Oppression and resistance–uncovering the relations between anger, humiliation and violent collective action in asymmetric intergroup conflict

Oliver Fink*, Oded Adomi Leshem, Eran Halperin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

What are the emotional antecedences of support for violent resistance among low-power groups living in conditions of hardship and oppression? Previous studies suggest that emotions such as anger and humiliation can elicit support for violent actions against the oppressor. However, the exact circumstances that make these emotions trigger support for violence within asymmetric conflict remain unclear. To better understand when anger and humiliation experienced by oppressed groups evoke violent political resistance, we conducted a two-wave survey in the Palestinian Territories during relative calm and immediately after a public provocative move made by Israel. Results revealed that for citizens living under oppression, intergroup anger and humiliation are present at relatively high levels even during relative calm. In these day-to-day conditions of oppression, anger, but not humiliation was associated with citizens’ support for violent means of resistance. As anticipated, levels of anger and humiliation surged after Israel’s public conflict aggravation, but the context moderated their effect on support for violence. After the provocation, humiliation elicited support for violence while anger was not associated with such support. Theoretical and applied implications of the detrimental consequences of humiliation are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)210-223
Number of pages14
JournalDynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways toward Terrorism and Genocide
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Israel
  • Palestine
  • Violent collective action
  • anger
  • group emotions
  • humiliation

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