SWISS CENTER FELLOWS ‎

 

Maya de Vries - Kedem, PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow, The Swiss Center fort Conflict Research, Management and Resolution  

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Maya de Vries -Kedem, PhD

 

Maya de Vries-Kedem received her PhD at the Communication and Journalism Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her dissertation focuses on the role of social media in conflict zones: the case study of East Jerusalem Palestinians. Maya completed her Master’s at the Swiss Center for Conflict Resolution. Under the supervision of Prof. Ifat Maoz, Maya’s MA thesis investigated the Israeli-Palestinian Track Two diplomacy from the participants’ perspective. 

She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Swiss Center for Conflict Resolution conducting research entitled: Anthropology of Smart Phones and Smart Aging in East Jerusalem. Within this project, Maya is conducting a long-term ethnographical study in a Palestinian community located in East Jerusalem, thus exploring the digital aspects of the lives of elderly civilians living under intractable ethno-political conflict.

Maya’s research interests include digital communication, political and cultural participation of marginalized groups and political activism in intractable conflict areas. She has published several articles in academic journals and has presented papers in international academic conferences on these topics.

PUBLICATIONS

de Vries, M., Kligler-Vilenchik, N., Alyan, E., Ma’oz, M., & Maoz, I. (2017). Digital contestation in protracted conflict: The online struggle over al-Aqsa Mosque. The Communication Review, 20(3), 189–211.‏ doi.org/10.1080/10714421.2017.1362814

 

de Vries, M., Simry, A., & Maoz, I. (2015). Like a bridge over troubled water: Using Facebook to mobilize solidarity among East Jerusalem Palestinians during the 2014 war in Gaza. International Journal of Communication, 9, 2622–2649.

Available at: http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/3581

 

de Vries, M. & Maoz, I. (2013). Tracking for peace: Assessing the effectiveness of Track Two Diplomacy in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, 6(1–3), 62­–74.‏ doi.org/10.1080/17467586.2013.861074

 

 

 

 

Anthropology of smartphones and smart ageing in East Jerusalem

 

 

Along with gender, age is one of the primary parameters by which societies throughout history have structured and governed themselves. Through countless gerontocracies, older men have historically ruled much of the world. In almost every society, age has historically been a core parameter for granting authority and organizing society and governance. Since the 1960s, however, we have lived with an unprecedented modern consciousness that has presented an increasingly powerful challenge to this hegemonic principle by placing a high value on youth culture. As a result, there is a new uncertainty about the meaning of age and being elderly. Age has extended class discrepancies, as those between the ages of 45–70 have become a class that has settled its children and can now capitalize upon the new choices of consumer culture. Yet, these ageing populations increasingly face problems of loneliness linked to a loss of authority of seniority, though this may be alleviated by contact through new media. 

 

The research investigates how smartphones and particularly the use of health apps affect the lives of this age group, from their relationships, through their participation in cultural life, to leisure activities. At the same time, smartphones can address the problems that come with biological ageing through health apps. Mobile health initiatives were first developed around fitness and wellbeing but are increasingly helping older populations deal with diseases. Although such digital platforms have potential for helping those with limited access to professional care, they also threaten to bypass and undermine professional or institutionalized medical services. They also reflect wider changes in the political economy; for example, an increasing decline in welfare services.

 

In this manner, the case study of East Jerusalem is unique since Palestinian inhabitants of the city hold a complex legal status of “permanent residents,” according to which they are eligible for some rights (e.g., the right to receive medical services) but are not considered citizens of the Israeli state. This situation has created enclaves of “gray” spaces in which local solutions are applied. The medical services operating in East Jerusalem are a new type of privately-owned clinics that are financially supported by the state.

 

This study aims to contribute to the emerging field of digital anthropology and to the study of healthy aging among marginalized communities. In addition, it strives to expand the existing knowledge on the socio-political situation of East Jerusalem Palestinians and to increase the access of East Jerusalem Palestinians to health and welfare services, through encouraging and supporting the use of digital platforms.

