Partner

This concept defines a partner to a political process in a dynamic context.

Definition

The concept of Partner refers to a political entity that, in a specific context, shares a common objective with another political entity and has the capacity to effectuate its part in the service of that objective.

Hence, within a given context and toward a specific objective, a Partner is an entity that has Delivery Capability, Will and Legitimacy to act on its part to serve the shared objective.

Background

The issues of whether Israel has a Partner and under what conditions Israel should negotiate with the Palestinians have been recurring themes in Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Factual input about Palestinian statements, decisions or actions provide insufficient value to Israeli decision-makers when they consider whether to engage the other party through negotiations in an Across-the-Table Strategy, as opposed to pursuing an Off-the-Table Strategy.

The Reut Institute offers a set of concepts and analysis that aspires to provide Israeli decision-makers with a conceptual framework in this regard (See: What Makes an Israeli-Palestinian Partnership?).

What Constitutes a "Partner" to a Political Process?

In order to become a Partner to a political process, a party must possess three attributes:

  • Delivery Capability to take part in a political process, i.e.:
    • Carrying Capacity – Ability to implement policies it wishes to pursue; and/or
    • Responsibility – Obligation of a political entity to conduct itself in a certain way according to agreements it is party to or to international customs, norms or law;
  • Will to take part in that political process.
  • It has internal and international Legitimacy

Model of Partner

Will

A party's Will to take part in a political act in a particular context is determined by three components: rational calculation of interests, readiness to take risks and ideology.

Delivery Capability

A Party's Delivery Capability includes two components:

  • Carrying Capacity – This concept refers to a party's ability to implement policies it wishes to pursue. It includes four components:
    • Material – availability of human, financial and other physical resources;
    • Building and Sustaining Coalitions – capacity of the top executive to stay in power and forge coalitions to pass decisions and required legislation;
    • Constitutional and Judicial – capacity to constitutionally and judicially ratify executive and legislative decisions;
    • Institutional - capacity of branches of government to coordinate planning, decision-making and implementation of policies;
  • Responsibility – This concept refers to duties of political entities arising from agreements or from international customs, norms and law.

Legitimacy

A party's Legitimacy is the capacity to receive necessary internal and international support.