The Shift from War to Peace: Reconciliation of Sub-Identities and Overcoming Psychological Barriers in Israel
Review of International Affairs, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 47-61, Winter 2002
15 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2010 Last revised: 10 Jun 2018
Date Written: March 20, 2001
The pivotal argument of this paper is that states and political establishments develop two types of identities: self-identity and sub-identity. Mutually corresponding sub-identities are the medium through which states interact. The first part of the paper argues that each state allocates a unique sub-identity to every other individual state or political establishment with whom it engages in a relationship. Particularly, a shift from war to peace requires states to reconcile their respective sub-identities towards their enemies. However, reconciliation is not a straightforward transition from an antagonistic mood to a pacifist environment. It is only possible if psychological barriers are overcome. The second part of this paper is devoted to a diagnosis of the psychological barriers that have prevented Israel from successfully reconciling its sub-identity with the Palestinian establishment.
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