The Role of Justice in Historical Negotiations


  • Authors’ note: An earlier version of this article was presented at the annual conference of the International Association for Conflict Management, Boston, 2010. Thanks go to the anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions.

Daniel Druckman, George Mason University and University of Southern Queensland, Australia; e-mail:


This study explores the role of justice in eleven historical cases of inter-governmental negotiation. Building on results obtained in several recent studies on justice in negotiation, we examine a set of hypotheses about relationships among negotiating process (as distributive bargaining or problem solving), justice (as procedural and distributive), outcomes (as compromise or integrative), and the duration of the agreements. The process variables were coded from negotiators’ statements with categories from the bargaining process analysis system. The justice variables were coded with a system developed in recent studies on peace agreements. Similar to the results obtained by Hollander-Blumoff and Tyler (2008: 473) in a simulated legal setting, we find correlations between procedural justice, problem solving, and integrative outcomes. Similar to the results obtained by Druckman and Albin (2011: 1137) on peace agreements, we find a strong relationship between distributive justice and the durability of the agreement. In these cases, problem-solving processes were shown to mediate the relationship between procedural justice and integrative outcomes. The findings suggest that justice plays an important role across a variety of negotiation settings. We present these results as heuristic, suggesting avenues for further research on larger and more diverse samples of cases.