Military Order Disobedience: An Analysis of Personal and Political Transformation
The discipline of Peace and Conflict Studies attempts, in part, to understand the origins of conflicts and to propose strategies of intervention aimed at transforming the attitudes of the conflicting parties. However, although there is a large range of intervention approaches, understanding the nature of the desired transformation on an individual level is still under-researched. This project aims to identify and conceptualize processes of personal transformation in conflict situations, by analysing the personal narratives of soldiers in Israel, who, during their military service, chose to disobey an order or to object to carrying on their military service entirely, for conscientious reasons. The question this study addresses is: what are the social and psychological mechanisms which generate military obedience, and what enables some soldiers to challenge and overcome these impediments. This further question concerns the transformation processes which lead a soldier to conscientiously object. Using Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA), 23 Israeli selective conscientious objectors (SCOs) were interviewed to answer these questions. The analysis sheds light on the social, cognitive, emotional and moral aspects of the transformation process and has helped generate an integrative model of transformation. The theoretical implications of a psychological theory of change and for the practice of conflict intervention are discussed. This study contributes to the understanding of personal transformative processes leading to nonviolent practice of SCOs.
Advisor: Clements, Kevin; Standish, Katerina
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Dialogue; Conflict Transformation; Conscientious Objectors; Protracted Conflicts; Militarized Masculinity; Theory of Change; intergroup relations
Research Type: Thesis