Radicalizing Religion? Religious Identity and Settlers' Behavior

Sivan Hirsch-Hoefler, Daphna Canetti, Ehud Eiran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ABSTRACT: Does religious identity prompt radical action? This article presents a model of individual-level radical action. Drawing mostly on collective action theory the article posits that organizational membership drives the effect of religious identity on individual-level radical action. Using survey data the article assesses the behavior of Jewish settlers in the West Bank in the face of the 2005 Gaza withdrawal. The article finds that contra the prevailing view, which holds that religious identity alone is sufficient to trigger violence, evidence suggests that organizational membership is a mechanism bridging religious identity and radical action. Longstanding arguments tying radical actions solely to religion may require substantial revision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-518
Number of pages19
JournalStudies in Conflict and Terrorism
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was made possible, in part, by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH073687), the Israel Science Foundation (487/08), and the US?Israel Binational Science Foundation (2009460). We also thank JMCC in Ramallah and Mahshov in Israel for enabling our data collection, and the numerous friends and colleagues who have helped along the way, including Amnon Cavari, Carly Wayne, Keren Snider, and participants in the annual conference of the International Society of Political Psychology (Israel, July 2013). Of course, all errors are our own. Some of the findings from this article were mentioned in a blog post (that included another author). See: http://politicalviolenceataglance.org/2015/08/31/radicalizing-religion/

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations


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