Negotiating Under Fire

Preserving Peace Talks in the Face of Terror Attacks

By (author) Matthew Levitt Foreword by Ambassador Dennis Ross

Hardback - £53.00

Publication date:

28 August 2008

Length of book:

360 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9780742551626

The impact of severe security crises on peace negotiations represents one of the most significant facets of modern conflict resolution theory to remain under-researched. It also stands out as the factor most likely to derail inherently sensitive negotiations. Negotiating Under Fire explores how such crises between two nations impact diplomatic initiatives between those countries. How do the negotiators' willingness and ability to continue influence the outcome? Do the levels of legitimacy, trust, and confidence within and between the parties change in such strained negotiations?

Through a detailed analysis of three critical moments in the Oslo peace process—the Baruch Goldstein Hebron massacre of 1994, the Nachshon Wachsman kidnapping and execution of 1994, and the nine-day string of suicide bus bombings carried out in Israel in March of 1996—the author concludes that insurgents or those hostile to peace talks can and do undermine negotiations.
Negotiating Under Fire is a most useful guide for policymakers and diplomats dealing with violence during negotiating processes. Inevitably, opponents of negotiations will resort to violence and intimidation in order to stop the diplomatic process, and these actions are usually treated sui generis and haphazardly by governments. By analyzing major disruptions of the Israeli-Arab negotiations and drawing some lessons on how to cope with and overcome such attempts to stop negotiations, Matthew Levitt has done a real service in the cause of successful diplomacy.