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By Amrita Narlikar

''Deadlocks are a characteristic of lifestyle, in addition to excessive politics. This quantity makes a speciality of the idea that, motives, and results of deadlocks in multilateral settings, and analyses the categories of innovations that may be used to wreck them. It commences with a definition of impasse, hypothesizes approximately its incidence, and proposes options. every one bankruptcy then makes an unique contribution to the problem of impasse - Read more...

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This makes it very difficult for the United States to impose substantially its own solutions on the rest of the international community, even while making some concessions, in the way that it was able to in 1944 at Bretton Woods, and also to a lesser extent in 1974–6. The United States is in military terms still vastly more powerful than any conceivable rival or combination of rivals. But this is no longer true as far as the international political economy is concerned. The situation can be fruitfully compared to that before 1914 and to the interwar years.

That system has been constructed by a series of treaties, most often concluded at the end of wars, after a previous deadlock had been resolved by force. The Congress of Vienna at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the Treaty of Versailles at the end of the First World War, and the Yalta and Potsdam Agreements at the end of the Second World War were all negotiations which shaped the character of the international state system for the next period, but although they involved negotiation between the various allies on the victorious side, the defeated nations were largely obliged to accept the terms that were imposed on them.

The latter create problems because questions of identity are often the least negotiable, so if an issue becomes defined in terms of identity, then finding a common solution can prove very difficult. As Northern Ireland and many similar disputes have shown, divisions of identity can create the toughest deadlocks of all. One of the methods used to deal with them is to increase the number of participants in the negotiation, to make it multilateral rather than bilateral. 25 Deadlocks which arrive from contested identities are similar in their form to deadlocks which arise from lack of agreement on first-order principles, because with the politics of identity what is often contested are the basic rules, symbols and constitution of the state itself.

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