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Title: Law at work : law, labour and citizenship among West Bank Palestinians
Author: Kelly, Tobias William.
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2003
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The thesis explores the cultural and political practices of law among West Bank Palestinians. It asks why law is central to the ways in which many Palestinians articulate their claims for justice, yet at the same time law is also often experienced as coercive or as a promise unfulfilled? The thesis examines the role of legal regimes in creating, transforming and rejecting political struggles. In doing so it addresses issues of law, coercion, collective action, state building, nationalism and territory. The thesis is based on 18 months fieldwork in a West Bank village among a group of wage-labourers. The thesis argues that due to the law's association with illegitimate or weak nation states, these labourers do not associate law with morality. However, promises of legal entitlements provide one of the few avenues through which the labourers can attempt to gain access to political and economic resources. The importance of citizenship for access to these resources means that legal processes form the grounds upon which many of their struggles are fought. The contradictory relationship between territory and citizenship in the West Bank means that the labourers are denied the formal promises of protection under Israeli law. The labourers are forced to rely on a territorially and politically weak PNA, which is unable or unwilling to provide for them. The thesis argues that coercion and discrimination are internal to the structures of law in the West Bank. The state of Israel and the PNA claim to be regimes based on the 'rule of law'. At the same time the relationship between the Israeli state and the PNA is based on national exclusivity, territorial integration and political inequality. In this situation, 'the rule of law' can only be maintained by a coercive separation of Israelis and Palestinians and discriminatory politics. Legal equality and justice at one level depends on coercion and discrimination at another.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available