Sven M.G. Koopmans donates his recently published Negotiating Peace. A Guide to the Practice, Politics, and Law of International Mediation, Oxford University Press, 2018.
Sven Koopmans, currently a Member of Parliament in the Netherlands, obtained his doctorate in international law at Oxford University (resulting in the book "Diplomatic Dispute Settlement. The Use of Inter-State Conciliation, T.M.C. Asser Press, 2008)" He is a former Senior Mediation Expert at the United Nations, political advisor at the European Union and consultant to the African Union, and in these capacities he worked e.g. on peace Cyprus, Kosovo, Darfur, Syria and Sudan/South Sudan; he has been involved in numerous peace processes around the world.
During his field work, Sven Koopmans missed a manual which brings together contemporary and historical lessons of peace negotiations. Many legal, political and practical issues must be solved. A clear and concise guide could be very useful to scholars and practitioners alike. He therefore decided himself to write "Negotiating Peace. A Guide to the Practice, politics and law of international mediation.
The book builds not only on his own work in peace negotiations and interviews of many high level colleagues, but also on extensive research in international medition throughout the ages, as well as material not used for the book "Diplomatic Dispute Settlement". It covers many practical lessons: when is it better to aim for a ceasefire, when for a political agreement? What amnesties can be suggested? When and how can a negotiator set deadlines? How to draft a peace agreement? How to treat competing claims for legal recognition between rebels and governments? What role for great power guarantees?
As a negotiating envoy Sven observed that a professional mediating in an international or inner-state dispute plays at three chess boards simultaneously: law and politics both play a role, and thirdly practice seriously matters. Sven very much considers peace negotiating an area for skilled experts; he would dissuade ordinary politicians being approached for these kinds of mediation without a proper grounding in the practice, law and politics of peace talks.
Sven Koopmans has been a frequent visitor to the Peace Palace Library for more than two decades, and therefore the Peace Palace Library is happy to be the recipient of a "Negotiating Peace". Thanks, Sven.