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Posted on March 30th, 2013, by

TWO-LEVEL GAMES
Diplomatic negotiations are always an open process that might be influenced by any factors. The two-level games means that there are a few parties that should be taken into account while decision is made, these are both international and domestic forces. Robert Putman summarizes the issues:

At the national level, domestic groups pursue their interests by pressuring the government to adopt favorable policies, and politicians seek power by constructing coalitions among these groups. At the international level, national governments seek to maximize their own ability to satisfy domestic pressures, while minimizing the adverse consequences of foreign developments (436). Two level games are being fully demonstrated by the Camp David negotiations.
I will focus on two of the most fundamental examples.

The most overt and effective use of two-level game strategy was Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem in 1977. Janice Gross Stein refers to this event as an example of suasive reverberation, which Putnam defines as applying international pressure that will reverberate in the domestic arena and alter the other player’s win-set (454). Once Sadat decided that he wanted to press the peace process forward, he needed to create similar motivation on the Israeli side. He accomplished this goal with his dramatic trip to Jerusalem, a move that was effective because it was irreversible. Having recognized Israel in this way, Sadat could not go back. Realizing this, many Israelis embraced the development and began to pressure Begin with massive demonstrations. With this new support for the peace process, Begin had more latitude among his constituents to explore possible peace agreements. Thus, Sadat’s maneuver on the international stage led to reverberation in Israeli domestic politics and expanded Begin’s win-set (Stein 86-7).

The two-level structure can also work against negotiators when domestic constraints limit their latitude in the international arena. At Camp David, domestic interests all but required the three leaders to walk away with some agreement. As has previously been mentioned, Carter had to achieve a settlement for reasons of political survival. The other two players needed continued cooperation and engagement from the U.S. for domestic reasons, so they in turn had large incentives to allow Carter to broker an agreement.

Sadat and Begin both found themselves hamstrung by the need to address the economic and security situations in their respective countries. As the Egyptian economy weakened throughout 1978, Sadat began to face increasing political opposition from the right and the left. His repression of dissent and control over public opinion would keep him in power in the short run, but his plans to reform the economy and establish security required urgent action. The United States was a crucial partner in both of these plans: the strategy of economic liberalization depended critically on American aid, investment, and technology transfer, and resolution of the crisis with Israel depended on the active participation of the United States (Stein 89). These factors made it imperative that 11
Egypt maintain its positive relationship with the U.S., so Sadat had to increase his acceptability set to include almost any agreement.
Begin faced a similar, though perhaps less acute, situation. Israel’s geo-political isolation meant that America was its most important ally, both as a guarantor of security and as a donor of massive economic aid. Begin could not afford to allow Egypt to gain favor with Carter at the expense of the special U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship. Thus, because Carter was under much pressure to broker a settlement, Sadat and Begin were under similar pressure to agree to it (Stein 87-90). In the end, however, Begin’s other political constraints and superior bargaining caused Carter and Sadat to make most of the concessions.
Lessons:
As an example of useful diplomacy lessons that were learned in the process of Camp David negotiations, we can define the following: domestic compulsion may be a big influence and it should be acknowledged by negotiating participants. Therefore these forces have to be examined in advance, when the preparation of the meetings is held. Besides it, in the case of domestic influences it can be used for a high pressure game it order to get needed concessions. Begin confronted this scenario at Camp David, and he was able to force Sadat to agree to a settlement that many considered a loss for Egypt.
VI. CONCLUSION
To be clear, the end of negotiations has not happened in Camp David, even then the final accors were approved. In 1979 a huge diplomatic efforts resulted in the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, that was approved by these powerful domestic forces as well. The results and historical influence of Camp David negotiations are considered as controversial. In accordance with some analysts, Israel has achieved the best result by gaining the security.

On the other hand, the ownership of Sinai was renewed by Egypt. But unfortunately for Egypt the sighing of Peace Treaty wasn’t approved by the Arab countries, and their support was traded for a closer relationship and financial help of the United States.

On the contrary, other analysts re confident about Egypt’s victory, as it has gained a territory, that was very important for this country, in n exchange for a non-material thing, a peace treaty. In spite of the dispute and possible winners, the Camp David influence is vital for a Middle East region, because no matter what, but these conflicting countries are at peach since the Accords’ signing. Therefore we can make a conclusion that it’s a mutual political victory for Egypt and Israel (Telhami, Pew Study 13).

Also, Camp David can be considered an example of ingenious international bargaining. The strong sides of Cam David negotiations were specifically defined subjects of discussion and also an uninterrupted polite manner of these talks. These famous negotiations were studied from many perspectives. Camp David negotiations are definitely an interesting example of international diplomacy. 12

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