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'Hybrid warfare' and its consequences for international commercial negotiation
In recent years, an unfamiliar form of extreme international competition has become more evident. Different observers have devised different names for it, among which the one that comes closest to traditional negotiation studies is grey zone conflict. The most common term, however, is hybrid warfare. Hybrid warfare presents a so-called ‘wicked’ problem, one that resists definition. Some of its aspects are by now well known, such as interference in foreign elections, yet less conspicuous gambits take place in the private sector and take on the appearance of ordinary commercial negotiations. Although these incidents are becoming widespread, intelligence, police, military and other security agencies are not well structured to respond to such private sector actions in any strategic or coherent way. Hybrid warfare campaigns appear to change tactics frequently, and to coordinate direct government actions with activity by private and non-profit entities, as well as by transnational organized crime. This roundtable aims to explore hybrid warfare in as many of its dimensions, and from as many angles within each dimension as possible; explore the relationship between ‘hybrid’ warfare and international negotiation; and discuss how, with a negotiation lens, players could act to prevent or mitigate harm.