The Global Power of Talk explores the power of negotiation and diplomacy in US foreign policy at a critical juncture in US history. Beginning with the failure of US diplomacy in relation to Saddam Hussein's regime in the 1980s, it shows how a series of diplomatic blunders has laid the foundations for the uninhibited use of 'gun power' over 'talk power' in the last two decades. It critically examines missed opportunities in America's handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. In a provocative conclusion, the authors argue that the United States can and should negotiate with the so-called 'unengageables' like Iran, North Korea, and Al-Qaeda, in order to find ways to defuse underlying tensions in the global system.
"Two outstanding scholars of negotiation have written a powerful book on a critical subject. In our deeply and angrily divided world, too many have lost the capacity to talk respectfully or relate constructively to one another. In a majesterial analysis of a changing world's challenges, Hampson and Zartman have identified the fundamentals of talk that can produce creative relationships capable of meeting those challenges."
--Harold H. Saunders, President Jimmy Carter's assistant secretary of state at Camp David, now President of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue
"Winston Churchill famously said 'jaw-jaw is better than war-war.' Hampson and Zartman bring his important insight up to date by examining the variety of forms of talk that underlies negotiation and diplomacy. They illustrate it with fascinating examples of policy successes and failures, and provide an important set of lessons for American policymakers today."
--Joseph S. Nye Jr., University Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard and author of The Future of Power
"Two esteemed experts on international political negotiation make a powerful new case for the value of this foreign policy tool. They illustrate the costs of bungled opportunities and advance concrete suggestions for the future. Diplomats and students should read these lessons from decades of world experience."
--John S. Odell, Professor and Director of the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California
"Timely and thought-provoking, The Global Power of Talk is an essential read for scholars and practitioners alike. In these turbulent times of global change and transition, the authors offer fresh perspectives on the 'power of talk' and diplomacy in one nation's--the United States's--pursuit of international peace and security."
--Terje RØD-Larsen, President of the International Peace Institute and former UN Undersecretary General and Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process
"Offer[s] a new perspective on diplomatic relations and an optimistic eye toward the future."
“Worthy of serious attention”
--Karl Helicher, Foreword Reviews Spring 2012
Preface Part 1 Talking Chapter 1 Talk Power for the Tough Minded Chapter 2 How America Lost Its Way: Iraq and Palestine, and the Failure to Use Talk Power Chapter 3 The Tools of Talk Power Chapter 4 The Proven Success of Talk Power: Lessons from the Middle East Part II Managing Chapter 5 Timely Talk to Prevent Violent Conflict Chapter 6 Engaging Unengageables Chapter 7 Talking with Terrorists Chapter 8 Taming Intractable Regional Conflicts Part III Teaming Chapter 9 Building "Teams of Rivals" Chapter 10 Talking with Friends and Allies Chapter 11 Talking Laterally on New Governance Challenges Chapter 12 Negotiating America's Interests Notes Suggestions for Further Reading Index About the Authors