Social Identity Theory and Intergroup Conflict in Israel/Palestine   [open pdf - 951KB]

From the Thesis Abstract: "Intergroup dynamics have been a central vector in long-lasting identity conflicts around the globe. In Israel-Palestine, the conflict has not been reduced to the same level of sustained peace as it has in other countries. The conflicting groups often get involved in increasingly destructive forms of reciprocating violence, which fuels narratives that lead to further cycles of violence. This thesis examines whether social identity theory is a useful framework for understanding this conflict. The thesis finds that both Israeli and Palestinian group behaviors can be better understood using the framework of social identity theory. It finds that both sides view each other through a lens of in- and out-group dynamics that rationalizes moves by the in-group and demonizes actions by the out-group. Israelis see things through the lens of a Westphalian nation-state, and Palestinian groups see themselves as liberation movements. Both sides of this conflict have extensive patronage lines to other nations, react to provocations to restore a sense of lost honor, respond to challenges with escalating levels of violence, and contest the same set of limited goods. The fact that the United States has a history of providing Israel with aid has had negative consequences for the former state with much of the Arab and Muslim communities. Terrorists use this assistance as part of their narratives against the United States. Consequently, the United States may have to rebalance its aid to the region." An 11 minute, 11 second interview on this thesis is also available at the following link: [https://www.hsdl.org/?abstract&did=866919].

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/
Media Type:
Cohort NCR1705/1706
Help with citations