Revisiting the Past. Israeli identity, thick recognition and conflict transformation

Detta är en avhandling från Department of Political Science, Lund University

Sammanfattning: Intractable conflicts are by definition difficult to resolve. This study ventures into the identity dynamics of those conflicts and argues that those identity aspects must be addressed in order to locate constituencies for change. Through the employment o theories of conflict transformation, identity and narrative, the dissertation forwards thoughts regarding the importance of inside actors formulating narratives of recognition of the opponent in conflict. Through the recognition of deeply held identity aspects, such as the others' narratives of history, conflict relations might develop into new and more peaceful forms. This study uses the Israeli debates over New History as a critical case in order to develop the concept of thick recognition. Through elaborations on the case, the processes by which thick recignition are introduced and circumstances which make them either take root or wane are explored. The study identifies inside actors, here understood as memory-agents forwarding different view of history, as crucial in the process of transforming conflictual relations. The disseratation hence challenges the traditional focus on third party interventions and elite negotations within conflict teory, and suggests that those have little to offer as long as profound identity dynamics in conflicts, as well as interactions among their inside actors, are disregarded.