 

 

 

 

Ibrahim Hazboun, PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow, The Swiss Center for Conflict Research, Management and Resolution  

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Ibrahim Hazboun, PhD

Ibrahim Hazboun holds a Ph.D. degree from the Department of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew university. His dissertation, entitled “Journalism in Asymmetric Conflicts: Experiences and Practices of Palestinian Journalists.” The dissertation focuses on how groups shape and express their narratives and agendas through the media when restricted by the conditions, pressures and limitations of asymmetrical conflict. This was done by mapping the dispersed, fragmented and decentralized landscape of Palestinian media outlets and through analyzing the experiences of Palestinian journalists working for local media outlets. Thus, the dissertation explores the ways in which Palestinian journalists living in a marginalized community attempt to use social media to overcome political domination and geopolitical restrictions within the context of the asymmetrical conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Dr. Hazboun is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Swiss Center for Conflict Resolution conducting research entitled “No ceasefire for a cyber-war in Gaza: Hamas uses of social media for communication under Israeli restrictions.”This study examines the ways Hamas communicates directly with global audiences, through international mainstream media by using one of the social media applications, the WhatsApp,  in an attempt to overcome technological and geopolitical restrictions within the context of the asymmetrical conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Dr. Hazboun research interests include journalistic practices during war and conflict, narratives of inter group conflicts and new media. Also, Dr. Hazboun is a journalist since 1999. He covered the Israeli Palestinian conflict, peace negotiations, Israel Lebanon war in 2006 and the wars in Gaza. He also covered other regional and international revolutions and conflicts including Egypt, Turkey and the war in Syria.

Publications:

Hazboun, I., Maoz, I. & Blondhiem, M. (2019). Palestinian media landscape: Experiences, narratives, and agendas of journalists under restrictions. The Communication Review. 22(1), 1-25. DOI: 10.1080/10714421.2018.1557964

Hazboun, I. & Maoz, I. (2018). Palestinian journalists turn to social media: Experiences and practices of covering the asymmetrical conflict in Jerusalem. Conflict & Communication Online, 17(2).  ISSN 1618-0747

Hazboun, I., Ron, Y., & Maoz, I. (2016). Journalists in times of crisis: Experiences and practices of Palestinian journalists during the 2014 Gaza war. The Communication Review, 19(3), 223-236. DOI: 10.1080/10714421.2016.1195206

 

No ceasefire for a cyber-war in Gaza:

Hamas uses of social media for communication under Israeli restrictions.

 

The use of social media during conflicts has become a key component in research seeking to understand the impact of conflict on the fighting parties and observers around the world. In modern conflicts, two battles are taking place: one on the ground and the other in cyberspace. The virtual clash through social media platforms is between two opposing narratives within the cyber battle. Political leaders, elites, and individuals from different social and economic levels, including marginalized communities, have used social media platforms to spread different narratives, perspectives and agendas. Social media is used to actively shape the narrative about groups during conflict. The impact of social media includes changes in how the mainstream media covers conflicts. International media outlets and journalists use posts on social media in their news coverage of protests and conflicts, including the coverage of the long-lasting asymmetrical conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

The research investigates how groups like Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza, communicates directly with journalists working for international mainstream media through WhatsApp, as a strategic venue to overcome technological and geopolitical restrictions within the context of the asymmetrical conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. In the Gaza Strip, violent escalations are taking place repeatedly between Israel and Hamas on the ground. At the same time, a second fierce battle between the two sides is permanent in cyberspace. As the battle switches between rockets and fighter jets, the portrayal of events on the ground shapes media cycles and the responses of both sides until a ceasefire is reached. The fight on the ground may stop, but spreading narratives and agenda continues in cyberspace. Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, and has been under Israeli blockade for more than a decade. Israel has launched a major campaign calling on social media platforms to shut down Hamas accounts. Also, Israel blocked Hamas' websites and began redirecting users to an Israeli government page. Users in Israel trying to enter one of the websites associated with Hamas are redirected to an error message on one of the Israeli government’s official websites. On the other hand, Hamas continues to attempt to hack the broadcasts of mainstream Israeli TV channels and spread their own narratives to Israelis. Additionally, Israel has accused Hamas members of hacking Facebook accounts of Israeli soldiers to collect intelligence information and spread their agenda and threats.

