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Hardcover | $90.00 X | £74.95 | 336 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 18 b&w illus. | December 2017 | ISBN: 9780262037136
Paperback | $30.00 Short | £24.95 | 336 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 18 b&w illus. | December 2017 | ISBN: 9780262534376
eBook | $21.00 Short | December 2017 | ISBN: 9780262343626
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Winning Together

The Natural Resource Negotiation Playbook


Transboundary natural resource negotiations, often conducted in an atmosphere of entrenched mistrust, confrontation, and deadlock, can go on for decades. In this book, Bruno Verdini outlines an approach by which government, private sector, and nongovernmental stakeholders can overcome grievances, break the status quo, trade across differences, and create mutual gains in high-stakes water, energy, and environmental negotiations. 

Verdini examines two landmark negotiations between the United States and Mexico. The two cases—one involving conflict over shared hydrocarbon reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico and the other involving disputes over the shared waters of the Colorado River—resulted in groundbreaking agreements in 2012, after decades of deadlock.

Drawing on his extensive interviews with more than seventy high-ranking negotiators in the United States and Mexico—from presidents and ambassadors to general managers, technical experts, and nongovernmental advocates—Verdini offers detailed accounts from multiple points of view, on both sides of the border. He unpacks the negotiation, leadership, collaborative decision-making, and political communication strategies that made agreement possible.

Building upon the theoretical and empirical findings, Verdini offers advice for practitioners on effective negotiation and dispute resolution strategies that avoid the presumption that there are not enough resources to go around, and that one side must win and the other must inevitably lose. 

This investigation is the winner of Harvard Law School’s Howard Raiffa Award for best research of the year in negotiation, mediation, decision-making, and dispute resolution.

About the Author

Bruno Verdini is Executive Director of the MIT-Harvard Mexico Negotiation Program, Lecturer in Urban Planning and Negotiation, and Founder of MIT’s Concentration in Negotiation and Leadership. He created and teaches MIT’s popular courses on The Art and Science of Negotiation, and leads training and consulting work for governments, firms, and international organizations around the world.


“There is perhaps no more important task today in the field of negotiation than learning how third parties can help resolve long-standing, seemingly intractable disputes. Drawing on rich case studies and detailed interviews with the negotiators themselves, Bruno Verdini shows us practically how we can overcome a zero-sum mindset and find mutual gain even in the most challenging negotiations. These insights are valuable not only for academics and practitioners of natural resource management, but for anyone studying collaborative negotiation strategies.”
William Ury, coauthor of Getting to Yes and author of Getting to Yes with Yourself
“Although Winning Together focuses on bilateral natural resource negotiations, suggesting that finding mutual gains for both parties is essential to a successful outcome, the book has implications far beyond the natural resource domain.”
Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center
“This is simply a masterful work that carefully leads the reader step-by-step through the various stages and dimensions of the case negotiations and then methodically links the diplomatic behavior to the transformative practices and principles that produce these positive-sum outcomes. The evidentiary base is superb, anchored in many lengthy interviews of key participants in the negotiations at various levels of government and civil society as well as a solid command of the applicable municipal and international law and literature. The quality of the prose is excellent and contributes to the narrative flow and the book’s readability.”
Stephen Mumme, Professor of Political Science, Colorado State University