Prof. Dan Miodownik
Member of the Academic Committee
Dan Miodownik is a Senior Lecturer in the departments of political science and international relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research focuses on conflict processes. Specifically, he study that emergence, unfolding and regulation of anti-regime mobilization, protest behavior, ethnic polarization, and civil wars. He also has significant interest in computational modeling and geographic information systems. He teaches classes on ethnic mobilization, civil wars, and conflict resolution. He has spent the last two years (2011-2013) as visiting research fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition the Truman project he is working on a book manuscript on agent-based modeling, mobilization, and political science.
"The Political Legacies of Combat: Attitudes towards War and Peace among Israeli Ex-combatants from the Second Intifada"
Demobilized combatants have long been viewed by policymakers as a threat to conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction efforts. However, the assumption that former combatants pose a grave risk to post-conflict stability and peace relies on scant and inconclusive empirical evidence. The effects of combat service on political attitudes have barely been studied, primarily because exposure to combat is typically not random, making it difficult to isolate its causal role. It thus remains unclear whether combat exposure is likely to promote or impede reconciliation. The objective of this study is to addresses this gap, employing a novel research design to assess the effects of combat exposure on the political attitudes and behavior of Israeli ex-combatants. Through a comprehensive survey of former combat and non-combat soldiers who served in the IDF during the Second Intifada (2000-2005) we explore to what extent and in what ways combat exposure affects the willingness to support or reject reconciliation efforts, and whether or not combatants differ from non-combatants in their attitudes towards war and peace. The study has important theoretical and practical implications, as the attitudes of ex-combatants may have a substantial impact on the likelihood and stability of conflict resolution efforts, in Israel and beyond.