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Abstract

Following the Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid in 1991, the Arms Control and Regional Security (ACRS) working group was launched as the first and so far only official regional arms control negotiations. While there have been multiple attempts to distil the lessons of the ACRS process, the aspect of events most conducive to forging trust between the negotiators and their inter-personal dynamics has never been explored. This paper takes an inter-disciplinary approach to studying negotiations: it zooms in on the ACRS process, integrating Middle East studies, decision making processes and nonproliferation literature with negotiations theory and oral history techniques, in the first attempt at a more comprehensive methodology to one of the highlights in the modern Middle Eastern diplomacy. To convey the multiple vantage points of participants, a three-stage methodological process is discussed: individual interviews with negotiating team members and facilitators, followed by group interviews of national delegations, and finally, a group session with representatives from each delegation. Ultimately, this model helps preserve a more accurate historical account, and significantly complements the technical insights on the negotiation dynamics with unexpected inter-personal relations angles, assisting in the design of more promising future frameworks.

Author Bio(s)

Egle Murauskaite is Research Associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS). She specializes in trends of nuclear and dual-use technology transfers, with the focus on the Middle East and South Asia. Her work appeared in the Global Policy Journal, Arms Control Today, Chicago Tribune, as well as the website of Arms Control and Regional Security for the Middle East; she also presented her research at the 54th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA), 26th Annual Conference of the International Association for Conflict Management (IACM), 8th Pan European Conference of International Relations, and the ISA ISSS-ISAC Joint Annual Conference. Prior to joining CNS, Murauskaite has been working as a research assistant with Ambassador Fahmy at the American University in Cairo. In 2011, she also taught a short course “Introduction to Politics and Negotiations” at Vilnius Satrija Youth Center. She holds an MA (Summa Cum Laude) in International Security Studies from Sciences Po Paris, and a BA in Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. Contact: emurauskaite@miis.edu Tel. 202.842.3100, ext. 309

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