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Decision-Making Meets Negotiation: The Palestinian Bid for UN Recognition

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image of International Negotiation

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict attracts much scholarly and diplomatic attention. However, despite Secretary of State John Kerry’s determination during the 2014 round of negotiations, the parties are no closer to reaching a negotiated agreement over twenty years after the signing of the Oslo Accords. This article explores an under-examined aspect of negotiation, the decision to enter into talks, using poliheuristic theory. We examine the decision-making calculus of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in his bid for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, a decision to not negotiate. We ask not only why did Abbas choose to bypass US-mediated negotiations, but why he chose to pursue Palestinian statehood at the UN. In our analysis and discussion, we identify gaps in the existing decision-making and negotiation literatures and ways to better incorporate questions of power asymmetry and the complexity of context into poliheuristic theory.

Affiliations: 1: Kennesaw State University, Department of Political Science and International Affairs & PhD Program in International Conflict Management 365 Cobb Avenue, Kennesaw, ga 30144 USA ; 2: Kennesaw State University, International Conflict Management 365 Cobb Avenue, Kennesaw, ga 30144 USA

1 Maia Hallward is associate professor of Middle East Politics and International Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University. She is the author or editor of four books, including Transnational Activism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Palgrave Macmillan 2013) and Understanding Nonviolence: Contours and Contexts (Polity Press 2014). She serves as Executive Editor of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development.
2 Amanda Guidero is a PhD candidate at Kennesaw State University. She has been an instructor of political science at Kennesaw State University and an NGO program evaluator. She is a qualified mediator in the state of Oregon.

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