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  • Author or Editor: Diane Bernabei x
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Abstract

Intractability is generally associated with prolonged tensions, employment of destructive means, suspicion and mistrust, inflammatory rhetoric and polarized solutions that are usually presented as ultimatums. Existing studies on intractability have emphasized the resistance to solution as a crucial indicator of intractability, and subsequently explored the phases through which intractability evolves and key characteristics these conflicts possess. What is largely missing is a nuanced explanation of at what point resistance turns into intractability. Building on earlier studies from social-psychology on entrapment in negotiations this article will develop a novel conceptual framework of entrapment as a precondition to intractability, and apply it to assess the causes and consequences of entrapment in an escalating conflict using the Syrian Civil War as a case study. The study will demonstrate that resistance to solution, which is a consequence of entrapment, does not automatically lead to intractability.

Open Access
In: International Negotiation