Please read our student and staff community guidance on COVID-19
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Conflict and Negotiations

This webpage contains non-technical material - my articles, news items, interviews, and related material - on the subject of negotiations (including brexit negotiations).

In all of man's written record there has been a preoccupation with conflict of interest; possibly only the topics of God, love, and inner struggle have received comparable attention.” R. Duncan Luce and Howard Raiffa, Games and Decisions, 1957

The material below is informed by my research on the subject, carried out over the past 25 years since I was a graduate student in Cambridge in the late 1980s. My research is portrayed in numerous research papers and in my academic book Bargaining Theory with Applications (Abhinay Muthoo, Cambridge University Press, 1999). For those of you who are intrigued by the technical side of things, you can purchase the book on or - the book is based on the tools of game theory and is underpinned by the foundations on the subject of negotiations laid down in the 1950s by the Nobel Laureate John Nash.

Some reviews of the book include reviews by:

Non-technical material on the art and science of negotiations

Following the publication of my research book, I was invited to write an article explaining some of the main principles of negotiations (bargaining) in non-technical language without recourse to mathematics and technical jargon. The article can be found here: “A Non-Technical Introduction to Bargaining Theory”, published in the journal World Economics, 2000, 145-166. Since its publication, this article has been used countless times by practioners from a variety of sectors (and also by researchers from a variety of disciplines). You can find a take on the article from the perspective of someone in the finance sector here.

A version of my short article on Brexit negotiations, published the day before the Prime Minister triggered Article 50, appeared in several online news outlets including

My interview on Brexit negotiations the day Article 50 was triggered with Deutsche Welle or DW TV, Germany's public international broadcaster, may also prove interesting.

My non-technical article on IP and Royal Contract Negotiations has been used over and over again by lawyers who practice in this area of law. Here is an interesting and useful powerpoint presentation by lawyers at Fish and Richardson in their Litigation webinar series on the subject. Finally, a nice discussion of this methodology by the Vice-President at Intensity Corporation can be found here.

Other useful links on the subject of negotiations