Peace through Health: A case study of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel




Kitts, Judy

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This thesis explores Peace through Health (PtH) in the context of an intractable conflict by examining the 10 PtH mechanisms within Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I). In using a single qualitative instrumental case study of PHR-I, my research sought to answer the questions: Is Peace through Health an appropriate peace-building response in the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? How are the 10 mechanisms of Peace through Health reflected in the work of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel? And how can Peace through Health be evaluated in regions of intractability to provide evidence for this emerging field? Findings indicated that PtH is an appropriate response, if a) importance was placed on the political dimension and b) understood in the context of a multi-track approach. In terms of the 10 mechanisms of PtH, my research found that while some of the mechanisms were reflected in the work of PHR-I, the impact they could have on peace was limited by the political realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Finally, in terms of evaluation, my findings suggest that the contribution that health can make to peace-building, at present, is small and exceedingly difficult to measure as the question of ‘how’ continues to hinder the process of evaluation.



Peace, Conflict, Health, Human Rights, Israel, Palestine