1st Edition

Routledge Handbook on Palestine

Edited By Michael Dumper, Amneh Badran Copyright 2025
    568 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This Handbook provides a broad overview of Palestinian history, society, politics, and culture across different contexts and periods, revealing the rich and varied dimensions of Palestine.

    To capture the diversity of Palestinian scholarship and to introduce readers to a mix of approaches and perspectives, both internationally established and emerging Palestinian scholars have contributed. The Handbook attempts to avoid narrowly framing Palestine around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, incorporating post-colonial approaches attentive to a broader range of (hitherto overlooked) actors. While a significant proportion of the Handbook examines the contemporary period, it is divided up into four sections that together provide a detailed overview of the main developments in the region:

    • A historical section that contextualizes the complex historical formation of contemporary Palestine – perhaps best regarded as a country but not yet a state.
    • A section exploring the society, geography, economy, and identity of Palestine.
    • A section on the political significance of Palestine, covering the dynamics between Jewish nationalism (Zionism) and Palestinian nationalism.
    • A final section on culture, touching on architecture, literature, music, cuisine, education, and contemporary art.

    Providing a deep analysis of the Palestinian perspective, the Handbook will prove valuable reading for anyone interested in the history, politics and society of Palestine and the Middle East.


    Michael Dumper and Amneh Badran

    Section One – A History of Palestine

    1. Byzantine and pre-Islamic Palestine, c. 324 c. 638 CE

    Daniel Reynolds

    2. The Early Arab Islamic Period (634 1099)

    Omar Abed Rabo

    3. Palestine in the Ayyūbīd and Mamlūk Periods

    Omar Abed Rabo

    4. The Sweet Smell of Holy Sewage: Urban Planning and the Remaking of the Public Sphere in Ottoman Palestine

    Salīm Tamārī

    5. Palestine under the British Mandate

    Issam Nassar

    6. The 1948 War and the Nakba

    Ilan Pappé

    7. The 1967 War and the Conquest of Palestine

    Awad Mansour

    Section Two – Society, Geography, Economy and Demography

    8. Palestinian Social Structure

    Bernard Sabella

    9. Christianity in Palestine

    Mitri Raheb

    10. Islam and Muslims in Palestine

    Mustafa Abu Sway

    11. Palestinian Islamist Movements: History, Ideology and Politics

    Khaled Hroub

    12. The Political Economy of Fragmentation: Palestine After 1948

    Tariq Dana

    13. Land Use and Urban Planning in Palestine: Over a Century of Ongoing Colonial Legacy

    Maha Samaan

    14. Jerusalem

    Michael Dumper

    Section Three – Contemporary Politics

    15. Collective Consciousness in Motion: Palestinian Nationalism, Anti-Colonialism and the Struggle for Liberation

    Erica Augenstein and Akram Salhab

    16. Zionism

    Amneh Badran

    17. The Palestinian Liberation Organisation and Non-State Actors

    Lily Habash

    18. The Israeli Dominant Bloc System – The Rise of the Right and the Prospects for the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

    As'ad Ghanem and Mohanad Mustafa

    19. Palestinian Women’s Movements

    Islah Jad and Areen Hawari

    20. The Palestinian Refugee Issue

    Jalal Al Husseini

    21. Lost Light: The Gaza Strip and the End of Viability

    Sara Roy

    22. Reinstating the Significance of Palestine

    Jamil Hilal                 

    23. Current Trends and Prospects for a Political Settlement

    Diana Buttu

    Section Four – Palestinian Culture

    24. Form Follows Life: An Overview of Palestinian Architecture Since the 19th Century

    Yara Saifi

    25. Education in Palestine

    Rawan Asali Nuseibeh

    26. Palestinian Literature and Film

    Nadia Yaqub

    27. Palestinian Music

    David A. McDonald and Issa Boulos

    28. Contemporary Palestinian Art

    Bashir Makhoul

    29. Palestinian Food: Commensality and Cultural Resistance

    Christiane Dabdoud


    Michael Dumper is Emeritus Professor in Middle East Politics, University of Exeter, UK. His recent research has been focussed on Jerusalem and on Palestinian refugees. He has acted as a consultant on Middle East politics for the UK and Canadian governments, for Office of the Special Coordinator for the ME Peace Process (UNSCO), the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), the European Commission Task Force on Refugees, as well as a number of think tanks and research centres in North America, Europe and the Middle East. His publications include Power, Piety and People: The Politics of Holy Cities in the 21st Century (2020) and Jerusalem Unbound: Geography, History and the Future of the Holy City (2014).

    Amneh Badran is an Assistant Professor and Vice Dean at AlQuds Bard College, AlQuds University, Palestine. Her publications include Zionist Israel and Apartheid South Africa: Civil Society and Peace Building in Ethnic-National States (2010) and “Youth Discourse, Objectives and Strategies under Occupation: Palestinian Children’s Political Activism in the East Jerusalem Village of Silwan, 2008-15” in Lived Resistance against the War on Palestinian Children (2024).

    "This Handbook of nearly thirty chapters is an immensely significant contribution to studies of Palestine the country, if not yet the modern state. Divided into four sections – a historical section; a social, geographical, and economic section; a third section on contemporary politics; and a final section on Palestinian culture – this Handbook addresses both orthodox as well as critical scholarship on Palestine and its people. It places Palestine and its history, particularly from the late nineteenth century, in a more central position to understand the political dynamics between Jewish nationalism (Zionism) and Palestinian nationalism, between settler colonialism and autochthonous awakening, and between different forms of social activism. This is a publication of immense importance for those who wish to have a more nuanced and critical understanding of contemporary Palestinian / Israeli struggles, and  the significance of the 75 year Nakba."

    Dawn ChattyEmeritus Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration, University of Oxford, UK

    "As a political scientist and historian, I am privileged to endorse the comprehensive Routledge Handbook on Palestine which portrays all aspects of the politics, geography, demography, culture, and civilization of people still struggling to attain freedom and independence. This Handbook is comprehensive and meticulously written by experts and scholars registering the details of a people's profile struggling force for the last 75 years under Israeli occupation. This Handbook is a significant reference to students of the Middle East and those of geopolitics and should be adopted as a textbook in all major universities worldwide. It is very comprehensive, accurate, coherent, and objective. The content of such a Handbook is admirable and appreciated, and it is rare in our Palestinian library. Therefore, its endorsement is well-deserved."

    Manuel HassassianPalestinian Ambassador to Denmark