'Non-Ideological' Settlements: Neoliberal Colonialism in the West Bank

Monday, 11 June 2012, 08:45 - 18:00
LSE, New Academic Building, Lower Ground Floor

Dana Rubin will participate in this year's conference of the Graduate Section of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies with the title 'Change and Continuity in the Middle East: Rethinking West Asia, North Africa and the Gulf after 2011'.

She will present her paper on ''Non-Ideological' Settlements: Neoliberal Colonialism in the West Bank' as part of the Panel on 'More Continuity than Change? Understanding the Resilience of Oppressive Political and Social Structures' chaired by Dr John Chalcraft (the London School of Economics and Political Science).

Paper abstract: In a time of transformations in the Middle East, Palestine/Israel seems caught in a combination of apparent change and a recalcitrant status quo. This paper examines how anachronistic settler-colonialism and contemporary neoliberalism, a combination which symbolises the dangers of this recalcitrant state of affairs, coexist in the West Bank settlements. I address the so-called ‘non-ideological’ Jewish-Israeli settlements in the West Bank to which Israeli-Jews relocate for reasons such as quality-of-life or social mobility rather than identification with the religious-colonialist motives of the early settlement movement that followed the 1967 Israeli occupation. In the 1980s, Israel went through an intensive process of liberalisation and privatisation: processes in which developments such as the 1980s legislation permitting private purchase of land in the occupied Palestinian territories, the erosion of the Israeli welfare system and the emerging form of suburban community settlement brought the new configuration of ‘non-ideological’ settlements and settlers to the contested geopolitical space. This paper shows how the new notion of ‘non-ideology’ joined the vocabulary and practice of Zionist settlement and argues that it underpins the distinctive articulation of neoliberalism with settler-colonialism.

For further information please see the event webpage.

Learn more about: Neoliberal Colonialism

Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism is funded by an European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant (Institutions, values, beliefs and behaviour ERC-AG-SH2).

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