Sovereignty as It Should Be: Theoretical Gaps and Negotiations for Peace in Israel/Palestine

In: International Negotiation
Roee Kibrik The Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 91905 Israel

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This study suggests that one of the basic elements motivating political actors is their desire to minimize the tension caused by the theoretical gap between their theoretical knowledge and their perception of reality. In order to demonstrate this, the present study compares three different arenas of negotiations which reveal and represent the social construction of the concept of sovereignty: the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt (1979), the peace agreement between Israel and Jordan (1994), and the Oslo agreements between Israel and the plo (1993–1995). The comparison herein demonstrates how the need to deal with the theoretical gap can explain the sides’ behavior in reaching an agreement. Likewise, the comparison reveals that the concept of sovereignty has destabilized over the course of time. It also shows how political actors in these arenas chose to cope with the theoretical gap – mainly by changing reality – although the destabilization of the concept of sovereignty allowed them to be more creative, theoretically speaking, in the context of globalization processes.

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