The Culture of Conflict and Its Routinisation

  • Daniel Bar-Tal
  • Guy Abutbul-Selinger
  • Amiram Raviv
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Political Psychology Series book series (PSPP)


Intergroup conflicts are an inherent aspect of human relations and they have occurred repeatedly on a large scale for millennia. But of special interest are intergroup conflicts that are termed ‘intractable’ with their distinct characteristics. Intractable conflicts occur when groups have conflicting goals that they consider to be essential for their survival. Such conflicts are violent and are perceived by the parties involved as having a zero-sum nature and hence as being irresolvable. They deeply involve the engaged societies, which invest vast resources in their continuation, and they last for at least a generation (Bar-Tal, 1998, 2007a, 2013; Kriesberg, 1993, 2007). The long lasting conflicts with the prolonged and imprinting collective experiences lead to the development of a culture of conflict. The evolved culture of conflict with the continuous violence is the key feature of intractable conflicts. These vicious conflicts figure prominently in the history of civilisation. Examples in ancient times include the protracted struggles between the Greek ‘city-states’ and Persia and between Rome and Carthage; examples in later periods include struggles between France and England and between France and Prussia. In the twentieth century, some intractable conflicts were resolved; these include the conflicts in Algeria and South Africa. But to this day, such conflicts rage in other areas, for example, Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Chechnya and the Middle East.


Collective Identity Collective Memory Society Member Israeli Society Normalization Process Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Daniel Bar-Tal, Guy Abutbul-Selinger and Amiram Raviv 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Bar-Tal
  • Guy Abutbul-Selinger
  • Amiram Raviv

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