Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies

Cross-Conflict Dialogue: Testing the Contact Hypothesis with Israelis and Palestinians

Professor Rosemary Hollis, City University London

3 March 2015

Rosemary Hollis

This talk was presented by Professor Rosemary Hollis, City University London


Many would-be peacemakers (notably in the EU) assume that facilitated cross-conflict dialogue between civil society groups helps build peace.

Based on her experience of facilitating such dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians over several years, Professor Hollis argued that such assumptions overlook or misunderstand the role of identity politics and competing narratives in driving and sustaining conflict. Certainly 'talking to the enemy' can yield deeper understanding of 'the other' and the conflict, but opposing positions may actually harden in the process.