Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass discusses negotiations for “Israeli-Palestinian Impasse” and other CFR Model Diplomacy ( case studies. He explains that almost every aspect of international relations can be subject to negotiations, from territory to trade to conflict. Negotiations, he says, always take place in a context, and the ways to structure them are endless. He also distinguishes between negotiations and consultations; the latter can be useful on their own or as a prelude to negotiations.

Haass says that the fate of negotiations turns most often on ripeness, a measure of whether leaders are willing and able to make a deal. He discusses the factors involved in ripeness, explaining that it requires leaders with sufficient political strength to sell an agreement to their constituencies. Using the example of Cyprus, Haass suggests that political factors, not a lack of ideas, often account for the failure of negotiations. He also explains the potential downsides of trying to negotiate and falling short. Haass concludes, though, that countries can manage disputes even when they are unripe for resolution.

Instructors interested in exploring “Israeli-Palestinian Impasse” and other cases for their classrooms can visit the Model Diplomacy case library.

For more educational resources from the Council on Foreign Relations, visit CFR Campus a t


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