Mismatch of Tenures in Negotiations

This concept deals with differing governance stability in parties to negotiations and its effect on the outcome of negotiations.

Definition

Mismatch of Tenures in Negotiations is a discrepancy between the duration and stability of tenures of top executives engaged in negotiations. This discrepancy may create a leverage of time in negotiations, favoring the longer-lasting and more stable party.

Background

The concept of Mismatch of Tenures means that the more one party is subject to a political system that is characterized by shorter and less stable tenures, the more that party is weakened in the negotiation process.

In general, democratic elections yield cyclical structured change in leadership and political power. In authoritarian regimes power is held in greater permanence by a single leader or group who are usually displaced by a political shock. In other words, democratic leaders may often be structurally weakened when negotiating with stable authoritarian rulers.

Application

The mismatch of tenures between the Israeli and Palestinian political systems creates a Palestinian advantage when negotiating. Yasser Arafat is one of the longest lasting leaders in the world, with over 35 years as head of the PLO. On the other hand, the Israeli political system is characterized by volatility and high turn-over of governments making Israeli politics one of the most unstable in the democratic world with the past 5 Prime Ministers not completing their full term.1



1 Yitzhak Rabin (1992-95); Shimon Peres (1995-96); Benjamin Netanyahu (1996-99); Ehud Barak (1999-01); Ariel Sharon (2001-).

More Sources
Regan and Leng, "Social and Political Cultural effects on the Outcomes of Mediation in Militarized Interstate disputes", International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 47, 2003