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Changing discourses and mediation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict : towards the Declaration of Principles 1993.

Abi-Ezzi, Karen (1999) Changing discourses and mediation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict : towards the Declaration of Principles 1993. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86109) (KAR id:86109)


This thesis focuses on the role of mediators in the process of discursively constructing the dominant narrative erecting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In seeking to concentrate on specific mediation processes in the conflict, culminating in the Declaration of Principles, research reveals the highly interactive nature of changing discourses, underpinned by a complex, political process of textual interweaving and overlap that defines the conflict. Much of the literature addressing mediation theory builds on a positivist epistemology which separates fact from value and unquestioningly proceeds from the premise that words mirror the world they describe. Within such a context, mediators remain external to the conflict either arbitrating or facilitating negotiations between the protagonists, but never becoming part of it, contributing to its construction. The application of discourse analysis to the study of mediation challenges this core premise, arguing that any intervention necessarily involves a process of reinterpretation or re- definition of the conflict, engendered by the mediator him or herself. Underpinned by a process of change, the conflict is impinged upon by a plethora of external as well as internal parties to the conflict. These interventions generate a new discourse which interacts with other narratives within the same discursive realm or domain. In this thesis, the term `discourses' refers to those narrative structures in place which enable or constrain political movement in a particular direction at a particular moment in time. Identifying a highly interactive discursive process removes the spotlight away from a narrow and exclusionist conceptualisation of mediation as pertaining to the immediate forum in which negotiations between protagonists and a third party unfold, towards a broader, more inclusive understanding of what the process entails.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86109
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Political science
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:28 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2022 12:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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