Socio-psychological Foundations of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Applying Daniel Bar-Tal’s Theorizing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The chapter presents an overview of Daniel Bar-Tal’s theory of the sociopsychological foundations of intractable conflict and the manner in which it applies to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It begins by delineating the defining features of intractable conflict and demonstrating that they indeed characterize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Next, the chapter considers the challenges that intractable conflicts pose to the involved societies and the unique sociopsychological infrastructure that develops in order to address these challenges. The elements that comprise the sociopsychological infrastructure, namely, collective memory, ethos of conflict, and collective emotional orientation, are reviewed along with evidence for their existence and functioning in the Israeli and Palestinian societies. The functions that the sociopsychological infrastructure serves for these societies are then presented, followed by a discussion of the institutionalization of the sociopsychological infrastructure and the development of a culture of conflict. The chapter concludes by considering the implications of these processes for the possibility of peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationA social psychology perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Subtitle of host publicationCelebrating the legacy of Daniel Bar-Tal
EditorsKeren Sharvit, Eran Halperin
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)3319248413
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NamePeace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS)


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