Towards agonistic peacebuilding? Exploring the antagonism–agonism nexus in the Middle East Peace process

Karin Aggestam, Fabio Cristiano, Lisa Strömbom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Many contemporary conflicts are framed as antagonistic and difficult to resolve because of their zero-sum framing among the disputants. This article addresses the antagonism–agonism nexus and the political and contested nature of building peace. It has a three-fold aim: (1) to critically assess the interplay between constructive and destructive dynamics; (2) to analyse the circumstances under which conflict may move from antagonism to agonism; and (3) to advance the novel notion of agonistic peacebuilding. The Middle East Peace process is used as a critical case of intractable conflict to elucidate the enabling and restraining conditions for agonistic peacebuilding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1736-1753
Number of pages18
JournalThird World Quarterly
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • agonistic peacebuilding
  • antagonism
  • conflict
  • Middle East Peace process
  • peace
  • politics

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