy. . . . Will undoubtedly be a part of the entering foreign service officer's required reading; it also provides interesting insights into past historical negotiations."?Library Journal

"A valuable distillation and analysis of negotiating experience, this guide is based largely on the recollections and advice of many who have conducted negotiations over the past half century, admirably organized and commented upon by the authors."?John C. Campbell, Foreign Affairs

"With its accent on action and behavior in the process of negotiation, The Practical Negotiator is a highly innovative book that should be read by both students and practitioners of international diplomacy."?Robert J. Pranger, Perspective

"A valiant, praiseworthy attempt to collate and document the undocumentable, exceedingly complex, and varied principles guiding largely successful negotiations. The bases for this commonsensical summary are historical records, well-chosen anecdotes, post-interviews with significant negotiators such as W. Averell Harriman and Arthur J. Goldberg (supplemented by questionnaires and memoirs), and a few laboratory studies."?Leonard W. Doob, The Key Reporter

"This book is concerned primarily with international negotiations and the dynamics and free flow of policies, expectations, and demands associated with the competitive claims of nation-states. It is a valuable book with useful case histories for everyone concerned with these matters."?American Bar Association Journal

"A valuable contribution to the expanding literature on negotiation. The authors have produced a work that both proposes prescriptive formulations and offers, by virtue of its methodology, useful insights into some major past international negotiations and some key negotiators. . . . Certainly, more efforts of the type made here are needed for us to come to understand better the international negotiating process."?Roger Fisher, American Journal of International Law

"Succeeds brilliantly. . . . Zartman and Berman have made a significant contribution to the literature on negotiation. This book should be read by negotiators and scholars alike for valuable insights into the negotiating process."?Linda P. Brady, The American Political Science Review