The Role of Negotiation in Counter-Terrorism

Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

Terrorism refers to the indiscriminate use of violence to induce or cause fear and terror in the target population as a means or strategy to achieve political, economic, ideological, or religious aims. This provokes a reactionary and prompt force from the government, thus creating an unending cycle of violence to both actors (Wells, Simon, et al 475). The reaction from the governments across the world has always been through the use of counter-terrorism efforts. The efforts have not yielded to their objectives, necessitating a complete overhaul, and understanding of counter-terrorism. New approaches require both parties to work out together and come up with solutions to the unending and costly violence. One of the most effective yet least explored solution is dialogue. Negotiations with terrorists, however morally deprived, need to be given a chance.

The Dependent Variable

What is the dependent variable of the attached reading?

Negotiation is the dependent variable as its success depends on other variables. Negotiation between governments through dialogue with terrorists enables them to discuss their perceived grievances. This should be done in a free environment devoid of threats and grandstand to ascertain their success (Wells, Simon, et al 482). Negotiations, being the dependent variable, can be measured by the number of meetings held by negotiating parties.

The Independent Variables

What are your independent variables?

In facilitation of successful negotiations, many independent variables do affect the outcome. One of the most important independent variables is the coordination of different countries in handling negotiations. This enables them to align their interests and develop a common and shared agenda. In addition, it is suitable where the terror organizations have networks in multiple countries. Coordination is also key as terror groups can take advantage of any disunity to lull counterterrorism efforts. Coordination can be measured by the parties that come together to form a unified representation. Selection of negotiators is another key variable. The selected negotiators need to invoke respect and inspiration from the represented rank and file. Due to the delicate negotiations with terrorists, which may evoke legitimization concerns, negotiators need to guarantee the effectiveness of solutions or agreement after the negotiations (Wells, Simon, et al 482). This is because they form automatically from the implementing institutions. In addition, the selection of negotiators variable can be measured through profiling negotiators attributes.

Concurrently, another key independent variable is the availability of genuine interest from both parties. For negotiations to be effective, all parties must lay out all their interests in space or atmosphere of utmost good faith (Wells, Simon, et al 484). There should be no hidden agendas or tacts to play smart over the other. Parties with a convergence of interest coupled with good faith are bound to make binding agreements that are respected by all. As a way of demonstrating genuine interest, there should always be cessations of all hostilities and active operations against each other. This variable can be measured by the number of concessions that both parties offer.

To enhance further the negotiation process, open communication is a key variable. Both parties in a negotiation should be open-minded with no predetermined outcomes (Wells, Simon, et al 489). Free and open communication motivates faster decision-making and a sense of responsibility in fulfilling their roles after the agreement has been signed. This attribute can be measured by the number of complaints about dishonesty.

How to Operationalize each of these Variables

The coordination between different countries can be operationalized by regional or multilateral organizations initiating meetings and holding dialogue to ensure there is unity of purpose and alignment of all countries' interests. All countries can nominate members of a council that will dialogue with terrorists, and ensure they have a shared objective. In the selection of negotiators, countries and terror groups should find respectable and inspiring individuals to represent them (Wells, Simon, et al 490). As a way of demonstrating a genuine interest in pursuit of peace, both parties should ensure there is an immediate cessation of hostilities, and there is direct engagement. In an effort to facilitate open communication, both parties should clearly and comprehensively detail all their grievances in an open atmosphere devoid of underhand intimidation tactics. Both parties should hold dialogue directly without proxies as a commitment to open communication.

Works Cited

Wells, Simon, et al. "Crisis negotiation: terrorism intervention." Handbook of Research on         Negotiation, pp. 473-496.

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