The Cycle of Violence and Pathways to Peace

Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 153-170, 2009

19 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2011

See all articles by Matt Motyl

Matt Motyl

University of Illinois at Chicago; University of Illinois at Chicago

Zach Rothschild

University of Kansas

Tom Pyszczynski

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Date Written: December 4, 2009

Abstract

This article analyzes inter-group conflict through the lens of Terror Management Theory and explains how belief systems can breed animosity and hostility towards those who do not share one’s beliefs. Research provides support converging with historical analyses suggesting that many of the same psychological mechanisms that lead terrorists to take aggressive actions may also motivate extreme counter-terrorist policies creating massive amounts of collateral damage. This collateral damage from violent counter-terrorist measures often intensifies the cycle of violence by assisting terrorists in recruiting support. Finally, recent research that provides hope for breaking the cycle of violence is presented.

Keywords: terror management, extremism, political violence, war, peace, existential, conflict, violence, terrorism

Suggested Citation

Motyl, Matt and Rothschild, Zach and Pyszczynski, Tom, The Cycle of Violence and Pathways to Peace (December 4, 2009). Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 153-170, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1769287

Matt Motyl (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

1007 W. Harrison St. (m/c 285)
Psychology Department
Chicago, IL 60607
United States

HOME PAGE: http://motyl.people.uic.edu

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

1102 Behavioral Science Building (BSB)
Chicago, IL 60607-7137
United States

HOME PAGE: http://motyl.people.uic.edu

Zach Rothschild

University of Kansas ( email )

1415
Lawrence, KS 66045
United States

Tom Pyszczynski

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs ( email )

1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80918-7150
United States

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