Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Negotiating dangerously: Should we negotiate with terrorists?

Negotiating with extremists at NegotiatingTip of the WeekHere in America, in a political climate which increasingly abandons the reasoned debate and factual analysis that once characterized public discourse in favor of logical fallacies, cheap appeals to emotion, and personal attacks, there is evidently little popular support for intelligent dialogue between political parties, let alone between the U.S. and its adversaries abroad.

Against that backdrop, a question that emerges time and again is, "Should we negotiate with terrorists?" In the public imagination, negotiation has unfortunately come to be synonymous with compromise, appeasement, and weakness, and the answer for many here is "no".

In his latest edition of Negotiating Tip of the Week, Josh Weiss poses and ponders exactly that kind of tough question. He begins by challenging the popular definition of negotiation and proposing instead one that mediators will be familiar with.

To join Josh in asking what it means to negotiate with extremists, listen to his podcast here. As always, Josh welcomes listener input, along with ideas for future programs. This is one place on the web at least where public discourse remains welcome.

Technorati tags: , ,