Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Political Science

Content Description

1 online resource (iv, 84 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Bryan Early


Security, International, International agencies, International relations, Diplomatic negotiations in international disputes, Conflict management, Iran Hostage Crisis, 1979-1981, Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988

Subject Categories

International Relations


When faced with an international security crisis, the policymakers of great powers are forced into difficult circumstances in a short period of time. The states that embroil the great powers in these crises force upon those policymakers tough decisions in regards to finding an acceptable resolution to the crisis. The decision making process must be quick, as excessive deliberations could have negative effects on the outcome of the crisis. Therefore, policymakers are left with two stark policy options: to either choose a policy of conciliatory engagement or a policy of confrontation. Each strategy comes with its own merits as well as drawbacks. The dilemma involves which strategy is more likely to lead to a successful outcome. To study this phenomenon, this paper will study a series crisis negotiations over time involving both the great powers and Iran. In conducting these case studies, this paper will analyze the evidence presented throughout the cases and come to some conclusions regarding which type of strategy is most effective in resolving these security crises. Finally, this paper will explore the academic as well as policy relevant findings of this paper as well as future avenues for research.