What reduces individual support for the use of violence among groups seeking self-determination? This article advances a new explanation for changes in popular support for violence – international recognition – and evaluates this explanation using a survey experiment of Palestinians priming the 2012 UNGA recognition of Palestine. The analysis shows that priming recognition reduces support for violence among a key segment of the population, nonpartisans, who have weaker and more fluid prior beliefs about the use of violence than partisans. The article argues that recognition reduces support for violence among nonpartisans by conveying new information that shifts the expected payoffs of violent and nonviolent strategies. This article deepens the incorporation of party politics into the study of conflict and demonstrates that international diplomatic engagement can reduce popular support for violence in an ongoing conflict. This is important because most previously identified determinants of support for violence are either very difficult to change or change very slowly.
This was originally published on SAGE Publications Ltd: Journal of Peace Research: Table of Contents.