The Political Legacies of Combat: Attitudes towards War and Peace among Israeli Ex-Combatants

33 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2013 Last revised: 9 Nov 2013

See all articles by Guy Grossman

Guy Grossman

University of Pennsylvania

Devorah S. Manekin

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Dan Miodownik

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Political Science Department

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Does combat experience foster hardliner approaches to conflict, diminishing the likelihood of reconciliation? We exploit the assignment of health rankings determining combat eligibility in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to examine the effect of combat exposure on support for peaceful resolution of conflict. Given the centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to global affairs, and with no resolution to the conflict currently in sight, the question of the political consequences of combat becomes all the more pressing. We find that exposure to combat hardens attitudes towards the rival and reduces support for negotiation and compromise. Importantly, these attitudes translate directly into voting behavior, such that combatants are more likely to vote for hardliner parties. These findings cast doubt on research highlighting the benign effects of combat and underscore the importance of combatant reintegration for the transition from conflict to peace.

Suggested Citation

Grossman, Guy and Manekin, Devorah S. and Miodownik, Dan, The Political Legacies of Combat: Attitudes towards War and Peace among Israeli Ex-Combatants (2013). APSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper; American Political Science Association 2013 Annual Meeting. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2300198

Guy Grossman

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

133 S. 36th Street
Perelman Center for Political Science and Economic
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
(215) 898-4209 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://web.sas.upenn.edu/ggros/

Devorah S. Manekin (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Dan Miodownik

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Political Science Department ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem
Israel

HOME PAGE: http://plutomail.huji.ac.il/~miodownik

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