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Bargaining in Arms Control Negotiations: The Seabeds Denuclearization Treaty

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 May 2009

P. Terrence Hopmann
P. Terrence Hopmann is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at theUniversity of Minnesota, Twin Cities. This article reports on research that is part of a larger project on bargaining in international arms control negotiations which the author is conducting with his colleague, Charles Walcott. Mr. Walcott has made significant contributions to the theoretical and methodological aspects of this project, which are reflected in this article, and the author gratefully acknowledges his contribution.
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This article analyzes the bargaining process in the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Conference/Conference of the Committee on Disarmament, in Geneva during 1969–70, on the issue of the Seabeds Denuclearization Treaty, which was opened for signature in 1971. A procedure called bargaining process analysis was employed to content analyze the interactions within this forum throughout four major phases of these negotiations. Limited support was given to several hypotheses about the effects of the bargaining process on the level of agreement. First, in several phases of these negotiations, the more the negotiating strategies were characterized as soft rather than as hard, the greater was the level of agreement relative to disagreement. Second, in several phases, the higher the ratio of task-oriented to affect-oriented behavior in bargaining style, the greater was the ratio of agreements to disagreements on issues under negotiation. Finally, the bargaining process analysis was able to describe several trends in these negotiations, especially the ability of the nuclear powers to reach relatively rapid agreement after initial differences, followed by much longer bargaining where differences between the nuclear and the nonnuclear states had to be resolved. This line of division may be increasingly characteristic of multilateral arms control negotiations and may be reflected in future negotiations in which nonnuclear states are important participants.

Copyright © The IO Foundation 1974

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1 The present analysis focuses only on the bargaining process in CCD on the issue of the seabeds. The article, therefore, does not focus on a variety of environmental effects on these negotiations, emanating both from other arms control negotiations such as SALT and from other events in the international environment. Although these negotiations were undoubtedly influenced substantially by such environmental factors, it was necessary to exclude them from this analysis and to set some arbitrary limits on the range of issues considered. In other research as part of a larger project on bargaining in arms control negotiations, however, the impact of environmental events has been heavily stressed. See, for example, Hopmann, P. Terrence, “International and External Influences on Bargaining in Arms Control Negotiations: The Partial Test Ban,” in Peace, War and Numbers, ed. Bruce, M. Russett (Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1972Google Scholar); and P. Terrence Hopmann and Charles Walcott, “The Bargaining Process in Arms Control Negotiations: An Experimental Analysis,” paper presented at the Tenth Annual North American Conference of the Peace Science Society (International), Philadelphia, 13–14 November 1972.0

2 Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (CCD)/317, Annex A, 11 September 1970, p. 1.

3 Ibid., p. 3.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid., p. 4.

6 Ibid.

7 Lklé, Fred Charles, How Nations Negotiate (New York: Praeger, 1964), pp. 6061.Google Scholar

8 Boulding, Kenneth E., Conflict and Defense: A General Theory (New York: Harper and Row, 1962), p. 18.Google Scholar

9 V. Edwin Bixenstine, Herbert M. Potash, and Kellogg V. Wilson, “Effects of the Level of Cooperative Choice by the Other Player on Choices in a Prisoner's Dilemma Game, Part I,” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 66 (April 1963): 308–13.

10 V. Edwin Bixenstine and Kellogg V. Wilson, “Effects of the Level of Cooperative Choice by the Other Player on Choices in a Prisoner's Dilemma Game, Part II,” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 67 (August 1963): 139–47.

11 Hopmann and Walcott, pp. 24–25.

12 Verba, Sidney, Small Groups and Political Behavior (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1961), p. 144.Google Scholar

13 Bales, Robert F., “A Set of Categories for the Analysis of Small Group Interactions,” American Sociological Review 15 (April 1950), reprinted inCrossRefGoogle ScholarHuman Behavior and International Politics, ed. Singer, J. David (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1965), p. 351.Google Scholar

14 See Charles Walcott and P. Terrence Hopmann, “Interaction Analysis and Bargaining Behavior,” in The Small Group in Political Science: Two Decades of Development, ed. Robert T. Golembiewski (forthcoming).

15 Bales, pp. 349–58.

16 Schelling, Thomas C., The Strategy of Conflict (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1960).Google Scholar

17 See Jensen, Lloyd, “Approach-Avoidance Bargaining in the Test Ban Negotiations,” International Studies Quarterly 12 (June 1968): 152–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Hopmann, p. 222.

18 France is also officially a member of the Western bloc, but it has never attended any sessions of the ENDC/CCD.

19 Data on all bloc dyads for each issue have not been provided; a breakdown of the data in table 2 by dyad may be obtained from the author on request. Data reported herein merely deal with results for a few of the most significant dyads.

20 ENDC/PV.400, 3 April 1969, p. 7.

21 ENDC/PV.411, 15 May 1969, p. 10.

22 Ibid.

23 ENDC/PV.423, 29 July 1969, p. 19.

24 CCD/269, 7 October 1969, p. 2.

25 CCD/PV.445, 23 October 1969, p. 42.

26 CCD/PV.443, 16 October 1969, p. 7.

27 CCD/PV.441, 9 October 1969, p. 7.

28 ENDC/PV.443, 16 October 1969, pp. 20–25.

29 CCD/PV.447, 30 October 1969, p. 16.

30 CCD/PV.448, 30 October 1969, p. 7.

31 CCD/269/Rev. 2, 23 April 1970, p. 2.

32 CCD/PV.476, 7 July 1970, pp. 13–14.

33 Ibid., pp. 22–23.

34 CCD/317, Annex A, 11 September 1970, p. 3.

35 Ibid.

36 See, for example, Fischer, Georges, The Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, trans. David, Wiley (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1971).Google Scholar