Domestic Politics and Conflict in the Cases of Israel, Palestine and Lebanon

October 2006


When analysing conflicts from either academic or policy perspectives, conflict parties are often treated as monolithic ‘black boxes’. Analysis tends to be centered on relations between principal parties and third party actors both in phases of conflict and of peace. In turn, attention is often focused on the day to day evolution of relations between conflict parties, at the expense of the underlying long-term drivers of conflict and peace, which often lie within conflict parties themselves. This is particularly true in the Middle East, where the succession of crises in the region often leaves analysts and policy-makers little time to reflect upon the structural root drivers of conflict.

Stemming from this premise, this report analyses some of the main structural, interest based and ideational domestic drivers in Israel, Palestine and Lebanon and examines to which extent they have impinged upon the ensuing inter-connected conflict hubs in the region; namely the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, between Israel and Lebanon and Syria, and between Syria and Lebanon. This report also discusses how external parties, and most importantly the EU, have affected these conflicts by operating – deliberately or not – on their respective domestic drivers.

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