There have been seventeen United States Federal Government shutdowns (whole and partial) to count, in the democratic history of the USA. It is as per the provisions of the Anti-deficiency Act of 1980 that a government shutdown is made necessary…
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It is the absence of a consensus on the budget and the consequent inability to pass the appropriations bill before the October 1 deadline that creates an impasse and leads to a government shutdown (Kosar, 2004, p.2). When the government is forced to shutdown as a result of this, only the essential government services are allowed to operate (Kosar, 2004, p.2). Even the employees of these essential services will be sometimes forced to work without pay. The overall result of a shutdown will be that almost all governmental functioning will come to a standstill and the government employees will be left in wild, frustrated without pay. As the opposition party most often causes a shutdown, as against the budget plans of the ruling President, the opposition party will be held in the public eye as responsible for a shutdown. But the public will also criticize the unwillingness of the President to accept the reasonable suggestions made by the opposition, on certain occasions. So a shutdown can dim the electoral prospects of both the ruling party and the opposition and above all make the lives of the people miserable. In order to avert such consequences, negotiations get underway before and after shutdowns. These negotiations are good examples to the application of major negotiation theories, understanding which; the efficiency of such negotiations can be qualitatively enhanced in the future. Negotiation theories Though there are different strategies based on different theories regarding negotiation, the negotiation practitioners usually are found to use a mix of more than one theory (Adams, 2003, p.55). Broadly negotiation theories can be categorized as “cooperative or competitive” (Adams, 2003, p.55). Usually the tactics adopted could be a negotiation process beginning with a problem-solving interest-based approach and concluding with the competitive positional approach (Adams, 2003, p.55). This is what is called an integrative approach (Adams, 2003, p.55). The advantage of this approach is that in the beginning of negotiations, an amicable atmosphere for the very process of negotiation is created through the cooperative interventions included in the problem-solving interest-based approach. Once the trust of both parties has been acquired in this manner, then the negotiator can easily move on to a more competitive attitude (Adams, 2003, p.55). This is particularly helpful in dealing with negotiations between continuous relationships (Adams, 2003, p.55). Competitive positional negotiation In competitive positional negotiation, the negotiator makes the party to believe that he/she is “working vigorously on their behalf” (Adams, 2003, p.37). By this strategy, the negotiator wins the trust of the party and this trust is what helps the negotiator in a later stage to convince the party that a cooperative approach has to be adopted (Adams, 2003, p.37). But as far as the competitive positional negotiation is going on there is no scope for accepting the other party’s viewpoints or demands. This is because, the party already takes a position and he/she also believes that one is competitive enough to win that position. Hence the party does not feel a need for cooperation. Problem-solving interest-based negotiation. The problem-solving interest-based negotiation is more flexible and with a commitment to resolve the problem and protect the interests of both parties as far as possible. The most important aspect
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