The first project of the INI in geo-political negotiation focuses on hybrid warfare.
Hybrid warfare is hard to define precisely but has a potentially dramatic effect on negotiation. The INI is launching a research project focused on this difficult but critical field. Hybrid warfare is a term applied to non-military covert and overt activities used to wage war.
It includes disinformation, cyberattacks, money laundering, economic coercion, lawfare, theft and hijacking of intellectual property, as well as interference in elections, disinformation through social and other media, supply chain disruption and corruption – all of which, and more, can be designed and implemented in negotiations to achieve strategic aims.
 See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawfare
Other gambits are more subtle and long term, such as targeted purchases of shareholdings via nominee entities in systemically important technology and other companies urgently in need of fresh capital. Hybrid warfare may also involve negotiated transfers of technology to or on behalf of partner or supplier enterprises, or other methods used by supposedly friendly commercial partners.
It is a general characteristic of these actions that the real predators and their true goals are carefully disguised – this is ‘asymmetrical negotiation’ with a vengeance. Targets of hybrid warfare include governments, political parties, businesses, universities, national and international non-governmental organizations and private individuals.
There is a dearth of research on the impact of hybrid warfare on negotiation, particularly on international negotiation and dispute resolution involving businesses and government bodies. The purpose of INI research into hybrid warfare is to advance the state of awareness and knowledge in this vital area from the negotiator’s perspective and to develop skills required to negotiate effectively in the context of hybrid warfare in as many of its aspects as possible.
The INI has convened a multidisciplinary working group of conflict management scholars and practitioners along with international security experts. They examine the hybrid warfare aspects of negotiation processes, communications, leverage, ethics, tactics and techniques with a view to developing, mobilizing and disseminating effective organisational negotiation capabilities, strategies, policies, and ethical standards that can be effective in managing hybrid warfare threats to negotiated outcomes.
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