Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Rema Hammami ─ Global Governmentality and Earned Sovereignty in Israeli Occupied Palestine

Thursday, October 16, 2014

5:30 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum

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After Oslo, occupied Palestine became subject to new imperial modalities for the management of self-determination struggles in the post-Cold war era. These involved a large material and discursive apparatus through which Palestinian subjectivities could be brought under imperial tutelage through contemporary mechanisms of global governmentality as they relate to zones of conflict. The doctrine of “Earned sovereignty” became the larger political logic through which Palestinian aspirations became channeled into specific regulatory paths. In tandem was the entry of the vast assemblage of international institutions, NGOs and private contractors tasked with “state and peace building” under the terms of the liberal peace. Taken together these modalities over twenty years have produced an imperial trusteeship over Palestinians that rather than challenging Israeli sovereign power, works within it and simply mitigates some of its effects. Simultaneously, this process has been profoundly transformative of Palestinian subjectivities and forms of knowledge production. The presentation analyzes the unfolding of this process on the ground with a particular focus on its effects in terms of knowledge production around gender and the way it became contained within the discursive formations of developmentalism/ humanitarianism that is so crucial to these particular modalities of global power.

Rema Hammami is associate professor of anthropology at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank where she has been a faculty member in the Institute of Women’s Studies since 1995. She received her BA in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati and her MA and PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Temple University in Philadelphia. Her publications cover a wide array of issues as they relate to the Palestinian context, including: gender, nationalism and armed conflict; NGOs, politics and civil society; and everyday geographies of spatial control and resistance. Recent publications include: Who Answers to Gazan Women? A Study in Economic Rights and Security (UNWomen New York 2012); and “Qalandiya: Jerusalem’s Tora Bora and the Frontiers of Global Inequality”, Jerusalem Quarterly, Spring 2010. Dr. Hammami is a contributing editor to Middle East Reports, Development and Change, Feminist Review and The Arab Studies Journal. She was appointed as the Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity for 2005-2006 at the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague.

Middle East Studies
Security Seminar Series