Violence and control in civil conflict: Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza

Ravi Bhavnani*, Dan Miodownik, Hyun Jin Choi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


What explains the use of selective and indiscriminate violence in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza from 1987 to 2005? Using micro-level data, an aggregated analysis indicates that areas of dominant but incomplete territorial control consistently experience more frequent and intense episodes of selective violence, providing support for Stathis Kalyvas's theory on the logic of civil violence. Disaggregating the analysis by each zone of control and perpetrator, however, offers only mixed empirical support for Kalyvas's predictions. While Palestinian-perpetrated violence is still consistent with theoretical expectations, Israel more frequently resorts to the use of selective violence where Palestinians exercise greater control. Such disconfirming evidence points to causal mechanisms previously unaccounted for and contributes to a more nuanced specification of the microfoundations of violence in civil conflict.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)61-80
Number of pages20
JournalComparative Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2011


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