Women's Political Activism in Palestine: Peacebuilding, Resistance, and Survival by Sophie Richter-Devroe
A sobering yet optimistic view of the ongoing conflict
During the last twenty years, Palestinian women have practiced creative and often informal everyday forms of political activism. Sophie Richter-Devroe reflects on their struggles to bring about social and political change.
Richter-Devroe's ethnographic approach draws from revealing in-depth interviews and participant observation in Palestine. The result: a forceful critique of mainstream conflict resolution methods and the failed woman-to-woman peacebuilding projects so lauded around the world. The liberal faith in dialogue as core of "the political" and the assumption that women's "nurturing" nature makes them superior peacemakers, collapse in the face of past and ongoing Israeli state violences.
Instead, women confront Israeli settler colonialism directly and indirectly in their popular and everyday acts of resistance. Richter-Devroe's analysis zooms in on the intricate dynamics of daily life in Palestine, tracing the emergent politics that women articulate and practice there. In shedding light on contemporary gendered "politics from below" in the region, the book invites a rethinking of the workings, shapes, and boundaries of the political.
Sophie Richter-Devroe is an associate professor in the Middle Eastern Studies Department at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Doha, and an honorary fellow at the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter. She is the coeditor of Gender, Governance, and International Security and of a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, "Palestine beyond National Frames: Emerging Politics, Cultures and Claims."