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Coercion and its Effects: Evidence from the Israel-Palestine Conflict
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Description
Abstract [en]

Counterinsurgency, state repression and other forms of coercion have multiple adverse effects. Although a state’s use of threats and force should deter an opposition group, these measures often stimulate resistance. And although state-led coercion aims to influence an opposition group, coercive practices have social, economic and political consequences for civilians. This dissertation studies the efficacy and effects of coercive policies in the context of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The four composite essays investigate the impact of Israel’s practice of house demolition and construction of a separation barrier on Palestinians’ conflict preferences and use of violence, as well as the broader consequences of these policies for Palestinian communities. Essay I questions the conventional wisdom that the selective targeting of militants can be an effective counterinsurgency strategy. Through a survey of Palestinians, it demonstrates that house demolition can generate opposition to peace when it is perceived as indiscriminate in its targeting, even if it is selective by design. Essay II distinguishes between the mechanisms of collective threat and personal fear in state repression. In a longitudinal study of administrative demolition orders, it finds that orders issued against communal structures increase preferences for violence and militant political parties, suggesting that collective threats backfire. Essay III quantifies the economic consequences of counterinsurgency by measuring the separation barrier’s impact on Palestinian employment and wages. It further shows that this economic impact increases the rate of Israeli conflict fatalities, demonstrating that economic consequences of coercion can stimulate violent resistance. Essay IV conceptualises a state’s separation and exclusion of particular population groups as a general phenomenon and form of state repression. It draws on historical cases worldwide and presents the enclosure of Palestinian communities in special zones of the separation barrier as a contemporary example. The essays are empirical studies which use survey methods, quantitative analysis, principles of experimental design, qualitative sources and field work as a basis for description and explanation. As a whole, the dissertation contributes to the study of coercion by calling attention to understudied forms of coercion and identifying particular mechanisms by which threats and force can result in adverse effects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Peace and Conflict Research , 2019. , p. 43
Series
Report / Department of Peace and Conflict Research, ISSN 0566-8808 ; 118
Keywords [en]
Civil conflict, state repression, counterinsurgency, coercion, Israel-Palestine conflict
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-373742ISBN: 978-91-506-2744-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-373742DiVA, id: diva2:1279360
Public defence
2019-05-18, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-02-15 Created: 2019-01-16 Last updated: 2019-02-15
List of papers
1. Selective or Collective?: Palestinian Perceptions of Targeting in House Demolition
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Selective or Collective?: Palestinian Perceptions of Targeting in House Demolition
2018 (English)In: Conflict Management and Peace Science, ISSN 0738-8942, E-ISSN 1549-9219, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

There is a growing consensus that repression and counter-insurgency can be effective when selective. Yet the empirical evidence is mixed and theories specify that (unmeasured) perceptions of target selection matter. This article addresses this gap by directly measuring individuals’ interpretations of a coercive policy which varies in target selection. It employs original surveys with Palestinians on their exposure to house demolition, views on the policy and attitudes towards the Israel–Palestine conflict. The study finds that when interpreted as indiscriminate, house demolition increases opposition to compromise. The results are consistent when perceived target selection is manipulated in an embedded survey experiment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Thousand Oaks, California, United States: Sage Publications, 2018
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-373687 (URN)10.1177/0738894218795134 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-01-16 Created: 2019-01-16 Last updated: 2019-05-29Bibliographically approved
2. Israeli Demolition Orders and Palestinian Preferences for Dissent
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Israeli Demolition Orders and Palestinian Preferences for Dissent
2019 (English)In: Journal of Politics, ISSN 0022-3816, E-ISSN 1468-2508, Vol. 81, no 3, p. 1069-1074Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How does state repression affect civilians’ preferences for dissent? This essay examines administrative demolition orders issued against Palestinian structures in the West Bank. As administrative demolition is a penalty for illegal building and is not provoked by Palestinian violence and radicalization, the policy’s impact can be estimated while avoiding the challenge of reverse causality. Drawing on United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Demolition Order database and Palestinian opinion polls during 2001–12, the study finds that in the long run, the policy hardens preferences: as the number of demolition orders issued increases, Palestinians are more likely to oppose peace and support violence against Israelis. By demonstrating the provocative effect of collective threat, the study sheds light on a mechanism by which repression backfires. For the policy of administrative demolition, the findings suggest that while ostensibly exogenous to conflict dynamics, the practice has consequences for the peace process.

National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-373689 (URN)10.1086/703211 (DOI)000474803600025 ()
Available from: 2019-01-16 Created: 2019-01-16 Last updated: 2019-08-19Bibliographically approved
3. Security in Separation? Externalities of the West Bank Barrier
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Security in Separation? Externalities of the West Bank Barrier
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-373740 (URN)
Available from: 2019-01-16 Created: 2019-01-16 Last updated: 2019-01-16
4. Zones of Exception: Places and Practices of Separation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Zones of Exception: Places and Practices of Separation
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-373741 (URN)
Available from: 2019-01-16 Created: 2019-01-16 Last updated: 2019-01-16

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