Learning About Dialogue and Partnership Between Rival Groups During an Intractable Conflict

Yoav Kapshuk, Noa Shapira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study focuses on a minority group of Israeli Arab students who learned about dialogue and partnership between Arab and Jewish communities in a mixed college in Israel. The real-time study of the damaging effects of the intractable conflict suggests a unique model based on three concepts—shallow roots need constant watering, extended contact, and minimizing status differences (SEM)—for intervention in peace education. The first concept reflects the conceptualization of peace education initiatives operating on cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dimensions. The second concept is based on encounters with the outgroup by watching videos showing intergroup meetings and shared lives; the third concept minimizes the asymmetry in powers between the groups. Two questions guided our research: (a) How did the course that coincided with an outbreak of violence in an intractable conflict affect the Israeli Arab students who learn in a mixed college? (b) How did the SEM model affect Israeli Arab students’ trust in reconciliation during an intractable conflict? The findings indicate a complex picture: negative emotions, descriptions of racism, and a more negative perception of the other side. However, the course, which emphasized the conflict and its consequences and complexities, also evoked feelings of hope, trust, and a desire for reconciliation. Therefore, this study’s unique model for learning about partnership and dialogue in a complex and challenging situation may be helpful to other situations of peace education during an intractable conflict.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPeace and Conflict
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Intergroup conflict
  • Intractable conflict
  • Minority group
  • Peace education
  • Reconciliation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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