Human Rights, Local Plights: The Implications of Rights Discourses in the Struggle over Arab-Palestinian Bedouin Land in Israel

Alexander Koensler

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    A widely diffused, engaged approach understands human rights as an opportunity to enhance moral progress. Less visible has a critical realm of research that reveals the often ambiguous social life of human rights discourses. This article draws on a specific case study from the intricate issue of how activism for Arab-Palestinian Bedouin citizens in Southern Israel engages with the global human rights discourse. It follows the implications of mobilization, focusing on events related to a campaign against house demolitions in informal,unrecognised settlements. The case shows how human rights discourses tend to silence the agency of political subjects, victimizing and patronizing those who seek emancipation. The ethnographic insights emphasize the role of a range of carnivalesque and spontaneous acts ofresistance, which subvert the patronizing implications of the human rights language.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWorking Papers in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice
    Volume3
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

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    Israel
    human rights
    discourse
    emancipation
    mobilization
    campaign
    citizen
    event
    language

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    title = "Human Rights, Local Plights: The Implications of Rights Discourses in the Struggle over Arab-Palestinian Bedouin Land in Israel",
    abstract = "A widely diffused, engaged approach understands human rights as an opportunity to enhance moral progress. Less visible has a critical realm of research that reveals the often ambiguous social life of human rights discourses. This article draws on a specific case study from the intricate issue of how activism for Arab-Palestinian Bedouin citizens in Southern Israel engages with the global human rights discourse. It follows the implications of mobilization, focusing on events related to a campaign against house demolitions in informal,unrecognised settlements. The case shows how human rights discourses tend to silence the agency of political subjects, victimizing and patronizing those who seek emancipation. The ethnographic insights emphasize the role of a range of carnivalesque and spontaneous acts ofresistance, which subvert the patronizing implications of the human rights language.",
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