The young and the hawkish: Generational differences in conflict attitudes in Israel

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Abstract

How do generational patterns affect public opinion in prolonged conflicts? While considerable research has addressed the effects of conflicts on children and adolescents, understanding the broader generational divides in public attitudes towards conflict resolution remains an area with both theoretical and empirical gaps. Such understanding is crucial, given its potential to significantly shape aggregate public opinion and the trajectory of conflicts. This paper focuses on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, examining how support for conflict resolution varies across Israeli–Jewish cohorts. It employs longitudinal survey data (1981–2019), using both descriptive methods and age-period-cohort (APC) regression models. The findings indicate that generational differences in public opinion were relatively small until the early 2000s. Post this period, younger Israelis have increasingly displayed more hawkish attitudes than older generations, coupled with a stronger inclination towards right-wing identification. These trends pose important questions about the changing nature of support for compromise within Israeli society and its implications for the future of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The factors driving these emerging generational gaps are complex and merit in-depth exploration. While this article touches upon potential explanations, including demographic shifts and hope for peace, they do not entirely clarify the observed generational differences, highlighting the need for further research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch and Politics
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

Keywords

  • cohort analysis
  • Conflict
  • conflict resolution
  • generations
  • Israeli–Palestinian conflict
  • political attitudes
  • public opinion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Political Science and International Relations

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