Case | 2003

Lakhdar Brahimi / Negotiating a New Government for Afghanistan

by James K. Sebenius and Kristin Schneeman


Part of the PON Great Negotiator Case Study Series, this factual case study examines former UN 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 2002: 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.

Keywords: Government and Politics; Agreements and Arrangements; Leadership Style; Cognition and Thinking; Contemporary History; Conferences; Afghanistan;


Sebenius, James K., and Kristin Schneeman. "Lakhdar Brahimi / Negotiating a New Government for Afghanistan." Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School Case, 2003.