The False Readiness Theory: Explaining Failures to Negotiate Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Adi Schwartz, Eytan Gilboa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article applies a new conflict resolution theory-False Readiness (FR)-to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and offers a theory-based explanation of the numerous failures to resolve it. The FR theory was designed to facilitate research on protracted conflicts where the parties agree to open negotiations, conduct rounds for decades, but fail to reach peace agreements. It suggests that when at least one of the disputants does not seek resolution, no agreement can be achieved. Based on the FR theory, this article concludes that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the widely recognized sole representative of the Palestinians, behaved as an FR actor in negotiations with Israel. Ample empirical evidence demonstrates that this conduct is rooted in historical factors, ideological positions, and strategic policies adopted with little change since the establishment of the PLO in 1964. A similar application to the Israeli side may yield similar results.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Negotiation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Copyright 2022 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.


  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • conflict resolution
  • false readiness
  • negotiation


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