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When Conflict Resolution Fails
An Alternative to Negotiation and Dialogue: Engaging Radical Disagreement in Intractable Conflicts

Bringing warring parties to the negotiating table is the aim of any peace process. But what happens when those negotiations falter and conflict resolution fails? Is everything lost or are there prospects for meaningful change in even the most intractable of conflicts?

In this insightful book, leading scholar-practitioner in conflict resolution Oliver Ramsbotham explores the phenomenon of radical disagreement as the main impediment to negotiation, problem solving and dialogue between conflict parties. Taking as his focus the long-running and seemingly irresolvable conflict between Israel and Palestine, he shows how what is needed in these circumstances is not less radical disagreement, but more. Only by understanding what is blocking the way and by promoting collective strategic engagement within, across and between the groups involved, can deadlock be transformed.

Rich in detail and accessibly written, this book introduces a new and as yet relatively unexplored frontier in conflict studies. Its wider application to other phases, levels and war zones holds out rich promise for extending conflict engagement in some of the worlds deadliest and most difficult hot spots.

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  • December 2016 (hb)
    November 2016 (pb)
  • 256 pages
  • 155 x 232 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $72.75
  • 9780745687988
  • Paperback $26.00
  • 9780745687995
  • Open eBook $20.99
  • 9780745688022
Table of Contents

PART I ARGUMENT

CHAPTER 1 LESSONS FROM THE FRONTIERS OF FAILURE

Conflict Resolution and Second Order Social Learning

CHAPTER 2 CONFLICT RESOLUTON AND ITS ENEMIES

The World in 2015: Trends in global violence

CHAPTER 3 WHY CONFLICT RESOLUTION FAILS

Linguistic intractability and radical disagreement

CHAPTER 4 AN ALTERNATIVE TO NEGOTIATION AND DIALOGUE

Engaging radical disagreement in intractable conflict

PART II CASE STUDY

CHAPTER 5 STRATEGIC THINKING FOR POSSESSORS

Why should Israel give up anything?

CHAPTER 6 STRATEGIC THINKING FOR CHALLENGERS

How can Palestinians transform the status quo?

CHAPTER 7 STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENT

The Israeli Strategic Forum, the Palestine Strategy Group, and the Palestinian Citizens Of Israel Group

CHAPTER 8 STRATEGIC THINKING FOR THIRD PARTIES

Principled Negotiation, Strategic Negotiation and the Kerry Initiative

PART III IMPLICATIONS

CHAPTER 9 EXTENDED CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Other phases, other levels, other conflicts

CHAPTER 10 EXPLORING RADICAL DISAGREEMENT

Taking agonistic dialogue seriously

CHAPTER 11 UNDERSTANDING RADICAL DISAGREEMENT

Is there a theory of radical disagreement?

CHAPTER 12 LIVING WITH RADICAL DISAGREEMENT

Facing an agonistic future

About the Author
Oliver Ramsbotham is Emeritus Professor of Conflict Resolution at the University of Bradford and President of the Conflict Research Society. He is co-author of the bestselling and hugely popular survey of the field Contemporary Conflict Resolution, now in its fourth edition.
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Reviews

This well-informed and nuanced analysis offers one of the most incisive treatments of the Israel/Palestine conflict available. Among books in the field, there is really nothing quite like it.
Alan Dowty, University of Notre Dame

When Conflict Resolution Fails extends Ramsbothams groundbreaking work on radical disagreement. Using the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as its main case, it describes a form of extended conflict resolution, built around ideas and practices of strategic engagement, that challenges our understanding of the role of third parties and proposes what may be, ethically, the outer limits of conflict resolution itself. An important and necessarily sobering book.
Kevin Avruch, George Mason University

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