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Lakhdar Brahimi - Negotiating a New Government for Afghanistan

 James Sebenius and Kristin Schneeman  
Product number:
24 pages
Product Type:
Discussion-Based Case Study
Link to Faculty Author Page:


Part of the PON Great Negotiator Case Study Series, this factual case study examines former U.N. Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi’s involvement in negotiating an interim Afghani government after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. As a result of these efforts, Brahimi received the Program on Negotiation’s 2002 “Great Negotiator” Award.
The case study covers Brahimi’s background and early career, the background of the 2001 conflict in Afghanistan, the players and issues involved in the 2001 Bonn Conference on establishing an interim Afghani government, the main points of the Bonn Agreement, and the post-Bonn peace process. It also includes an ethnic map of Afghanistan, excerpts from Brahimi’s remarks to the United Nations about Afghanistan, and a diagram of the Bonn Conference participants.
This case study provides a wonderful opportunity to teach from recent history, using a living, working diplomat as a focus for learning about negotiation. It may be used alone or in conjunction with the Great Negotiator 202: Lakhdar Brahimi DVD. The case study provides a wealth of factual details regarding Brahimi’s negotiations, while the DVD features Brahimi’s personal reflections and observations. An instructor might, for instance, use the case study as a basis for classroom discussion, and use excerpts from the DVD to offer Brahimi’s own thoughts on the issues discussed in class.

Learning Objectives

The Lakhdar Brahimi case is designed to help students examine complex negotiation and coalition-building strategies in an international context. They explore national/cultural negotiating styles, barriers to doing a deal amidst splintered commercial and political interests, and innovative approaches to surmounting those barriers.

This case is also sold in an abridged version on the PON web site.

Subjects Covered

Negotiation, governmental structure, ethnic dispute resolution.


Geographic: United States, Afghanistan

Event Year Begin: 2001

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