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The Political Legacies of Combat: Attitudes Toward War and Peace Among Israeli Ex-Combatants

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  • Grossman, Guy
  • Manekin, Devorah
  • Miodownik, Dan

Abstract

Recent research has highlighted combat's positive effects for political behavior, but it is unclear whether they extend to attitudes toward the conflict itself. We exploit the assignment of health rankings determining combat eligibility in the Israel Defense Forces to examine the effect of combat exposure on support for peaceful conflict resolution. Given the centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to global affairs, and its apparent intractability, the political consequences of combat become all the more pressing. We find that exposure to combat hardens attitudes toward the rival and reduces support for negotiation and compromise. Importantly, these attitudes translate into voting behavior: combatants are likely to vote for more hawkish parties. These findings call for caution in emphasizing the benign effects of combat and underscore the importance of reintegrating combatants during the transition from conflict to peace.

Suggested Citation

  • Grossman, Guy & Manekin, Devorah & Miodownik, Dan, 2015. "The Political Legacies of Combat: Attitudes Toward War and Peace Among Israeli Ex-Combatants," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 981-1009, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:69:y:2015:i:04:p:981-1009_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Michal Bauer & Christopher Blattman & Julie Chytilová & Joseph Henrich & Edward Miguel & Tamar Mitts, 2016. "Can War Foster Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 249-274, Summer.
    2. Koenig, Christoph, 2015. "Loose Cannons – War Veterans and the Erosion of Democracy in Weimar Germany," Economic Research Papers 270015, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    3. Giezendanner, Eliane & Ingelaere, Bert, 2021. "How to understand ex-combatants’ political participation against the background of rebel-to-party transformations," IOB Discussion Papers 2021.02, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).
    4. Nicholas Haas & Prabin B. Khadka, 2020. "If They Endorse It, I Can't Trust It: How Outgroup Leader Endorsements Undercut Public Support for Civil War Peace Settlements," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 64(4), pages 982-1000, October.
    5. Dominic Rohner, 2018. "Success Factors for Peace Treaties: A Review of Theory and Evidence," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie 18.08, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie.
    6. PatriÌ cia Justino & Wolfgang Stojetz, 2018. "On the Legacies of Wartime Governance," HiCN Working Papers 263, Households in Conflict Network.
    7. Sabine C Carey & Belén González, 2021. "The legacy of war: The effect of militias on postwar repression," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 38(3), pages 247-269, May.
    8. Travis W. Endicott, 2020. "Combat Experience and the Foreign Policy Positions of Veterans," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1413-1429, July.
    9. Nicolás Liendo & Jessica Maves Braithwaite, 2018. "Determinants of Colombian attitudes toward the peace process," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 35(6), pages 622-636, November.
    10. Sarah Zukerman Daly, 2018. "Determinants of ex-combatants’ attitudes toward transitional justice in Colombia," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 35(6), pages 656-673, November.
    11. Krieger, Tim, 2020. "Migration and terrorism," Discussion Paper Series 2020-06, University of Freiburg, Wilfried Guth Endowed Chair for Constitutional Political Economy and Competition Policy.

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