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Negotiating Intractable Conflicts: On the Future of Jerusalem
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research. Freds-och konfliktforskning.
1997 (English)In: Cooperation and Conflict, ISSN 0010-8367, Vol. 32, no 1, pp. 29-78 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The dispute over the political status of Jerusalem has commonly been regarded as one of those "unresolvable" conflicts which illustrate the limits to international negotiation -- problems which cannot be negotiated successfully because the parties' positions are too rigid or extreme to offer a basis for compromise or reconciliation. But under the terms of the Oslo Accords concluded between Israel and the PLO in September l993, this most emotionally explosive and difficult core issue in the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict is for the first time specifically and formally scheduled to be tackled at the negotiating table beginning no later than May l996.

Following a brief historical background this article analyses and applies to the case of Jerusalem a range of strategies for negotiating intractable, particularly indivisible, issues. The strategies include resource expansion, compensation, issue linkage, functional division, sharing, and delegation. By focusing on creative ways of allocating functions of ownership and usage of resources, they seek to identify and "integrate" parties' underlying core concerns rather than strike a compromise between their official positions in the conflict. A careful analysis of proposals made for Jerusalem, both official and informal, demonstrates that these strategies have already been used implicitly to a limited extent. Thus the taxonomy of strategies acts as a tool for analysing the main features of and logic behind the great range of complex plans put forward for resolving the Jerusalem problem to date. The taxonomy also provides a basis for identifying promising components of some of these proposals, on which approaches for tackling Jerusalem in future negotiations may successfully build. It is argued that intractable conflicts such as that over Jerusalem are best approached by using a combination of the strategies to tackle the typically core issue of sovereignty.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1997. Vol. 32, no 1, pp. 29-78 p.
Keyword [en]
Jerusalem-political status and sovereignty, Oslo Accords, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, negotiation strategies, Jerusalem-peace proposals
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-68519OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-68519DiVA: diva2:96430
Available from: 2005-03-03 Created: 2005-03-03 Last updated: 2011-01-15

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