"This is a thoroughly researched, empirically rich, and valuable contribution to the literature on intergroup encounters in the Israeli/Palestinian context."—Ned Lazarus, visiting professor of international affairs at the Elliott School, George Washington University
"A carefully crafted and thoughtful study on the potential impact of grassroots peace initiatives. An impressive volume, which challenges peace educational research methodologically while calling upon us all to confront contextual complexity in our research efforts. A compelling qualitative study that delineates pedagogical principles valuable to practitioners in the field. An outstanding book, which offers hope in a rather weary educational arena in search of transformation."—Zvi Bekerman, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
"In her new book, Youth Encounter Programs in Israel: Pedagogy, Identity and Social Change, Karen Ross conducts an in-depth analysis of Jewish-Palestinian youth encounter peace-building programs in Israel. She adopts a narrative approach and carefully considers how these youth programs impacted their young participants in long-term, positive and profound ways. . . . Her work has rich and multi-layered practical implications for the continuous peace-building efforts both within and out of the Israeli/Palestinian context."—New Books Network
"Ross contributes to the peace education field by deepening scholars’ and practitioners’ understanding of how encounter programs lead to concrete changes in beliefs and behaviours even in conflict contexts."—Journal of Peace Education
As the level of distrust and alienation between Jews and Palestinians has risen over the past fifteen years, the support for grassroots organizations’ attempts to bring these two groups closer has stagnated. Jewish-Palestinian youth encounter programs that flourished in the wake of the Oslo Accords now struggle to find support, as their potential to create positive social change in Israeli society is still unknown.
In Youth Encounter Programs in Israel, Ross attempts to assess that potential by considering the relationship between participation in Jewish-Palestinian encounters and the long-term worldview and commitment to social change of their participants. Taking a comparative approach, Ross examines the structure and pedagogical approaches of two organizations in Israel, Peace Child Israel and Sadaka Reut. In doing so, Ross explores how these different organizations shape participants’ national identity, beliefs about social change, and motivation to continue engaging in peace-building activities. Based on more than one hundred interviews with program staff and former participants as well as more than two hundred hours of program observation, Ross’s work fills an important gap in the literature and holds significant relevance for peace education and conflict resolution practitioners.
Karen Ross is assistant professor in the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
6 x 9, 242 pages