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The transformation of Israeli Peace Activism since the Second Intifada

Fleischmann, L. (2015). The transformation of Israeli Peace Activism since the Second Intifada. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This dissertation examines the transformation of Israeli peace activism since the second Intifada. Using a framework based in social movement theory it argues that, contrary to conventional wisdom, not all parts of Israeli peace activism were paralysed in the period following the outbreak of the Intifada in 2000. By placing greater emphasis on the internal dynamics of social movement theory: collective action frames, tactical repertoires and mobilisation structures, and by building a three-fold typology of Israeli peace activism: a liberal Zionist component; a radical component; and a human rights component, it argues that it was only the liberal Zionist component that demobilised following the outbreak of violence in 2000. The radical and human rights component continued to mobilise, with new groups emerging, presenting alternative and innovative ways to challenge the prevailing situation.

This study is based on interviews with activists in Israel, participant observation and primary data from the publications and websites of the activist groups, focusing on the period between 2000 and 2014. Through this, new empirical data to further the understanding of Israeli peace activism has been provided. This study further contributes to the literature on Israeli peace activism by unearthing new collective action frames, the evolution of tactical repertoires and a shift in the mobilising structures. Furthermore, by disaggregating the internal dynamics before analysing how they interact with the external environment, the political opportunity structures, this dissertation identifies different cycles of contention for the three components of Israeli peace activism.

The empirical analysis has also led to contributions in the field of social movement theory. It shows that impact should be conceived of beyond the policy arena, with emphasis given to other areas of impact, such as mobilisation, cultural shifts and norm entrepreneurship. It also identifies a number of aspects of social movement theory that require refinement: the relationship between the government and a social movement; the connection between the international dimension and a domestic social movement; and the role of gender dynamics.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
School of Policy & Global Affairs > School of Policy & Global Affairs Doctoral Theses
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