Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - TEST

Embedding International Negotiations in Time

Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt









Summary This research project focuses on the role time plays as an independent variable. Its main purpose is to examine whether and under what conditions time has an impact upon international negotiations. Time will be defined as a resource and as an enabling factor. Time refers to a limited amount of time allocated through timetables and deadlines that determine the duration, the timing and the sequence of negotiations. The time variable will be conceptualized by focusing on the following determinants: negotiating stages (early and late stages of negotiations); time pressure (deadlines); best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA); and time horizons (timing of the electoral cycle). The main dependent variable is the outcome of a negotiation among WTO members. Each WTO ministerial meeting will be considered as case study with contrasting outcomes. The 1999 Seattle, 2003 Cancun, 2006 and 2008 Geneva meetings ended in impasse, while the 2001 Doha and 2005 Hong Kong ministerial meetings ended in agreement.

Publications and Conference Papers

Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt, Negotiating Trade Liberalization at the WTO under the Shadow of Time and Domestic Political Institutions, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2011.








Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt, On the Time Dimension of International Trade Negotiations, paper presented at the Workshop Political Science and Political Time, University of Potsdam, 2-3 April 2009.




Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin



Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Universitätsstraße 3b
10117 Berlin