New publication: "From the River to the Sea" edited by CBRL's Mandy Turner

New publication:

By Mandy Turner, Director of CBRL’s Kenyon Institute in East Jerusalem




This April, From the River to the Sea: Palestine and Israel in the Shadow of “Peace” was published by Rowman and Littlefield/Lexington Books. Edited by CBRL Kenyon Institute Director Mandy Turner; with chapter contributions from Luigi Achilli, Diana Buttu, Tariq Dana, Toufic Haddad (CBRL Kenyon Institute Deputy Director), Jamil Hilal, Cherine Hussein (former CBRL Kenyon Institute Deputy Director 2013-15), Raja Khalidi, Yonatan Mendel (CBRL Research Fellow 2008-09), Mansour Nasasra (CBRL Research Fellow, 2014-16), and Mandy Turner.

"2013 marked the 20th year anniversary of the peace agreement – the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, otherwise known as the Oslo Accords – between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). This provoked me to successfully apply for a British Academy grant (Strategic Development Programme 2013-14 ‘Twenty years of the ‘Oslo peace paradigm’: an assessment of its achievements and limitations). This was supplemented with an LSE Middle East Centre ‘Academic Collaboration with Arab Universities Grant’ (MEC-AC-2015-03 ‘Advancing research and teaching in political economy in the oPt’, 2015-17).

At this time, of course, there was a flood of books, newspaper articles, and journal special issues being published on this topic with pretty much all of them focused on assessing why and how the two-state solution had (so far) not been achieved: how “peace” had failed; why Palestinians were still no nearer to self-determination and sovereign statehood.

Many of these assessments were important and useful, but I was interested in something else. I wanted to know how the “peace” and the supposedly “interim” framework had shaped the lives of the different communities of people involved, and what had been their coping strategies and political responses to it. Because this required a more anthropological focus, I knew I needed to work with expert scholars who had a deep knowledge of the communities and issues I wanted to explore, and so I drew together a group of amazing researchers across the study-fields of economics, oral history, sociology, political economy, political science, international relations, and law. I wanted, as much as was possible, to get a full clear view of what had been happening “between the river and the sea” during a purported period of “peace”.

The methodology used in each chapter was largely qualitative—based on in-depth interviews, archival research, the drawing together of work by other expert scholars, and a deep knowledge of the societies and issues concerned. Each contributor structured their research around a similar set of exploratory questions, which gives the book a good level of coherence. The book therefore breaks down and analyzes the structural and ideational impacts of the Declaration of Principles and the Oslo framework, as well as the variety of strategies developed to cope with them, in selected communities and issue areas.

We (meaning me and the contributors) deliberately kept our contributions light on theory because we wanted these histories to reach beyond the academy. So I hope that anyone interested in understanding the situation as currently exists in Israel/Palestine will pick it up and read it.

In March 2015 we held a workshop at the CBRL Kenyon Institute to discuss the research we had conducted and to tease out the central themes; later that year we then made a presentation of findings at the LSE Middle East Centre (podcasts here: Part 1Part 2). The book is the final product of this research.

I am grateful to the British Academy and the London School of Economics Middle East Centre for funding for this research project, and to the LSE MEC for hosting our event."

Mandy Turner is the Director of CBRL’s Kenyon Institute in East Jerusalem. Her research focuses on the politics of international intervention and the political economy of peacebuilding with a country focus on the occupied Palestinian territory, but also comparatively. Her publications include: The Politics of International Intervention: The Tyranny of Peace (co-edited with F.P. Kuehn; Routledge, 2016); Decolonizing Palestinian Political Economy: De-development and Beyond (co-edited with O. Shweiki, PalgraveMacmillan, 2014); and Whose Peace? Critical Perspectives on the Political Economy of Peacebuilding (with M. Pugh and N. Cooper, PalgraveMacmillan, 2008).

From the River to the Sea: Palestine and Israel in the Shadow of “Peace" is available to buy here and a 30% discount is available by using the code LEX30AUTH19 when ordering. Offer available until 31 March 2020.

The views expressed by our authors on the CBRL blog are not necessarily endorsed by CBRL, but are commended as contributing to public debate.

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