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Rethinking ViolenceStates and Non-State Actors in Conflict$
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Erica Chenoweth and Adria Lawrence

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014205

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014205.001.0001

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A Composite-Actor Approach to Conflict Behavior

A Composite-Actor Approach to Conflict Behavior

(p.197) Chapter 8 A Composite-Actor Approach to Conflict Behavior
Rethinking Violence

Wendy Pearlman

The MIT Press

This chapter introduces the composite-actor approach to explain violence in civil conflicts and identifies three categories of actors — elites, aspirants, and masses — which shape politics in movements. It analyzes the Palestinian national movement during the British Mandate (1920–1948) using the above approach and presents the twin assumptions of unitary actors and collective rational action. In the 1917 Balfour Declaration, the British government favored the establishment of a national home for Jewish people in Palestine, but the majority population was Muslim and Christian Arab, who formed an Arab Executive Committee (AEC). The violent and nonviolent collective action of the Arab Rebellion is the product of a combination of top-down and bottom-up dynamics. The 1939 White Paper granted Palestinian Arabs much of what they had been fighting for.

Keywords:   composite-actor approach, civil conflicts, Palestinian national movement, British Mandate, Arab Executive Committee

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