Talking It Out: Stories in Negotiating Human Relations By Francis Mading Deng


This innovative work by Francis Deng, the noted scholar, diplomat, legal expert and author, moves the study of negotiation out of the limited traditional context of industrial relations and resituates it in the broader arena of negotiating human relations, drawing on his childhood experiences, inter-racial and cross-cultural encounters at home and abroad, and incidents from his diplomatic career. Talking It Out provides an account of the author’s family and background as a son of the leading Dinka Chief in a long line of leaders believed to be spiritually-endowed peacemakers, a cultural context that has helped shape his perspective on conflicts and how to manage or resolve them. His distinctive perspective became manifest in his response to the conflicts in Sudan between the Arab-Islamic North and African-Christian South, in which he was ironically both a victim and a peacemaker; Deng’s account of interpersonal relations abroad in the course of a diplomatic career that linked international civil service in the United Nations with representing his country as Ambassador to the United States, Scandinavian countries and Canada, along with serving as minister of State for Foreign Affairs for Sudan, describes the way in which he was able to engage his domestically rooted cultural values on an international level. The Volume concludes with an analytical commentary that places these experiences in a thematic framework that matches the values of his upbringing with his responses to negotiating human relations in conflict situations, Deng’s unique approach to the cultural dimension of conflict management has wide relevance in today’s world. This is an exceptional work by one of the outstanding cultural authorities of our time.


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