The goal of our study was to explore factors that underlie public support for compromise in protracted, asymmetrical conflict. We introduce a gendering for compromise model in which, in line with previous studies (Maoz & McCauley, 2008), support for compromise is determined by perception of threat from the opponent. However, innovatively, our model also presents perception of the opponent as having stereotypical feminine traits as an important predictor of willingness to compromise in conflict. This model was tested in the context of the asymmetrical, protracted Israeli–Palestinian conflict using representative of Jewish–Israeli public opinion polling data (N = 511). In line with our expectations, the findings indicated that Jewish–Israeli perceptions of Palestinians as threatening and Jewish–Israeli perceptions of Palestinians as having stereotypical feminine traits both made significant contributions to predicting attitudes toward compromise.
Canetti, Daphna, Julia Elad-Strenger, Iris Lavi, Dana Guy, and Daniel Bar-Tal. “Exposure to Violence, Ethos of Conflict, and Support for Compromise. Surveys in Israel, East Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza.” Journal of Conflict Resolution (early view; online first).
Does ongoing exposure to political violence prompt subject groups to support or oppose compromise in situations of intractable conflict? If so, what is the mechanism underlying these processes? Political scholarship neither offers conclusive arguments nor sufficiently addresses individual-level forms of exposure to violence in the context of political conflict, particularly the factors mediating political outcomes. We address this by looking at the impact of exposure to political violence, psychological distress, perceived threat, and ethos of conflict on support for political compromise. A mediated model is hypothesized whereby exposure to political violence provokes support for the ethos of conflict and hinders support for compromise through perceived psychological distress and perceived national threat. We examined representative samples of two parties to the same conflict: Israelis (N = 781) and Palestinians from Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank (N = 1,196). The study’s main conclusion is that ethos of conflict serves as a mediating variable in the relationship between exposure to violence and attitudes toward peaceful settlement of the conflict.
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.