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Abstract:

Prof. Ambuhl will introduce the concept of Negotiation Engineering – a solution-oriented approach to negotiation problems developed at ETH Zurich that uses quantitative methods in a heuristic way to find an adequate solution. He will exemplify the possibilities and limitations of the concept through two case studies: the land-transport agreement between Switzerland and the European Union and the talks on nuclear issues between Iran and the 5 Permanent Members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1).

Bio:

Dr. Michael Ambuhl is professor at the Chair of Negotation and Conflict Management at ETH Zurich and former Head of the ETH Department of Management, Technology, and Economics. He received his PhD in 1980 from ETH in Applied Mathematics, followed by a position as senior assistant/lecturer at the University of Zurich. He started his diplomatic career in 1982 at the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1999 he was appointed Ambassador and later became Swiss Chief Negotiator of bilateral negotiations with the EU. From 2005 to 2013, he worked as State Secretary in the Foreign Ministry and later in the Finance Ministry. During this time, he negotiated Swiss-US tax agreements and facilitated the dialogue between the P5+1 and Iran, as well as the negotiations of the Armenia-Turkey Protocols.

Michael Ambuhl’s teaching and research focuses on the theoretical background of negotiation engineering, different technical and applied negotiation schools of thought, and mediation and conflict management. He specializes in the application of negotiation studies, based on his mathematical background and more than 30 years of experience as a Swiss diplomat and negotiator.

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