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n African Journal on Conflict Resolution - Building trust and playing hardball : contrasting negotiating styles in South Africa's transition to democracy

Volume 12, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1562-6997

Abstract

This article examines two contrasting and complementary negotiation styles employed by the African National Congress (ANC) during the negotiation process that ended apartheid in South Africa. Taking its cue from the workof negotiation theorists who have distinguished between 'cooperative' and 'adversarial' negotiation styles, it presents the August 1991 replacement of Thabo Mbeki as chief ANC negotiator with Cyril Ramaphosa as a pivotal turning point in the ANC's drive to secure agreement on a majoritarian constitutional settlement. Through a historical analysis of Mbeki's efforts to build trust and alleviate 'other-anxiety' and Ramaphosa's subsequent use of brinksmanship and other 'hardball' tactics to enhance the ANC's bargaining position, the article suggests that the success of Ramaphosa's 'adversarial' approach was largely dependent on Mbeki's earlier success in cultivating sufficient trust and confidence between the two main parties as to enable them to come to an ultimately 'irreversible' understanding of their mutual interest in making peace.

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/content/accordr/12/3/EJC129469
2012-01-01
2019-10-23

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