The role of an intermediary in back-channel negotiation: Evidence from the Brendan Duddy Papers
Ó Dochartaigh, Niall
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O' Dochartaigh, Niall (2011) The role of an intermediary in back-channel negotiation: Evidence from the Brendan Duddy Papers. Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict
This article draws on the newly available private papers of Brendan Duddy, the key intermediary in contacts between the British government and the IRA between the early 1970s and the early 1990s when the IRA moved towards a permanent ceasefire and a negotiated settlement of the conflict. It draws too on extensive interviews with Duddy and other key participants in these contacts, and on newly available documents from the UK National Archives to identify some of the key dimensions to the role of intermediary in back-channel communication. It argues that these sources help us to better understand the complexity and ambiguity of the role of intermediary in sensitive covert negotiations, as well as shedding light on the extent to which an intermediary shapes communication between two parties rather than simply acting as a channel between them.