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Unmasking the Brexit negotiations: the behavioural psychology of two-level games

Figueira, Filipa; (2022) Unmasking the Brexit negotiations: the behavioural psychology of two-level games. British Politics 10.1057/s41293-022-00219-6. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The negotiation of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (2017–2020) puzzled scholars by appearing to show a weaker party (the United Kingdom) adopting a harder negotiation strategy than the stronger party (the European Union). This article attempts to explain this paradox, by combining a two-level game framework with a negotiation psychology lens. It finds that the United Kingdom’s (UK) behaviour was indeed harder than the European Union’s (EU) on the domestic level of the game, but, on the international level, the EU’s behaviour was harder than the UK’s. The article further explores the behavioural and psychological incentives behind the UK’s hard behaviour, differentiating between negotiators at the political level and at the administrative level. The analysis shows that, while some aspects of the UK’s hard stance were rational within the context of a two-level game, others were harmful and due to cognitive limitations.

Type: Article
Title: Unmasking the Brexit negotiations: the behavioural psychology of two-level games
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1057/s41293-022-00219-6
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41293-022-00219-6
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10172360
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