Is there contact at all? Intergroup interaction in planned contact interventions between Jews and Arabs in Israel

Ifat Maoz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


In the past few decades, planned intergroup contact interventions play an important role in attempts at conflict management and peace building. The present research raises a fundamental question regarding these interventions of "is there contact at all?" Based on previous research and observations, we claim that the occurrence of intergroup interactions in planned contact interventions between groups in conflict can subject to marked variability. Thus, this study's goal is to construct and apply a measure assessing the extent of intergroup interaction in such interventions. The data was collected through observations of planned encounters between Jews and Arabs that were conducted in Israel in 1999-2000. The findings show variability in the extent of intergroup interaction in the investigated programs. While the majority of these encounters (Some 65% of them) were characterized by a high extent of intergroup interaction, some 20% of them contained a medium level of interaction and some 15% a low level one. The findings further indicate that programs targeted at high school students and adults were characterized by higher levels of intergroup interaction while programs targeted at preschool to fourth grade children and especially programs targeted at fifth to ninth graders included a lower extent of such interaction. Theoretical and practical implication of these findings are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)185-197
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is based on a larger research project invited and supported by the Abraham Fund. I thank the Abraham Fund for the generous support that enabled conducting the research. I also thank the members of the research team: Summer Jaber, Rona Refaeli and Keren Wasserman for their help.


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