Negotiating independence. Switzerland in1647–48: JohannRudolfWettstein,mayor of the state (canton)of Basel City and negotiator for the Swiss Confederation
This article recounts a historical negotiation success during the Westphalia negotiations in the 17th Century. Mr. Rudolf Wettstein, the then Mayor of Basel City, was able to single-handedly obtain exemptions for the Swiss cantons from being accountable to courts of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nations (HRGE), amounting to a declaration of independence. As a first step, the author describes the historical context of the negotiations and subsequently the nego- tiation process involving multi-actor international negotiations during the peace negotiations at Westphalia which consisted of multi-actor internal negotiations within the Swiss Confederation and external multi-party negotiations with the leading powers who participated in the Westphalia negotiation process. As a second step, concepts of negotiation theory are used as an attempt to make sense of Wettstein’s negotiation approach. The article concludes with a proposition for more theory building and provides initial concepts to better capture multi-actor negotiations.