Trading Territory for Security & Economic Well Being? To the Survey Experiment, Israel Stylee!

In yesterday’s Conflict Consortium Virtual Workshop Stacie Goddard, Alan Dafoe, Jakana Thomas, Alex Braithwaite and I discussed  Devorah Manekin‘s working paper “Symbolism or Materialism? A Public Opinion Approach to Territorial Conflict,” (co-authored with Guy Grossman and Tamar Mitts).

Devorah Manekin (click to watch on YouTube).

Devorah Manekin (click to watch on YouTube).

Manekin, Grossman & Mits have conducted a series of cool survey experiments in Israel to gain some leverage on the extent to which Israeli’s will trade-off territory for economic growth, security, and other good things in life.  In a nutshell, the results suggest: not so much (or, less than one might think).

Naturally, there is a distribution of opinion across the Israelis who completed the survey.  And the authors want to unpack what helps explain who are those who are “stubborn” rather than “flexible,” and what sorts of benefits generate “flexibility” (I am stealing Braithwaite’s suggested, admittedly oversimplified, dichotomy).

I learned about conjoint experimental designs,[1] and the group had a number of interesting observations that seemed to help Manekin better understand where they can shore up the presentation.  We also had a number of concrete, and more than a few vague, suggestions for probing their survey for additional information to further illuminate that distinguishes “types” of Israelis, and what the “flexible” folks respond to.  Inevitably, we also came up with suggestions for designing future surveys.  Doing so is de rigeur, oui?

If it sounds interesting, check it out here.  And be sure to keep an eye on the upcoming schedule.


[1] I learned this, admittedly, over lunch with Manekin after the workshop, where I could fire a few questions at her to clarify where I had gotten lost in the paper.

About Will H. Moore

I am a political science professor who also contributes to Political Violence @ a Glance and sometimes to Mobilizing Ideas . Twitter: @WilHMoo
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