Palestinian Popular Struggle: Unarmed and Participatory, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Palestinian Popular Struggle

Unarmed and Participatory, 1st Edition

By Michael J. Carpenter


194 pages

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Hardback: 9781138542396
pub: 2018-11-06
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Palestinian Popular Struggle challenges conventional thinking about political action and organization. It offers an alternative to the seemingly failed tracks of armed struggle and diplomatic negotiations. A discourse of rights and global justice helps bridge national and religious divides, drawing Jewish Israelis and diverse supporters from around the world to participate in direct-action campaigns on the ground in the West Bank. The movement has some important achievements and continues to offer innovative approaches to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

This book summarizes Palestinian traditions of popular struggle and presents original field research from the West Bank, drawing on several months of participant observation, over twenty-five hours of recorded interviews with Palestinian activists, and more than 200 questionnaires gaging public perceptions about the strategies of the popular committees. One of the book’s major case studies is the village of Nabi Saleh, which recently became well known when one of its activists, a sixteen-year-old girl named Ahed Tamimi, was imprisoned for slapping Israeli soldiers outside her family home.

The book offers insight into new waves of Palestinian popular protest, from the 2017 prayer protests in Jerusalem to the 2018 march of return in Gaza. Palestinian Popular Struggle is a valuable resource for researchers and students interested in War and Conflict Studies, Politics and the Middle East.


"This is a much needed and meticulous examination of the popular struggle in Palestine in the past two decades. It is critical reading for those who want to draw lessons to advance the struggle for justice and freedom." Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor at Bethlehem University and author of Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment

"Palestinian Popular Struggle tells the stories of ordinary people challenging injustice, of how unarmed and non-militarized modes of popular resistance have supplanted discredited efforts of both armed struggle and negotiations in the Palestinian freedom movement. Using case studies and cogent analysis, the author shows how Palestinian Arabs have defied Western stereotypes through the widespread utilization of democratic grassroots organization and civil resistance, challenging both the repressive Israeli occupation and the corrupt and autocratic Palestinian leadership. This book provides rare and badly-needed hope amid the ongoing occupation, terror, and subjugation." Stephen Zunes, University of San Francisco, USA

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Palestinian Popular Struggle 2. Intifada of the Stones 3. Popular Struggle Against the Wall 4. Global Vision and New Partners 5. Direct Action Beyond the Villages 6. Popular Committees and Participatory Deficits Conclusion Appendix

About the Author

Michael J. Carpenter is a post-doctoral fellow with Borders in Globalization at the Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria, Canada. His research interests include participatory governance, civil resistance, Middle East politics, international relations, and political theory.

About the Series

Routledge Studies on the Arab-Israeli Conflict

The Arab-Israeli conflict continues to be the centre of academic and popular attention. This series brings together the best of the cutting edge work now being undertaken by predominantly new and young scholars. Although largely falling within the field of political science the series also includes interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary contributions.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies