Students of resistance: Palestinian student mobilization at home and in exile

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Abstract

This thesis is about the collective political action of the Palestinian student movement in Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and the Palestinian diaspora. Although Palestinians are often considered in their specific context, given the elements that they have shared, this thesis asserts the utility of considering them in a single study. In each location, it analyses the repertoire and framing of Palestinian students and uncovers the ways in which their context, identity, and organized mobilization – both in terms of the broader community and of the students in particular – have influenced their activism decisions. This is shown through the rich account of events, drawing on Arabic, Hebrew and English documents and interviews with participants and well-placed observers in the three locations.
The main lines of argument are, firstly, that while episodic contentious gatherings are the most visible part of the Palestinian student repertoire, less visible activities have often been vital to their repertoire. Secondly, the thesis argues that Palestinian students have conceived education itself as a tool in their national struggle. Thirdly, it demonstrates the importance of understanding Palestinian activism under occupation and the diaspora as occurring at times in a situation of multiple sovereignty. It makes an empirical contribution to literature on modern Palestinian politics by providing a broad overview of the student movement in three locations from 1970 until 2000, as well as analysing key activism examples in detail. The thesis makes a theoretical contribution to literature on collective action by: demonstrating the utility of examining ‘quiet’ activism; conceptualizing education as a form of activism; and moving beyond the standard mobilization model.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Oxford
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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