oa Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Negotiations in the resolution of hostage-taking

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Mickolus (1976:1309-1325) distinguishes two competing approaches to negotiation, which he labels the 'no ransom' and 'flexible response' positions. During a terrorist incident, bargaining and negotiation cannot take into account potential differences in terrorists and terrorist demands. Government responsibility for its citizens, even for its political prisoners, is another rationale behind a 'no negotiation with terrorists' policy. 'Flexible response', on the other hand, implies that terrorists 'rarely double cross bargainers by increasing their demands, and rarely kill hostages without provocation'.

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