Hoping for Peace during Protracted Conflict: Citizens’ Hope Is Based on Inaccurate Appraisals of Their Adversary’s Hope for Peace

Oded Adomi Leshem*, Eran Halperin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hope is an essential component in the pursuit of political change. In order to hope, citizens need to wish for the change and have some expectations that it could materialize. This article explores how the two components of hope (i.e., wishes and expectations) are constructed in the seemingly hopeless case of a protracted and violent conflict. Utilizing a large-scale survey administered in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, we show that citizens’ appraisals of their adversary’s wishes and expectations for peace affect their own wishes and expectations, which, in turn, influences their willingness to support peacebuilding efforts. Regrettably, citizens’ tendency to underestimate their rival’s wish for peace lessens their own hopes, which further abates the support for peacebuilding. The study is the first to illustrate a mechanism by which hope for peace is constructed and the pathways by which hope facilitates resolution. Theoretical and applied implications are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1390-1417
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Volume64
Issue number7-8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.

Keywords

  • Israel
  • Palestine
  • hope
  • protracted conflict

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