Alan Dowty


"This book is a gem -- an excellent introduction to the complexities of the Arab--Israeli conflict. Dowty is remarkably fair in presenting the views of both sides in a compelling manner; die-hard Zionists as well as Palestinian activists will find much to admire -- and resent -- about this book."
Steven David, Johns Hopkins University

"Israel/Palestine is an authoritative and extraordinarily valuable text for courses on the Arab--Israeli conflict. With its scrupulous attention to balance and careful examination of the responsibilities of all sides, the book offers an opportunity to suggest the commonalities out of which the conflict could be resolved."
S. Ilan Troen, Brandeis University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

"Alan Dowty's writing is clear and lucid -- his introduction alone is worth the cost of a paperback! He should be commended for giving an account of the Israeli--Palestinian conflict that is a joy to read."
Richard Oliver Collin, Coastal Carolina University


About the Book

What explains the peculiar intensity and evident intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Of all the "hot spots" in the world today, the apparently endless clash between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East seems unique in its longevity and resistance to resolution. Is this conflict really different from other ethnic and nationalist confrontations, and if so, in what way?

In this fully revised and updated second edition of his highly respected introductory text, Alan Dowty demystifies the conflict by putting it in broad historical perspective, identifying its roots, and tracing its evolution up to the current impasse. His account offers a clear analytic framework for understanding transformations over time, and in doing so, punctures the myths of an "age-old" conflict with an unbridgeable gap between the two sides. Rather than simply reciting historical detail, this book presents a clear overview that serves as a road map through the thicket of conflicting claims. This expanded edition also includes a new chapter on the so-called ‘fourth stage’ of the conflict.

In this account the opposed perspectives of the two sides are presented in full, leaving readers to make their own evaluations of the issues. The book thus expresses fairly and objectively the concerns, hopes, fears, and passions of both sides, making it clear why this conflict is waged with such vehemence -- and why, for all that, there are some grounds for optimism.

About the Author

Alan Dowty is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. In 2003-2006 he was the first holder of the Kahanoff Chair in Israeli Studies at the University of Calgary, and he is Past President of the Association for Israel Studies.

Professor Dowty is a graduate of Shimer College and the University of Chicago, where he received his Ph.D. in 1963. In 1963-1975 he was on the faculty of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, during which time he served as Executive Director of the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations and Chair of the Department of International Relations.

He has published widely on the Arab-Israel conflict, Israeli politics, U.S. foreign policy, weapons of mass destruction, international freedom of movement, and international enforcement. Among his books are The Limits of American Isolation (New York University Press, 1971), Middle East Crisis (University of California Press, 1984), which won the Quincy Wright Award of the International Studies Association, Closed Borders: The Contemporary Assault on Freedom of Movement (Yale University Press, 1987), which was written as a Twentieth Century Fund Report, and The Jewish State: A Century Later (University of California Press, 1998, 2001). An edited volume, Critical Problems in Israeli Society, was published by Praeger in early 2004. He has published over 130 scholarly and popular articles and reviews, and has delivered over 500 public lectures in 19 countries.