Children as agents of peace: conflict transformation, peacebuilding and track two diplomacy amongst children in Israel/Palestine

Liza Beinart

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated abstract] This thesis examines the potential for children to contribute to peacebuilding processes in societies experiencing protracted social conflict. Since the shifting nature of contemporary armed conflict has increased the involvement of civilians, the potential for purely government-brokered peacemaking initiatives to bring about a sustained end to conflict has weakened. As a consequence, effective and permanent cessation to conflict has a better chance of success if a policy of grass-roots peacebuilding is constructed in and around top-level peace agreements. Implementation of track two diplomatic initiatives, particularly using the process of conflict transformation through dialogue encounter, has the potential to encourage a fundamental shift in the perceptions held by opposing groups in conflict, and the eventual total transformation of the conflict itself. … Parallel cultural analyses of Palestinian and Israeli society reveal the role of culture and nationbuilding in protracted social conflict; the effect of these dynamics on the political socialisation of children from both sides; and the extent to which these dynamics produce children who are suitable for participation in peacebuilding initiatives. The dissertation then explores the programs of several key child-orientated peacebuilding organisations currently operating in the sphere of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Through analysis of procedures, outcomes, effectiveness and external societal dynamics, the thesis discusses the various social, economic, cultural and political factors that contribute to the success and limitations of such ventures in Israel/Palestine.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2005


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