New Article: Newman, Jewish and Unionist Attitudes Toward Compromise in Israel and Northern Ireland

Newman, Saul. “Faith and Fear: Explaining Jewish and Unionist Attitudes Toward Compromise in Israel and Northern Ireland.” Peace & Change 39.2 (2014): 153-189.





This study analyzes two case studies: the Unionist–Republican conflict and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. These disputes are comparable in that peace accords depend on majorities ceding rights to subordinate nationalist groups. However, dominant nationalist groups in the two cases have behaved differently. Unionists have proven more willing to make the necessary political concessions for peace. Testing hypotheses derived from theories of negotiation, trust, opportunity, positive and negative contact and covenants, the findings suggest these variations may be partially explained by the level of trust in subordinate nationalists, perceived threats to dominant labor, and the level of religiosity among dominant nationalists. Trust is a function of both the cessation of violence and a commitment to not engage in future violence. The impact of compromise on dominant labor played a greater role in Northern Ireland than in Israel. Religiosity also serves as a major obstacle toward concessions. Secularization plays a crucial role in opening dominant nationalists to compromise.

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