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Socio-psychological barriers to peace making: An empirical examination within the Israeli Jewish Society


  • Eran Halperin

    () (School of Government, IDC, Herzliya)

  • Daniel Bar-Tal

    (School of Education, Tel Aviv University)


Socio-psychological barriers play a major role in the continuation of intractable conflicts. They are responsible for the socio-psychological closure that resists and prevents the entertainment of alternative information that could potentially facilitate the acceptance of ideas advancing peacemaking processes. In an attempt to validate a process model that depicts the functioning of the socio-psychological barriers to conflict resolution, an empirical study was conducted among a nationwide representative sample of Jews in Israel, within the context of the Middle Eastern conflict. The reported study utilized a large scale survey, based on a nationwide representative sample of Israeli Jews who were asked to respond to a questionnaire which included the model's selected variables. As hypothesized, the results showed a path leading from general worldviews (e.g. General values, Right Wing Authoritarianism, Implicit theories about groups) to openness to new information and readiness to compromise through the mediation of the conflict-related societal beliefs (e.g. victimhood, delegitimization). These results indicate that closure to new information that may shed new light on both the rival and the conflict emerges as a crucial factor in the maintenance of society members' non-compromising views. The theoretical as well as the applied implications of the findings are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Eran Halperin & Daniel Bar-Tal, 2011. "Socio-psychological barriers to peace making: An empirical examination within the Israeli Jewish Society," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 48(5), pages 637-651, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:48:y:2011:i:5:p:637-651

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    Cited by:

    1. Jennings, Colin, 2012. "Rationalising ‘Irrational’ Support for Political Violence," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-87, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    2. repec:col:000411:016074 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Colin Jennings, 2012. "Rationalising ‘'Irrational'' Support for Political Violence," Working Papers 1212, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.

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    barriers; conflict; conflict resolution; freezing;


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