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Law, Violence and Sovereignty Among West Bank Palestinians


Part of Cambridge Studies in Law and Society

  • Date Published: August 2009
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521687478

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About the Authors
  • As the Oslo Peace Process has given way to the violence of the second intifada, this book explores the continuing legacy of Oslo in the everyday life of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Taking a perspective that sees the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a conflict over the distribution of legal rights, it focuses on the daily concerns of West Bank Palestinians, and explores the meanings, limitations and potential of legal claims in the context of the region's structures of governance. Kelly argues that fundamental contradictions in the process through which the West Bank has been ruled and misruled have resulted in an unstable mixture of legality, fear and uncertainty. Based on long term ethnographic fieldwork, this book provides an insight into how the wider Middle East conflict manifests itself through the daily encounters of ordinary Israelis and Palestinians, offering an evocative and theoretically informed account of the relationship between law, peace-building and violence.

    • Provides a theoretically informed and empirically grounded insight into the processes through which legal rights are distributed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    • Explores the ways in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict manifests itself on the ground. In doing so it avoids the reified abstractions which are so often used to analyse the conflict and concerns of ordinary Palestinians
    • Analyses the relationship between legal practices, citizenship and ethno-national violence
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Kelly's analysis perceptively unravels the different interpersonal and political layers that may be involved in a particular dispute. … Most who think about the legal, or political, situation in the West Bank operate in global terms: denial of self-determination, or Israel's security concerns. Kelly's book focuses on interaction at the economic and personal level, thus rendering these broader issues more concrete. His elucidation of these relationships may be helpful to potential mediators. Israelis and Palestinians will likely interact for a long time to come and a sound legal basis for that interaction would make life more bearable for all concerned. At a more general level, Kelly's book invites thought about how disputes are handled in other societies. His approach is not comparative, but once he discusses such issues as propensity to sue versus resolving disputes through informal mechanisms, a reader inevitably will draw comparisons to the similarities and differences observable in other jurisdictions. The labour relations focus and the many facets that Kelly explores, put the book squarely within the scope of other titles in the Cambridge series in which it has been published.' John Quigley, Moritz College of Law

    '… Kelly's book is rich, innovative and well grounded. … the author shows beautifully how the reality of territorial integration, economic dependence and legal fragmentation has created a situation in which collective rights and the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict altogether, needs to be redefined.' American Ethnologist

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521687478
    • length: 218 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 154 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.36kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus. 1 map
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Understanding rights claims
    3. 'Jurisdictional politics' in the occupied West Bank
    4. West Bank Palestinians across the green line
    5. Claiming labour rights in the West Bank
    6. The Palestinian National Authority and the 'National Interest'
    7. Conclusion

  • Author

    Tobias Kelly, University of Edinburgh
    Tobias Kelly is a Lecturer in Social Anthropology, School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh.

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