Michelle Pace, Somdeep Sen
January 16, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 128 Pages - 1 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138567399 - CAT# Y381894
Series: Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Democratization and Government
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Conceptually, the understanding of the PA’s ‘theater of statecraft’ is inspired by Judith Butler’s conception of performativity as one that encompasses several repetitive and ritual performative acts. The authors explore what they refer to as the ‘fuzzy’ state (personified in the form and conduct of the PA) looks like for those living it, from the vantage point of PA institutions, NGOs, international representative offices and activists. Methodologically, the book adopts an ethnographic approach, by way of interviews and observations in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank makes an important and long-due intervention by integrating performance studies and politics to suggest an understanding of the theatrics of woeful statecraft in Palestine. The book is an essential resource for students and scholars interested in the study of the state, International Relations and Politics, Palestine Studies and the Middle East.
1. The Theatrics of the ‘State’: An Introduction
2. Palestine and the ‘Global’ imperative of State-Building
3. The Palestinian Authority and its ‘anxious’ functionaries
4. Operating in the shadow of the ‘state’: The case of civil society organizations
5. The ‘state’ and its ‘unwilling’ subjects
"What is the meaning of the state in Occupied Palestine? Pace and Sen trace this crucial question in their fascinating and innovative book, detailing how the Palestinian Authority and other actors engage in performances of statehood. A must-read for anyone wanting to untangle the seeming paradox of the stateless state of Palestine." Sophie Richter-Devroe, Hamad Bin Khalifa University
"The book brilliantly examines the crucial aporia into which the Palestinian struggle for national liberation has ended up: the inhibition of the establishment of a Palestinian state as a result of the very theatrical statehood machinery performed by the Palestinian Authority with the support of the international community. Reconstructing the post-Oslo attempts to create the new unachievable sovereign entity and carefully navigating the conflictual political emotions of the key characters in this tragedy, Pace and Sen offer a thoughtful and provocative gaze on one of the most complex cases of self-determination in contemporary history." Nicola Perugini, The University of Edinburgh
"This book is a significant contribution to the study of Palestinian politics and the struggle for freedom and human rights. It is a meticulous dismantling of the 'state building' myth that has long been promoted by the Palestinian Authority and its backers among the 'donor' countries.
Michelle Pace and Somdeep Sen offer a rare evaluation of a subject that has long been unjustifiably ignored or hastily grouped under ostensibly more urgent contexts concerning Israeli ‘security’ and American foreign policy. The authors have provided a concise analysis of the Palestinian reality under the PA, one which is grounded in exhaustive research, backed by ethnographic evidence. It convincingly explains why various political actors, Palestinians and others, collude to promote the farce that the PA is in the process of achieving an independent Palestinian state. The writers diligently address the question of why such political theatrics were allowed to carry on for nearly a quarter of a century, and why sustaining this charade is most harmful to the true aspirations of the Palestinian people.
Candid, concise and comprehensible, this book is a vital contribution to the study of the Palestinian-Israeli subject. It is also an essential contribution to the study of state building within the framework of human rights and international politics.
While keeping the Israeli, regional and international contexts in mind, Pace and Sen have successfully helped unshackle the study of Palestinian politics and the ongoing struggle for freedom from its compulsory marginalization.
The writers make a compelling case of how the Palestinian Authority exists to serve the interests of Israel and its allies, while hindering the struggle for Palestinian rights and freedom. This book is an essential read." Ramzy Baroud, author, The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story