Collective action of ethno-national minority groups and the cost of inaction: Arab Palestinians in Israel

Irit Harboun, Guy Ben-Porat, Shlomo Mizrahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Collective action requires resources, organization, leaders and political opportunities. In the case of disadvantaged minority groups, long-standing conflict with the majority, a closed political opportunity structure and the difficulty of acquiring resources, increases the costs and risks of the action. We argue that the development of such an action is a function of leaders’ perceptions about the cost of inaction (COI) and symbolic resources of the group, such as solidarity. Combining these evaluations creates three trajectories: growth, restriction and decline. We examine this argument by four collective actions carried out by Arab Palestinians citizens in Israel to improve education. The findings show that leaders increased efforts even if they assessed opportunities are limited when they thought that COI is high, since inaction means not only the loss of instrumental costs but also the loss of potential symbolic gains such as recognition of the group collective identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-594
Number of pages21
JournalIdentities
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Arab citizens
  • Ethno-national minorities
  • Israel
  • collective action
  • education
  • mobilisation

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