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Title: Knowledge, power, identity : Palestinian intellectuals and the discourse of a one-state solution
Author: Dawson, Neil Charlton
ISNI:       0000 0004 5350 0527
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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This study examines the discourse of a one-state solution and the Palestinian intellectuals who produce it. It draws on Pierre Bourdieu’s field theory and uses a discourse analytic methodology to address the following questions. What is the function of the discourse of a one-state solution in Palestinian politics and why has it taken certain forms? Why do intellectuals intervene in political struggles, an intervention that in this instance has occurred at a transnational level? How is it that the contentious practice of these intellectuals remains largely abstract and not otherwise? And finally, what role can these intellectuals play in converting their critique into an actual generalised historical form? The central thesis of this study is that the discourse of a one-state solution is a competing vision of Palestinian social reality which opposes the dominant discourse in Palestinian politics and which incorporates the particular standpoints of those intellectuals who produce it. These intellectuals seek to impose this vision on the Palestinian political field through challenging the authority of established elites and so claiming a position of symbolic power for themselves. They do this primarily through claims to possess politically indispensable knowledge and through claims to be the legitimate spokespersons of the Palestinian people. The precise manner in which this bid for symbolic power is performed has effects that contingently deny the possibility of these intellectuals playing a political role beyond their present mode of engagement. This study contends that it is important politically to reflect on the limits of critical thought and knowledge production, though how one does this is problematised and taken as a starting point for future research on reflexive practice. In addition, this study suggests that different perspectives in a given social structure are necessary for the formation of a collective political subject.
Supervisor: Kuhrt, Natasha Clara; Sayigh, Yezid Jasper Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available