This article examines the perception of power, threat, and conflict intensity in an asymmetric intergroup conflict. About 900 Arab and 900 Jewish high school and university students in Israel were surveyed on their sense of threat and security, the intensity of the conflict between their communities, and power relations between Arabs and Jews who both are citizens of Israel. Scales were developed to measure all three concepts in that setting. Factor analysis of the power scale shows that the two groups distinguish between two dimensions of power. Both sides agree that the Jewish population asymmetrically controls more institutional power and to a lesser extent social-integrational power. The two groups distinguish between two dimensions of threat, but what threatens one group evokes either security or no threat in the other. Perceived power, threat, and intensity of conflict are best predicted by political affiliation, although other social and political predictors were also found. A profile of the right wing in the Israeli sample emerged, which resembled, but did not mirror, the profile of the left wing in the Arab sample.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Business, Management and Accounting
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations