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A negotiation is a formal discussion to reach agreement about an issue. It is an important method to reduce conflict, and to get things done. Examples:

  • Two hostile nations both claim a piece of territory. They may go to war over it. Or, they may negotiate some agreement. The agreement would be written down, and both governments would agree to keep the agreement.
  • A football club wishes to buy a player from another club. A series of negotiations would take place between the clubs, the player and the player's agent. If the negotiations succeed, the player gets moved. In this case, and in many others, success is followed by a legal contract, or a court decision, which makes the agreement legal.
  • In less formal circumstances, a negotiation is just bargaining or haggling over, for example, money.