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Back Channel Negotiation

Secrecy in the Middle East Peace Process

Anthony Wanis-St. John

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Syracuse University Press img Link Publisher

Sozialwissenschaften, Recht, Wirtschaft / Vergleichende und internationale Politikwissenschaft

Beschreibung

Wanis-St. John takes on the question of whether the complex and often perilous, secret negotiations between mediating parties prove to be an instrumental path to reconciliation or rather one that disrupts the process. Using the Palestinian-Israeli peace process as a frame­work, the author focuses on the uses and misuses of "back channel" negotiations. Wanis-St. John discusses how top level PLO and Israeli government officials often resorted to secret negotiation channels even when they had designated, acknowledged negotiation teams already at work. Intense scrutiny of the media, pressure from con­stituents, and the public’s reaction, all become severe constraints to the process, causing leaders to seek out back channel negotiations. The impact of these secret talks on the peace process over time has largely been unexplored. Through interviews with major negotia­tors and policymakers on both sides and a detailed history of the conflict, the author analyzes the functions and consequences of back channel negotiations. Wanis-St. John reveals the painful irony that these methods for peacemaking have had the unintended effect of inflaming the conflict and sustaining its intractability.

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Schlagwörter

peace studies, Middle East studies, political science, international relations