Perceptional images, emotionalisation and process dynamics in collective conflict constellations.
Theory and empiricism using the case studies of Israel-Palestine and Northern Ireland.
Conflict situations between collective identities provide a unique space for analysis in science. Two social systems - and thus two systems of interpretation - collide and challenge each other on different levels. In this interplay mechanisms of construction and dynamics of the systems become visible, which are otherwise hidden in the background and - often undetected - influence all system parameters. In addition, an atmosphere of tension is created around the two antagonists, which form an optimal observation framework for a component in the political science context that has been severely neglected until now: The emotions. A long-needed observation gap which must be closed, since the potential for escalation in a collective conflict constellation is closely linked to the degree of positive and negative emotionalisation of the conflict parties' perceptions of their own community and of the group of opponents. Simultaneously, the characteristics of the spheres of interpretation, the transformation dynamics of a conflict and the polarisation level of society are included in the observation.
The aim of the dissertation is to generate an unprecedented transparency in conflict events and to crystallize at which point in the system, which impulses, how, tend to have an effect. At the same time, the emotional dynamics are not only to be discussed, but also made measurable as a strongly neglected dimension of political science. Therefore, a set of theses is being developed based on 13 variables that have been identified as indispensable key parameters. Although these are visualised in a quantitative way (formulas/equations), they make use of the method of analytical narrative in order to present the contents in a qualitative way. This is the only way to guarantee an authentic reproduction of the complex subject matter. The required data is collected through field visits to the study areas, using - among other things - the methodology of the guideline-oriented interviews and a variety of qualitative short questionnaires.