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Peacemaking in Intractable Conflict: A Contractualist Approach

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AbstractThis article presents a contractualist approach to peace and conflict studies that grows out of classical paradigms in the field. The contractualist approach proposes a solution to intractable conflicts through processes such as a public negotiating congress to transform conflicting parties into a large peacemaking community. The vision of an ideal congress is based on the multi-party talks that had operated in South Africa and Northern Ireland during the 1990s. The challenge is to establish a similar peacemaking institution in cases such as the Israeli-Palestinian dispute where ordinary citizens are at the center of the struggle. This article includes theoretical background, analysis of relevant case studies, and lessons from the Minds of Peace Experiment, a small-scale Israeli-Palestinian public negotiating congress that has held sessions in various locations around the world.

Affiliations: 1: Tel-Aviv UniversityP.O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv; 2: Center for Peace & Conflict Studies, Wayne State University2320 Faculty Administration Building, Detroit, MI


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