Edited by Mara Olekalns and Wendi L. Adair
Chapter 17: Environmental disputes: negotiating over risks, values and the future
Environmental negotiations embody many of the characteristics and dynamics of negotiations in other realms. They engage disputing parties representing legitimate but divergent interests in bargaining arrangements characterized by disparate power and influence, psychological framing, and the inevitable communication challenges associated with any human interactions. While similar in these regards, environmental negotiations nonetheless exhibit some notable distinctions. The nature of most environmental issues and, moreover, the public context within which these issues arise and are negotiated are markedly different from the other domains from which most negotiation theory has been developed and refined. This chapter briefly describes the distinguishing characteristics of environmental conflicts. It explains the variations observed within this field and summarizes major areas of research. It concludes with a discussion of the implications for future research and practice of environmental negotiation. Early environmental negotiation processes drew heavily from the established norms and practices of labor management and collective bargaining (Susskind and Weinstein, 1980; Harrington, 1994). However, early theory posited that environmental cases presented novel challenges.
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