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Framing Problems in Crisis Negotiation: Reframing in the Case of Waco
Unformatted Document Text:  Reframing in the Waco Negotiations 28 resentment. However, much of the negotiations showed both sides frequently chatting and joking, which demonstrate some level of liking. Yet the Davidians were unsuccessful in convincing the negotiators that their doctrine was true, and the negotiators were unsuccessful in convincing the Davidians to come out. This paradoxical situation shows that a good rapport, as Ury (1991) and other advice in crisis negotiation suggest (Lanceley, 1999; McMains, 1996; Slatkin, 1996) does not necessarily lead to cooperation. This study additionally shows that crisis negotiation may be even more complex than a paradox. The Davidians were shown to both cooperate and not cooperate. The shear number of people involved in the negotiations makes affiliation difficult to assess. More than 20 different negotiators spoke on the phone with Koresh and several of his followers. While Donohue and Roberto (1993) identify affiliation with trust and liking, the Davidians expressed liking for some negotiators but not others. Their expressions of distrust was also someone unclear. They said they distrusted the FBI, but the negotiators were individual members of a larger agency. It should be noted that the reframing practices discussed in this paper are ascribed specifically to the Davidians (primarily Koresh). But this should not imply blame toward Koresh for talking these ways or the FBI for allowing them to occur. Rather, the conversational practices are revealed to show how they were interactionally played out, giving reason to look more closely at interaction for how problems emerge.

Authors: Agne, Robert.
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Reframing in the Waco Negotiations 28
resentment. However, much of the negotiations showed both sides frequently chatting and
joking, which demonstrate some level of liking. Yet the Davidians were unsuccessful in
convincing the negotiators that their doctrine was true, and the negotiators were unsuccessful in
convincing the Davidians to come out. This paradoxical situation shows that a good rapport, as
Ury (1991) and other advice in crisis negotiation suggest (Lanceley, 1999; McMains, 1996;
Slatkin, 1996) does not necessarily lead to cooperation.
This study additionally shows that crisis negotiation may be even more complex than a
paradox. The Davidians were shown to both cooperate and not cooperate. The shear number of
people involved in the negotiations makes affiliation difficult to assess. More than 20 different
negotiators spoke on the phone with Koresh and several of his followers. While Donohue and
Roberto (1993) identify affiliation with trust and liking, the Davidians expressed liking for some
negotiators but not others. Their expressions of distrust was also someone unclear. They said
they distrusted the FBI, but the negotiators were individual members of a larger agency.
It should be noted that the reframing practices discussed in this paper are ascribed
specifically to the Davidians (primarily Koresh). But this should not imply blame toward Koresh
for talking these ways or the FBI for allowing them to occur. Rather, the conversational
practices are revealed to show how they were interactionally played out, giving reason to look
more closely at interaction for how problems emerge.


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