Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Claire M. Rice

Second Advisor

Robin Cooper

Third Advisor

Cheryl Duckworth


conflict resolution, geotheology, intergroup dialogue, Israel, meta-data-analysis, Palestine


This qualitative meta-data-analysis was designed to identify themes of experience of Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Arab intergroup dialogue participants. A review of the literature indicated a scarcity of research that describes the ‘meaning-making’ processes that these participants undergo while engaged in structured intergroup dialogue, and this study was designed to address that shortage. The analyst conducted a targeted search of academic journal articles and Ph.D. dissertations published after 1999. The result of this search was a set of 17 primary reports, and the findings of this study are based on the verbatim quotations of Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Arab intergroup dialogue participants as cited within the set of primary reports. The analyst performed a thematic analysis of said quotations and, guided by contact theory, social identity theory, and intersubjectivity theory, concluded that Israeli Jews, Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, and Palestinian Arabs in the Occupied Territories all enter dialogue carrying varying levels of fear and anger; and if they remain dedicated to dialogue processes, they eventually—to varying degrees—seek truth, pursue justice, and realize unity. This study’s primary contribution is its explication of the specific areas intergroup dialogue facilitators and researchers need to focus in Israel-Palestine. The findings indicate that more research needs to be conducted on inter-religious, narrative, and activist models. Furthermore, the data evidences the presence of geotheological influences on participant perspectives. Overall, the findings of this dissertation are consistent with previous research that affirms the power of dominant group narratives to sustain intractable conflict and the necessity of intergroup dialogue to foster cross-group friendships that can overcome intractable conflict.

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