These papers examines the question as to why the Oslo process between Israel and the Palestinians failed to generate conflict resolution from the perspective of two major theoretical frameworks in International Relations: Liberalism and Realism. Liberals have argued that this was primarily a failure of implementation, which generated economic problems and mistrust. In contrast, it is argued here that the Oslo process failed primarily as a result of factors emphasized by Realism. The conflict was not ripe for resolution because the practical meaning of recognition revealed large gaps between the ways that the parties defined their core interests. Against this background and given the depth of antagonism between Israelis and Palestinians, economic integration failed to generate support for the peace process. Instead, it increased friction and placed additional political obstacles in the way of compromise. Overall, the processes designed to secure conflict resolution were over-burdened. Rather than helping to resolve the conflict, they exacerbated it.

The Failure of the Oslo Process: Inherently Flawed or Flawed Implementation? (Ramat Gan: BESA Security & Policy Studies, no. 76, 2008)

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The Argov Center for the Study of Israel and the Jewish people studies the entire range of topics relevant to the identity of Israel as a Jewish state and to expressions of that identity. Within that framework, the Center focuses on two major clusters of interest.

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The Argov Center for the Study of Israel and the Jewish People, Department of Political Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900 Israel