The Arab-Israeli Conflict Transformed

Fifty Years of Interstate and Ethnic Crises

By Hemda Ben-Yehuda & Shmuel Sandler

Subjects: Israel Studies
Series: SUNY series in Global Politics
Paperback : 9780791452462, 306 pages, April 2002
Hardcover : 9780791452455, 306 pages, April 2002

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Table of contents

List of Tables

1. Theoretical Approaches to Conflict and Order in International Politics

2. Context, Crisis Magnitude, and Change

3. Process, Outcomes, Overall Crisis Magnitude, and Change

4. Crisis Magnitude and Conflict Transformation

5. Ethnic Crises in a Compound Conflict

6. New Dimensions in the Arab-Israeli Conflict: From the Intifada 1987 to Intifada 2000

7. Understanding Transformation in the Arba-Israeli Conflict

Glossary of Crises in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Makes the perhaps surprising argument that in the last quarter of the twentieth century the Arab-Israeli conflict has been winding down.


The Middle East conflict, be it between the state of Israel and Arab states or between Jews and Palestinians, is a staple of international news. Utilizing both theoretical approaches and empirical evidence, Hemda Ben-Yehuda and Shmuel Sandler argue that despite the recent upswing in violence, particularly over the Palestinian issue, conflict has gradually been giving way, since the 1970s, to a more orderly regime of conflict management. By integrating ethnonational theoretical literature into their analysis, the authors move beyond the current International Relations debate over the relative merits of realist/neo-realist approaches versus neo-liberal-institutional approaches. Ethnic-state disputes are the primary source for failing to terminate the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Hemda Ben-Yehuda is a Research Associate at the International Crisis Behavior Project and teaches in the Department of Political Studies, Bar-Ilan University. Shmuel Sandler is the Sara and Simha Lainer Professor of Democracy and Civility and Chair of the Department of Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University. He is the author of The State of Israel, The Land of Israel: The Statist and Ethnonational Dimensions of Foreign Policy.


"The Arab-Israeli Conflict Transformed is useful because it combines theory, case studies, and data analysis in a way that sets an example for further work in the area. It is not written from a position of advocacy but helps to enlighten us about the basis for alternative courses of action in dealing with a persistent and deadly conflict. Its most impressive aspect is its mastery of the evolution of a very complex rivalry in world politics. The book's basic message—that the Arab-Israeli conflict has moved in a gradually favorable direction—is convincing." — Patrick James, University of Missouri-Columbia

"This book serves as a handy reference guide for crisis research—due in part to the methodological rigor and analysis inherent in the International Crisis Behavior framework." — David Carment, Carleton University