Understanding Partisan Politics:  Relational Identity Theory

By Daniel Shapiro.  Published in “American Psychologist”. Click here to see the article.

This article presents a wholly new approach to international relations and partisan politics.  Emotions are a vital dimension in conflicts among nation-states and communities affiliated by common ethnic, economic, or political interests. Yet the individuals most responsible for managing such conflicts, heads of state, CEOs, intellectual or religious leaders, are often blind to the psychological forces affecting their interests. During 20 years of international research, consulting, and teaching, Dr. Shapiro has developed a program for teaching thought leaders how to apply psychological principles to achieve their aims while also reducing negative outcomes such as violence, social upheaval, and economic displacement. In this article, he presents relational identity theory (RIT), a theoretical and intellectual framework he has originated to help people understand and deal with key emotional dimensions of conflict management. He argues that national and communal bonds are essentially tribal in nature, and he describes how a tribe’s unaddressed relational identity concerns make it susceptible to what he term the tribes effect, a rigid us-vs-them mindset. He provides strategies based on RIT for mitigating the tribes effect and thus enhancing global security.


The Prevention Principle

By Daniel Shapiro and Adam Kinon

Published by Oxford University Press in the Journal of International Dispute Settlement. Click here to see the article.

When should the United Nations, the United States or the European Union intervene in foreign conflicts? Should they intervene at all or would another entity be in a better position to do so? These are some of the underlying questions of this article, in which the authors discuss concrete ways to prevent destructive conflicts, typically international armed conflicts. They put forward a pragmatic framework, called the Prevention Principle, to recognize and prevent destructive conflict at the earliest possible time at the lowest legitimate level. The authors set out the nature of destructive conflicts, explain how early intervention should occur, and propose a model to identify the most appropriate and effective intervener.


From Signal to Semantic: Uncovering the Emotional Dimension of Negotiation

By Daniel Shapiro

Published in “Nevada Law Journal”. Click here to see the article.

The author co-created the Core Concerns Framework as a pragmatic model to help people address the emotional dimension of negotiation. Dealing directly with the variety of emotions that arise in a negotiation can overwhelm our cognitive capacity, especially in a high-stakes context, where there are multiple layers of communication, processes, and substantive issues. The framework suggests that negotiators turn their attention to a subset of motives–what the authors call core concerns–to illuminate and navigate the emotional dimension of negotiation.

In the Nevada Law Journal symposium on mindfulness and the core concerns, Professor Clark Freshman calls into question how “core” the core concerns are. His critique provides an opportunity for Daniel Shapiro to provide a fuller explanation of the bases for the Core Concerns Framework. This article reviews the Core Concerns Framework, explains its universal and cross-cultural applicability and particular utility within the context of negotiation, and concludes with commentary on the importance of chunking and habit as effective tools for integration of emotion-focused strategies into a negotiator’s repertoire.


Coming Soon: A New Wave of Mass Violence?

The Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum were recently asked to write editorials on the topic of “Shaping the Post-Crisis Agenda.” Read Daniel Shapiro’s contribution, written in collaboration with His Royal Highness Jaime de Bourbon Parme, Head, Crisis Response Operations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, and Aaron Pereira, Cofounder, Canadahelps and Vartana.

Coming Soon: A New Wave of Mass Violence? (116.01 kB)

Dr. Shapiro also collaborated with Prince de Bourbon Parme and Mr. Pereira on two additional editorials:

Weathering Global Shocks, by Jaime de Bourbon Parme (42.61 kB)

Passionate About Prevention, by Aaron Pereira (47.13 kB)


Modern Tribes (Op Ed)

From The Boston Globe

September 11, 2008

By Daniel Shapiro


The Greatest Weapons in Iraq (Op Ed)

From The Harvard Crimson

March 19, 2008

by Daniel Shapiro


How to Fix a Communication Breakdown


Daniel Shapiro authored an article in Oprah Magazine.

Help! After a fight, you and your spouse are no longer speaking. First, ask yourself: “What’s my purpose here? To feel empowered? To get respect? To let “that moron” know I’m angry?” Then ask, “Is the silent treatment really going to get me there?” Once you’re ready to talk, be respectful; instead of “I’m ready, let’s talk,” try “I’d like to understand you better; let me know when you’re ready to talk.” The best advice, though, is to do what nations do—establish rules of engagement in advance. Over a glass of wine, take 20 minutes to set some parameters: What does a good fight look like? How can you work to understand, not defend? Just keep in mind that you’re supposed to be collaborating. No point in fighting about how to fight.



Emotions in Negotiation: Peril or Promise?


By Daniel Shapiro

Marquette University Law Review, 2004

While emotions can be a barrier to a value-maximizing agreement, the common advice to “get rid of emotions” is infeasible and unwise. On the contrary, research suggests that negotiators can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a negotiation by gaining an understanding of the information communicated by emotions-their own and those of others-and enlisting positive emotions into the negotiation.

Click here for the full article.