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Author: Yuval Benziman


There are conflicts in which the opposing sides perceive and define their adversary as a “non-partner” with whom they are unable or unwilling to negotiate. However, notwithstanding this reciprocal mistrust, negotiate they do. This research fills a theoretical gap in the study of negotiations by mapping five distinct practices of negotiations with a so-called non-partner: firstly, negotiate while claiming that no negotiations are taking place; secondly, use third parties as mediators or what I term “mediators+”; thirdly, negotiate agreements “over the head” of the so-called non-partner; fourthly, act unilaterally; and fifthly, negotiate relatively minor issues. Two alternative negotiation practices are also discussed: one is to negotiate agreements in non-related conflicts that may eventually influence the conflict actually on the table, and the other is to negotiate within the ingroup on the nature of negotiations should they take place. This study uses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a test case.

In: International Negotiation