Norms, Culture and Cognitive Patterns in Foreign Aid Negotiations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Negotiations involving foreign aid are different from other types of bilateral negotiations. Normative and cultural aspects are distinctive attributes of aid negotiations, complicating any attempt to explain negotiation outcomes solely from a power perspective. Foreign aid negotiations between Sweden and Tanzania are permeated with norms: that rich states should give aid, that assistance should be handed over with no strings attached etc. These norms influence bargaining behavior and outcomes. Culture influences negotiations through its effects on communication. An actor's culture-bound images of self, the other actor and the situation seem to be vital ingredients in understanding negotiation behavior. The impact of culture seems to be situation-specific. Swedish negotiations with Tanzania are less influenced by cultural factors, because relations have been relatively long and friendly, than its negotiations with newer or politically unpopular recipients. Culture and norms are important factors to consider in any explanation of negotiation processes and outcomes, and foreign aid negotiations do not seem to be exceptions.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science


  • Internationell politik, Förhandlingar
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-159
JournalNegotiation Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990
Publication categoryResearch