Sociopsychological barriers to peacemaking and overcoming them: A review of new psychological interventions.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Linda Tropp (this volume) has reviewed traditional conflict resolution interventions (e,g,, contact) that have been developed and tested by social psychologists, Tropp has also discussed the opportunities and challenges in implementing these strategies in the context of intractable conflicts. This chapter adds to Tropp's by reviewing only new interventions that have been designed specifically to deal with the psychological barriers to peace in the context of intractable conflicts. To that end, we begin by elaborating on the sociopsychological repertoire of societal beliefs, attitudes, and emotions that evolve in societies immersed in intractable conflict, and how this repertoire may serve as a sociopsychological barrier to peacemaking when signs of possible peace appear. We then elaborate on the theoretical framework of overcoming the sociopsychological barriers. Following this, we review new psychological interventions that aim to overcome these barriers, derived mainly from Bar-Tal and his students' work in recent years. We suggest that these interventions can be divided into three categories; (1) interventions that provide information; (2) interventions that provide information through experiences; and (3) interventions that teach a new skill. In each category we discuss the possible merits and limitations when applied in the context of intractable conflicts. Finally, we introduce a new line of intervention that can overcome some of the outlined limitations, namely, paradoxical thinking. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe social psychology of intractable conflict
Subtitle of host publicationCelebrating the legacy of Daniel Bar-Tal,
EditorsEran Halperin, Keren Sharvit
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-17861-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-17860-8
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NamePeace psychology book series.


  • *Conflict
  • *Intergroup Dynamics
  • *Intervention
  • *Peace
  • *Public Opinion
  • Social Psychology


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