Negotiating in Practice What is a Non Negotiable Policy and Armed Non-State Actors

"The importance of non-state armed groups (NSAGs) has been increasingly recognized by academic and political observers concerned with violent conflict. The forces of paramount relevance in conflict situations include not only state actors but NSAGs as well. As conflict parties, NSAGs enter the picture in all civil wars, in many cases creating situations of instability, although they may also, in some cases, step into the role of “quasi-state actors,” providing, for example, security services or basic social services. This is most often the case when NSAGS have a territorial control function. External actors are for this reason more and more faced with the question of how best to respond to these groups. “Non-response” merely seems to be an appropriate option here. It is only by weighing off the opportunities against the risks involved in interacting with them that it is possible to come up with reasonable approaches to dealing with NSAGs. interaction will be predicated first and foremost on the need to find a reflected response to NSAGs. Noel Stott deals with this complex issue in the present paper. The author structures and analyzes the issues in helpful ways, drawing conclusions for policy development."