The Insides of Identity and Intragroup Conflict

Jay Rothman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In this chapter, I hypothesize that a major reason negotiations over identity-based conflicts fail is that inadequate attention is given to the process of intragroup prenegotiation. Characteristic of many identity-based conflicts is that they are long-lasting and marked by intensifying internal schisms. Too often identity-based conflicts go from bad to worse when opponents in such conflicts meet prematurely and try to solve substantive problems or negotiate solutions between them before sufficient agreement over core concerns like priorities has been reached within each side. Failed intergroup negotiations then reverberate back to incrimination and further division within groups. Despite the sense of some that the weaker parties are internally, the more likely they are to make a deal externally, I suggest that it actually makes the chance of successful intergroup negotiation in the future more difficult. Instead, systematic intragroup prenegotiation focusing first on the internal dynamics of disagreement and consensus building within each side, I hypothesize, could enhance the chances of successful negotiation between sides. This chapter sets my own agenda for promoting intragroup prenegotiation as one method of improving intergroup negotiations in identity-based conflicts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Slippery Slope to Genocide
Subtitle of host publicationReducing Identity Conflicts and Preventing Mass Murder
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199919222
ISBN (Print)9780199791743
StatePublished - 19 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Conflict resolution
  • Identity-based conflict
  • Intragroup agreement
  • Prenegotiation


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