This study can help in understanding the increasing trend of WhatsApp's use among activists and leaders during conflicts. Recently, WhatsApp has experienced an astronomical increase in usage, as it is an affordable communication tool for people and professionals. The growing trend of using WhatsApp as an innovative communication application during conflicts, including the Israeli Palestinian conflict, is a matter of newer interest which needs evaluation and research based understanding. In addition, the research aims to expand the existing knowledge on the role of groups in asymmetrical conflicts and the field of narratives approach to conflict and conflict resolution.

 

 

 

 

Jessica Katz Jameson, PhD, Senior Lady Davis Fellow 2019

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Jessica Katz Jameson, PhD, is Professor of Communication at North Carolina State University where she teaches courses in organizational communication, public relations, conflict management, and nonprofit leadership.  Her research focuses on organizational conflict management, with emphases on third party mediation and facilitation, the role of emotion and identity in conflict communication, and collaboration and conflict management in diverse groups and teams. She has published articles in outlets such as Conflict Resolution Quarterly, Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, International Journal of Conflict Management, Journal of Health Communication, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, Negotiation Journal, and Western Journal of Communication. She has authored several book chapters on organizational conflict, mediation, and conflict in healthcare. Professor Jameson has a strong commitment to community engaged scholarship, and is a founding member of NC State’s Community Engaged Faculty Fellows.

 

 

Engaging Conflict: Communication that Transforms Relationships, Groups, and Organizations.”

I’m currently writing a book titled “Engaging Conflict: Communication that Transforms Relationships, Groups, and Organizations.” The goal of the book is to share what I have learned over the last 20 years of research on conflict management in organizational settings to help people learn how to support an organizational climate that addresses conflict directly and productively. In collaboration with employees in corporate jobs, health care organizations, state and county governments as well as volunteers in nonprofit organizations, I have developed a model with the acronym LEARN: Listen, Engage, Acknowledge, Rapport, Nurture, to describe communication behaviors that build constructive conflict environments.

 

Since the time I completed the first draft of Engaging Conflict in 2014, the socio-political environment in the US has changed. In 2013, the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting of Black teenager Treyvon Martin in Florida was highly publicized and the social media campaign #BlackLivesMatter emerged. This was followed with increasing media coverage of police officers using unnecessary, sometimes deadly, force with Black citizens in 2014. Black Lives Matter led to a response from those who felt law enforcement was under attack, and “Blue Lives Matter” emerged in late 2014. These social media campaigns, ongoing media coverage, and daily conversations have increased racial tensions in the US, and we are currently struggling to create both online and face-to-face venues for constructive conversations and dialogue to improve race relations. Given the current climate, I would like the book I am writing to address conflicts based on race and other identity characteristics more directly. While I have examined identity conflict in some of my work in healthcare, the relevant identity was professional rather than racial or ethnic.

 

During my time in Israel I will continue my conflict research through examination of the communication tools and techniques that have been designed to facilitate and transform conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. There are many lessons we can learn (about race relations in the U.S., for example) from successful programs in Israel. For example, Dr. Ifat Maoz, who is sponsoring me, has done quite a bit of research in the area of Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. Articles she has published include titles such as “Peace building in violent conflict: Israeli-Palestinian Post Oslo people to people activities” and “Coexistence is in the eye if the beholder: evaluating intergroup encounter interventions between Jews and Arabs in Israel” (both published in 2004). She has also written explicitly about dialogue in co-authored articles such as “Learning about 'good enough' through 'bad enough': A story of a planned dialogue between Israeli Jews and Palestinians,” and “Online arguments between Israeli-Jews and Palestinians.” In addition to working with Dr. Maoz and her contacts, I have additional colleagues in Israel I could work with based on my 20 years as a member (and 2016 President of) the International Association for Conflict Management, such as Jay Rothman, Professor in the Graduate Program on Conflict Resolution, Management and Negotiation at Bar-Ilan University, who has written several books on identity-based conflict. I believe working with Dr. Maoz and other conflict scholars in Israel would contribute greatly to my research and allow me to add a critically important element to the book I have been working on.