Origins of the Israeli Polity: Palestine under the Mandate

By Dan Horowitz; Moshe Lissak | Go to book overview

9
Conflict Regulation as a Test of Authority Without Sovereignty

Political Integration and Conflict
Regulation

The assumption that "there is a distinct overlap between political integration and conflict regulation problems" 1 has become part of the basic approach of social scientists concerned with political integration both within and among political communities. This realization highlights the extent to which political systems are successful in defusing and mitigating conflicts in order to maintain a basic level of social consensus. 2 Essential in this context are rules of the game that prevent the unregulated and unauthorized use of violence and coercion and that permit common action by groups in spite of their conflicting interests. These rules may be based on compromise or on specific procedures for the resolution of issues. The capacity to deal with conflicting demands and interests can thus become a test of legitimate authority. Political conflicts pose a challenge to all political systems, and the challenge becomes more severe as the authority of the system's center is weaker.

We may distinguish four possible outcomes of political conflict that threatens the integrity of a political system. One possible outcome is the monopolization of political power by an elite group which resolves conflicts according to its own interests and

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