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The ‘Question of Palestine’: From liminality to emancipation

Mason, V. (2020) The ‘Question of Palestine’: From liminality to emancipation. Review of International Studies . pp. 1-21.

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While the gravity of the injustice and inequality experienced by Palestinians is now widely documented, evidenced, and acknowledged, when it comes to action the situation appears ‘impervious’ to international law and norms of global politics, with Israel largely enjoying impunity. This article argues that this state of affairs can be most coherently understood through a critical interdisciplinary emancipatory framework centred on ‘liminality’. Referring to situations and actors ‘betwixt and between’, the framework of liminality offers significant potential for understanding how particular actors and spaces are intentionally marginalised, disempowered, and silenced within global politics and international law. Furthermore, in revealing the root causes of liminality, and the inherent vulnerability of such spaces to contestation and subversion, the framework also opens up potential pathways of transformative emancipation. Applying the lens of liminality to Palestine, it is demonstrated that Palestinians have been deliberately corralled to a liminal space within international law and global politics in order to enable an expansionist Zionist/Israeli settler colonial enterprise. After exploring how Palestinian liminality manifests in global politics and international law, the article turns to a range of efforts to subvert Palestinian liminality and assesses prospects for a teleological emancipation for Palestinians.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): College of Arts, Business, Law and Social Sciences
Publisher: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the British International Studies Association
Copyright: © 2020 The Authors.
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