Settling the Scales: Justice in International Environmental Negotiations and Beyond

  • Date: –12:00
  • Location: Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala
  • Doctoral student: Annkatrin Tritschoks
  • About the dissertation
  • Organiser: Department of Peace and Conflict Research
  • Contact person: Annkatrin Tritschoks
  • Disputation

Parties to international negotiations typically invoke conflicting notions of justice. If these can be reconciled, this has positive effects on the negotiation process and outcome. If conflicts over justice persist, negotiations can stall or result in suboptimal outcomes. However, research to date paid scant attention to the means by which justice in international negotiations can be attained. This dissertation addresses this gap and studies two aspects of justice in international negotiations, as well as factors that shape them. The first two essays of the composite dissertation focus on perceptions of justice during negotiations; the latter two on shared justice formulas that parties devise to guide the negotiations. The empirical focus lies primarily on international environmental negotiations – an issue area where justice is central and often explicitly addressed. The final essay extends the analysis of justice to the Cyprus Talks – negotiations on a protracted social conflict that share some key characteristics with environmental negotiations in terms of complexity and interlinkages. Essay I develops the concept of justice and suggests a comprehensive approach to justice in international environmental negotiations. This conceptualization better explains variations in parties’ perceptions of justice than conventional approaches, which only cover some of the four components identified in the comprehensive approach. Essay II finds that the relationship between the chairperson and the negotiating parties affects perceptions of justice. Justice is attained, when the actors involved build a cooperative relationship based on their ability to form expectations and on a positive assessment of their exchange. If necessary, such relationship formation can be facilitated through the involvement of intermediary actors. Essay III distinguishes between three different types of shared justice formula that parties devise in international environmental negotiations. A cursory analysis shows that different explanatory factors shape the different types of shared justice formula, which furthermore are linked in different ways to negotiation effectiveness, both fruitful avenues for future research. Essay IV finds that ripeness theory – in a modified form that accounts for complexity and relationships among a multitude of players – helps to explain when parties devise a shared justice formula to guide negotiations. In conjunction, the essays contribute to current debates in the literature on justice and international negotiations, by taking account of complexity in the study of justice, and by stressing the importance of relationship formation with actors beyond the negotiating parties to attain justice.