Sacred Barriers to Conflict Resolution?   A Critique of Atran’s and Axelrod’s Bargaining Model as Applied to the Israeli-Palestinian Confrontation

Paul Kamolnick


This article provides a critique of Atran's and Axelrod's conceptualization and application of bargaining theory to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Key notions such as ' the sacred,' and 'the symbolic' are either not defined at all or equivocally operationalized. The intrinsic relation between the symbolic and material levels of a phenomenon are misunderstood. Finally, the authors fail to modify their instrumental-rational bargaining paradigm to account for the uniquely existentialist challenges at the base of the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation. 

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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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