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Edited by Barry Steiner

The essays in this book, originally published in a special issue of the journal International Negotiation (vol. 23.1, 2018), are intended to enhance America's ability to mediate Israel-Palestine conflict. Every American president for the last thirty years, down to Donald Trump, has chosen to engage in this effort. To help understand and evaluate these efforts, and to focus upon the more promising mediation directions, these essays analyze mediation options in detail.
I. William Zartman accentuates special challenges of third party mediation. Amira Schiff critiques John Kerry’s mediation effort made on behalf of the Obama Administration. Galia Golan outlines mediation requirements in light of past American mediation efforts. Walid Salem suggests a new paradigm centered upon symmetry rather than asymmetry to assist Israel-Palestine peacemaking. And Barry Steiner studies a specific mediation action proposal.

Walid Salem


Third party mediation is critical in pushing forward a new peace process that is based on Israeli and Palestinian compliance in fulfilling previous agreements, including an Israeli freeze on settlements. The freeze will be part of a transformative constructionist process that will allow both sides to negotiate from a more symmetrical position. It will also create more trust among the Palestinians by communicating that Israeli intentions are not about grabbing their land while discussing peace.

Galia Golan


Inasmuch as the 2015 Israeli elections brought to power a Netanyahu-led coalition even more ideologically opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state than the previous coalitions, the absence of political will to reach agreement would appear to prejudge the outcome of any future negotiations should they take place. For this reason, recommendations to improve American mediation efforts remain in the realm of theory, but nevertheless may provide useful suggestions for the more basic step of returning the sides to serious negotiations.

Barry H. Steiner


This article, a corrective to long-time frustration experienced by the United States in mediating Israel-Palestine differences, argues for American recognition of a Palestinian state to reach a two-state solution. Recognition, though not even-handed, constitutes legitimate mediation, as confronting one or another primary antagonist can be a useful mediation strategy. Though Israel is likely to object to US recognition of Palestine, analysis suggests the objection is not likely to lead to a break in Israel-American relations, which would jeopardize the valued Israel-American alliance. Recognition as a fallback option is recommended for the Trump administration’s way forward in mediating the conflict.

Amira Schiff


This article examines the factors that contributed to the failure of the last major effort, which was carried out by US Secretary of State John Kerry, to facilitate a Final Status Agreement to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The analysis is based on an understanding that every effort to resolve this intractable conflict, even if unsuccessful, is worthy of examination, which can yield interesting observations and insights that may inform future attempts to find a solution. As President Trump’s administration makes intensive efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, and the US Middle East negotiation delegation shuttles intensively between the parties and between major regional actors to explore the possibility of renewing official negotiations, this seems like an opportune time to review the major factors that affected the outcome of the previous peace talks.

I. William Zartman


This issue contains an examination of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations with an effort to break through the deadlock strategically. It analyzes the past record of failure and addresses the basic problem of asymmetry. Despite the solutions that have been advanced for all the specific issues, it is the forward-looking matter of trust that is the impediment to productive negotiations. The declaration of a Palestinian state and its recognition by the international community are now the basic elements necessary to break the asymmetry of the parties. A second element – allegedly favored by the Trump administration – is to reduce a symmetry by enlarging the playing field to include surrounding states, as proposed in the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.


Edited by Gilles Carbonnier, Humberto Campodónico and Sergio Tezanos Vázquez

This issue of International Development Policy looks at recent paradigmatic innovations and related development trajectories in Latin America, with a particular focus on the Andean region. It examines the diverse development narratives and experiences in countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru during a period of high commodity prices associated with robust growth, poverty alleviation and inequality reduction. Highlighting propositions such as buen vivir, this thematic issue questions whether competing ideologies and discourses have translated into different outcomes, be it with regard to environmental sustainability, social progress, primary commodity dependence, or the rights of indigenous peoples. This collection of articles aims to enrich our understanding of recent development debates and processes in Latin America, and what the rest of the world can learn from them.


Humberto Campodónico, Gilles Carbonnier and Sergio Tezanos Vázquez

Since the early 2000s, many Latin American countries achieved remarkable economic growth coupled with poverty and inequality reduction, largely due to the pursuit of a centuries-old pattern of commodity exports. The end of the commodity price super-cycle in 2014 puts some of these development gains in jeopardy, raising anxiety among emerging middle classes wary of slipping back into poverty. Drawing on a rich intellectual heritage, Latin American leaders have designed novel approaches in the pursuit of sustainable development. Alternative development narratives brought to the fore by left-wing governments have emphasised notions such as buen vivir,1 arguably the most influential and revolutionary proposition originated in the region since different variants of the dependency theory. What is less clear is the extent to which competing ideologies and narratives have translated into diverging outcomes, be it with regard to (neo-) extractivism, ecological sustainability or the rights and cultural identity of indigenous peoples, or simply in terms of economic diversification. This chapter introduces the thematic issue of International Development Policy, which deals with recent paradigmatic innovations and development experiences in Latin America, with a particular focus on the Andean region.


José Antonio Ocampo

This chapter looks at the historical evolution of commodity dependence in Latin America, showing that dependence on natural resource-intensive exports increased during the 2003–13 commodity price boom after a period of export diversification that began in the mid-1960s. It then analyses price dynamics, showing that commodity prices experienced both long-term trends, which were generally adverse for non-oil commodities through the twentieth century, and super-cycles of 30–40 years. Based on that pattern, the author argues that the recent price collapse may be the beginning of a long period of weak commodity prices. Finally, the chapter demonstrates that the region has been unable to take full advantage of the benefits of its natural resource specialisation and has faced, in contrast, some negative Dutch Disease effects due to the aforementioned dependence. Latin America has, furthermore, been a victim of the macroeconomic vulnerabilities generated by commodity cycles, largely because it has failed to develop appropriate countercyclical macroeconomic policies.


Antonio Luis Hidalgo-Capitán and Ana Patricia Cubillo-Guevara

The purpose of this chapter is to identify the different meanings of Latin American Good Living (buen vivir) and its diverse intellectual wellsprings, with a focus on the political economy of development. The authors try to answer the following questions: What different types of Good Living lie behind the overall concept? What intellectual wellsprings have the authors drunk from? The authors use the methodological strategies of deconstruction and conceptual genealogy, based on a broad bibliographic review. They conclude that three different types of Latin American Good Living exist: ‘indigenist’ and ‘pachamamist’, socialist and statist, and ‘ecologist’ and ‘post-developmentalist’. Moreover, they argue that synthesised notions of the concept exist. These versions are associated with different intellectual influences, such as sumak kawsay, suma qamaña and allin kawsay; the Andean world view; development with identity; the theory of reciprocity; post-development; liberation theology; dependency theory; the theory of ‘coloniality’; sustainable development; world-system theory; human development; endogenous development; eco-socialism; twenty-first century socialism; social justice; the economics of happiness; eudaemony; the economic theory of relational goods; the social and solidarity economy; intercultural feminism; the feminism of care; eco-feminism; the self-sufficient economy; community economy; barefoot economics and human scale development theory; the Buddhist economy; ‘post-extractivism’; ‘de-growth’; deep ecology and the theory of conviviality.