Negotiation in An Age of Political Crisis
  • Stonehouse Lecture Theatre, Portland Square Building, University of Plymouth

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This event presented and debated the findings of the ‘Brexit Rebuilding Relations and Resilience’ project (October 2018-August 2019).

This project explored the impact of the Brexit process on relationships between businesses, local government and civil society groups in the South West.

The research has given us a real insight into the challenges Brexit is posing to local relationships, and has highlighted key areas where change could be beneficial. For businesses, challenges include negotiating new contracts with suppliers, resolving differences between staff, and strengthening links with their local community. For community groups and local government, new ways of interacting with partners are also needed especially with the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. In each case individual workers and leaders are operating under increased pressure.

The project was led by Professor Richard Saundry - an expert in negotiation/mediation - in collaboration with experts in politics/international relations and criminology. The project involved interviews with interest groups, two round-table meetings and two training workshops on negotiation and conflict resolution. It explored the perspectives and challenges of different kinds of businesses, local government institutions and civil society groups in the region. A particular focus was on negotiation and relationship building within and between organisations. 

This event gave an overview of the research, with comments from an expert panel followed by two discussion groups. 


This event consisted of two parts.

Part 1: Lecture/Panel Discussion (18:30-19:30): Richard Saundry and Patrick Holden presented the results of their project, and discussed how insights from social science research can inform changes at a local level. A panel of 3-4 prominent individuals from the fields of business, government and civil society offered their opinions.


Part 2: Break out/discussion (20:00-21:00): Two separate seminars discussed and debated the themes and proposals presented in part 1 (broadened out to include challenges beyond Brexit, in particular the climate crisis). The participants included figures from local councils in the South West, major businesses, the regional Local Enterprise Partnership and numerous civil society groups.

This event offered a unique opportunity for audience members to understand the impact of Brexit at a local level, and to share their views on the local response.

Contact for queries.

Twitter: @IRatPlymouth #Brexitandlocalrelationships

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Today's events

Biography: Dr Patrick Holden

Patrick Holden is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the School of Society and Culture. His research focuses on European Union politics and international cooperation on trade and development. Widely published in academic journals, Patrick is also a frequent media contributor on Brexit topics. He teaches negotiation in his Plymouth modules on the European Union and trade politics. At Plymouth, Patrick is the programme leader of the Masters in International Relations.

Biography: Richard Saundry

Richard is a Visiting Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has many years’ experience of negotiation and mediation in academic and professional settings.

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