Negotiation Theory and the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

Project Leader Cecilia Albin, Professor of Peace and Conflict Research

Project Period

October 2003 - December 2004

Project Description

This project revisits and evaluates established negotiation theory in light of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process since 2000. The basic purpose is two-fold:
1. To examine and compare the usefulness of major competing approaches to negotiation which have come to define the field, in the context of a single significant case. The basic rationale is the need to begin assessing and integrating more systematically the body of theory which now exists;
2. To shed light on recent failures in Middle East peacemaking, lessons to be learnt, and the prospects for peace.

The 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace treaty (the Oslo Accords) and the years that followed signified extraordinary progress towards a settlement. Today, in the shadow of terror and war, little remains of the Oslo peace process. How do we best explain what went so wrong? What are the main requirements and prospects for getting the process back on track and to a successful conclusion?

Senior negotiation analysts from different disciplinary backgrounds will examine the critical period from the July 2000 Camp David summit to the present, using select approaches (e.g., communication/cognitive/ cultural approaches, structural analysis, diplomatic approaches, ripeness theories, political approaches, and integrative/ distributive approaches).


The results of the project will be published in a special issue of International Negotiation (peer review journal published by Kluwer Law), to be edited by Cecilia Albin; in other separate journal articles; and in a booklet intended primarily for practitioners.

Other Project Activities

Work in progress for this project will be presented and discussed in various contexts throughout the year, among them on a panel at the annual convention of the International Studies Association in Montreal, Canada, in March 2004.

Useful Links

Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (with further links)
Foundation for Middle East Peace
The Conflict Resolution Information Source
International Negotiation: A Journal of Theory and Practice