Violence and cooperation in geopolitical conflicts: Evidence from the Second Intifada

Muhammad Asali, Aamer Abu-Qarn, Michael Beenstock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We provide theoretical foundations and empirical evidence for the complex interplay between violence and cooperation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our simple dynamic sticks and carrots game lays the theoretical foundations for a vector autoregressions empirical investigation examining the dynamics of the actions taken by the two adversaries. Using daily violence and cooperation incidents during the Second Intifada and employing several causality metrics, we find evidence of asymmetric cycles of cooperation alongside cycles of violence; Both sides respond to violence (cooperation) by aggression (cooperating) where the Israeli responses are of higher magnitude than their counterpart. We find that both sides cooperate more after their rival's and own violence. Most importantly, cooperation has a causal effect on reducing violence; both sides, especially Israelis, are less aggressive after cooperating and following cooperation by the other side. If not for cooperation the Second Intifada would have been more violent and might have lasted longer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-286
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Causality
  • Conflict cycle
  • Cooperation
  • Israeli Palestinian conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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