24 Items

Palestinians walk past the building destroyed in the Israeli Bombardment of Gaza (AP Photo/Mohammed Hajjar)

AP Photo/Mohammed Hajjar

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Overcoming Barriers to Resolving Gaza and Beyond

| Jan. 23, 2024

As of early January 2024, discussion of the Gaza war heavily focuses on its humanitarian costs, cease fire possibilities, hostage prospects, and “day after” options. Yet what longer-term strategy guides actions on these vital issues while offering a more positive vision for Israelis, Palestinians, and key regional players? This paper sketches such a vision and strategy, but far more importantly, highlights the formidable barriers to its realization—and the elements of a realistic path to overcoming those barriers. With old political assumptions jolted by recent events, an opening exists for a new and better regional reality to take shape.

A woman stops to look at Ukrainian flags placed in memory of those killed during the war near Maidan Square in central Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.

AP Photo/Daniel Cole

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Russia and Ukraine Are Not Ready for Talks

| Jan. 11, 2023

No deal is possible between a Ukraine that is making steady battlefield progress and a Russia in denial of this reality. Even calling for talks today risks benefiting Moscow. But this impasse need not be permanent. By keeping up pressure on Russia, Ukraine and its partners in the West can begin to create the conditions for negotiations to succeed.

Former Secretaries of State and Putin

Benn Craig

Analysis & Opinions

Negotiating with Vladimir Putin: Video Advice from Five Former U.S. Secretaries of State

| Mar. 25, 2022

To forge a diplomatic end to the war in Ukraine, much analysis has rightly focused on efforts to build sufficient leverage (e.g. via sanctions, military aid to Ukraine, etc.) and to design possible agreements (e.g. ceasefires, troop withdrawals, the relationship of Ukraine to NATO and the EU, the status of the Donbas and Crimea, etc.). Yet transforming leverage and deal concepts into an actual war-ending agreement requires tactical and interpersonal skill, almost certainly involving dealing with Vladimir Putin. Based on their lengthy personal negotiations with this challenging Russian leader, this video compilation delivers highly relevant insights from Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Rex Tillerson. 

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Harvard Professors Reflect on the Life and Impact of Secretary George P. Shultz

Following the death of former Secretary of State George P. Shultz on February 6, 2021, Professors Nicholas Burns of Harvard Kennedy School, Robert Mnookin of Harvard Law School, and James Sebenius of Harvard Business School released a statement on his impact over more than two decades in government. The professors formally interviewed Shultz between 2014 and 2016 as part of Harvard’s Secretaries of State Project to gain insight into his effectiveness as the nation’s top diplomat. 

Tom Brady takes some time to talk with Patriots owner Robert Kraft (l) and media mogul Rupert Murdoch (r) before an NFL game.

Winslow Townson (AP)

Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Business Review

Rupert Murdoch, the NFL, and the Negotiation That Remade TV

| Apr. 10, 2019

What can be learned about diplomacy by studying the negotiating tactics of Robert Murdoch, one of the most successful and acquisitive businessmen in the media landscape today? Quite a bit, James Sebenius writes—especially if one takes a closer look at Murdoch's now-legendary NFL deal.

Graffiti painted on the sidewalk that reads "amazno" by someone opposed to the location of the Amazon headquarters in New York

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Analysis & Opinions - HBS Working Knowledge

Seven Negotiation Lessons from Amazon's HQ Disaster in Queens

| Mar. 08, 2019

As Amazon’s stunning pullout from New York fades into the news archives, its potent lessons for business negotiators risk being lost. Highly promising deals in diffuse multiparty settings with many potential spoilers, like Amazon’s planned headquarters in Queens, often collapse as a result of negotiating too narrowly with those who have formal power and authority. Negotiation experts have a patriarchal name for a version of this classic—and avoidable—mistake: Decide-Announce-Defend or DAD.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California speaking on Capitol Hill in response to President Donald Trump’s Oval Office address

Screenshot / YouTube

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

A Negotiated Solution to the Shutdown

| Jan. 10, 2019

Normal hard bargaining would transform the wall into some kind of physical barrier to be erected in key places; a compromise on money and other border security measures; and a reopened government. But these are not normal times. The wall is becoming a proxy for who’s right and wrong, who’s tougher, who will back down.

Video - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

James Sebenius on Office Hours

| Sep. 04, 2018

James K. Sebenius, the Gordon Donaldson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author (with R. Nicholas Burns and Robert H. Mnookin) of Kissinger the Negotiator, talks with Aroop Mukharji (@aroopmukharji) about why Kissinger was an effective negotiator, the lessons we can all learn about negotiation, and Trump’s private sector negotiations.