This new project explores the dangers of “using the past” too much—the use of false analogies—is this like Munich? Viet Nam? Sarajevo in 1914—for making decisions about diplomatic, political and mediative “moves” in world conflicts.  Menkel-Meadow is working on looking at the role of particular negotiators and mediators (Secretaries of State Project at Harvard Program on Negotiation and other “ad hoc” negotiators and mediators like George Mitchell, Jimmy Carter) to suggest that contexts differ (as do personalities) and so many efforts to generalize principles for peacemaking, negotiations and mediations are fraught with error.  So, what to do in theory building?  She hopes this sparks discussion.

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