Focusing on the role of hope and emotions more broadly in the two newest peace movements in Israel–Women Wage Peace and Standing Together–this paper investigates how both movements ‘work’ on their activists’ emotions and combine emotions. A comparative and gendered approach sheds light on differences between the movements. While both were established in 2014–2015 and strive for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, each has distinct characteristics. Women Wage Peace is a women’s movement focused on reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians, while Standing Together is a mixed movement with a holistic mandate of reaching peace and transforming Israel into a more egalitarian society. The paper draws on qualitative methodologies–in-depth interviews with Jewish and Arab-Palestinian activists, ethnographic work, and analysis of documents produced by the movements. It suggests that both movements consciously work on their activists’ emotions, but that Standing Together combines the positive emotion of hope with the negative emotion of anger (‘moral battery’), while Women Wage Peace combines the positive emotion of hope with the positive emotions of love and joy. The paper also argues that Women Wage Peace’s combination of positive-only emotions is part of an absolute politics of positivity that contrasts with Standing Together’s more limited politics of positivity. Possible implications include the value for peace movements to actively work on their activists’ emotions and trigger hope, which can be combined with negative or positive emotions, as movements consciously place themselves along the ‘politics of positivity’ spectrum.
- Combination of emotions
- politics of positivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science