Learning Lessons from Waco: When the Parties Bring Their Gods to the Negotiation Table

Learning Lessons from Waco: When the Parties Bring Their Gods to the Negotiation Table

by Jayne Seminare Docherty
     
 

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Docherty (conflict studies, Eastern Mennonite U., Virginia) examines the negotiations and battle that took place between federal officials and Branch Davidians in Waco in 1993, which led to the death of over 70 people. She applies a theory of worldview conflict to the 12,000- some pages of negotiation transcripts from the events and analyzes the activities of law

Overview

Docherty (conflict studies, Eastern Mennonite U., Virginia) examines the negotiations and battle that took place between federal officials and Branch Davidians in Waco in 1993, which led to the death of over 70 people. She applies a theory of worldview conflict to the 12,000- some pages of negotiation transcripts from the events and analyzes the activities of law enforcement agents, showing how the conflict resulted from a collision of two distinct worldviews and their divergent notions of reality.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Docherty (conflict studies, Eastern Mennonite Univ.) presents a conceptual model of worldview conflict, using the example of Waco to extract principles for negotiating with communities motivated by unconventional beliefs. Having researched transcripts of the negotiation tapes, official reports of events surrounding the negotiation, and interviews, she argues that parties with fundamentally different worldviews must first deal with reality, or "worldnaming," before they can begin to confront the issues. Docherty suggests that because they used different "naming, framing, and blaming" language, the two sides in the Waco negotiation were destined to fail. While the Branch Davidians' reality was based on values and spirituality, that of the FBI was scientific and goal-centered, and it dismissed the Davidians' attempts to communicate as "Bible babble." Docherty concludes with 14 lessons for future crisis negotiators dealing with such groups, not the least of which is that they must know their own worldview and work to understand that of the parties with whom they are negotiating. This book is doctoral candidate Docherty's thesis, as reflected in the hundreds of citations, footnotes, and discussions of other theoretical approaches. While the thesis is important and timely, the language is sometimes so academic that it may not be every negotiator's next read. For academic libraries. Julie Denny, Resolutions, Inc., Armenia, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815627517
Publisher:
Syracuse University Press
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Series:
Religion and Politics Series
Edition description:
LST ED.
Pages:
338
Product dimensions:
6.88(w) x 8.82(h) x 0.99(d)

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