Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, 5th ed.  –  Online updating pages

Chapter 3: ‘Around-the-Table’ Negotiations

p. 44, formula stage: When the ‘framework agreement’ on the Iran nuclear question was announced in early 2015, following many years of negotiations, it was also described as an agreement providing ‘key parameters’ for a final, detailed settlement.

p. 48, The details stage: An example of the details stage of an early nineteenth century negotiation (the formula was a ‘peace treaty’), is provided by the talks between British and Turkish plenipotentiaries at the Dardanelles in November and December 1808 that culminated in their signature of a treaty on 5 January 1809. I suggest this example because the reports on each round of negotiations (‘conference’) sent back to the foreign secretary in London, George Canning, by the British negotiator, Robert Adair, are clear and instructive – and freely available here (pp. 48-116); they show that in key respects matters have changed little in the last 200 years. Adair, who was also a Member of Parliament, was a skilful negotiator, although on this occasion he was ably assisted by the locally based embassy dragoman (interpreter and go-between), Bartholomew Pisani, who had been out of work since the rupture in diplomatic relations between Britain and Turkey two years earlier. In the early 1830s Adair’s special mission in Belgium helped to prevent war between the Flemings and the Dutch, and he was honoured at home as a Knight Grand Cross (GCB) for his diplomatic services.

Further reading: additions and links

Adair, Sir Robert, The Negotiations for the Peace of the Dardanelles, in 1808-9: with dispatches and official documents, vol. I (Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans: 1845)

‘Iran nuclear deal: negotiators announce “framework” agreement’, The Guardian, 3 April 2015

O’Carroll, Lisa, ‘Theresa May’s negotiator on EU tactics and her worst Brexit day’, The Guardian, 6 December 2020

Powell, Jonathan, ‘Like Pyrrhus, Johnson loves to lay claim to victories, all of which are at our expense’, The Guardian, 25 October 2020