The British-IRA prenegotiations and the effect of United States involvement
O'Donovan, Sean Michael.
Wirtz, James J.
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With the end of the Cold War and of the predictability of bi-polar power arrangements, the opportunity to shape global security has arisen. As the sole remaining superpower the United States has an opportunity and probably a requirement to attempt to shape this new international environment. As new conflicts arise and old ones continue nations try to negotiate to solve these problems diplomatically. To facilitate negotiations a phase of prenegotiation takes place to try to get the parties to the negotiating table. This thesis uses the British-IRA prenegotiations to examine this process and to explore the role the United States can and should play in international conflict resolution. The case is studied using prenegotiation and negotiation theory, which is reviewed in Chapter 2. The current British-IRA prenegotiations process is examined along with the role the United States has played. Despite British objections the United States has gotten involved in facilitating the talks, often benefitting the IRA-Sinn Fein side. This has had a negative effect on the British-U. S. relations, but the overall effect has been positive, forcing the issue and moving the prenegotiations towards formal negotiations.
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