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Lecture, Lecture series

Anti-colonial Movements in the Middle East and the question of democracy

Lecture by Rashid Khalidi (Columbia University, New York)

The online seminar is free and open to the public upon registration. For registration, please send an email to HISDEMAB@gmail.com

Rashid Khalidi will examine in this lecture the issue of democracy in the Palestinian liberation struggle, over three periods: 

  1. The Mandate, when there were few avenues allowing a democratic movement to emerge, and the still dominant elites were clientelist and patriarchal rather than democratic in orientation. 
  2. The period of the revived national movement, 1950’s-1980’s, when the political groups enjoyed a measure of internal democracy, and the PLO broadly represented sectors of the Palestinian people, but the leadership was often not responsive to the base or democratic in its inclinations.
  3. The Oslo era, until the present, saw a brief period of formal democracy for the minority of Palestinians, which was soon abandoned in favor of authoritarian governance under overall control by the occupation.

Rashid Khalidi is Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University in New-York (Department of History).  He received his BA from Yale in 1970, and his D.Phil. from Oxford in 1974. He is editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies, and was President of the Middle East Studies Association, and an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid and Washington Arab-Israeli peace negotiations from October 1991 until June 1993. He is author of: The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917- 2017 (2020); Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. has Undermined Peace in the Middle East (2013); Sowing Crisis: American Dominance and the Cold War in the Middle East (2009); The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (2006); Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America’s Perilous Path in the Middle East (2004); Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (1996); Under Siege: PLO Decision-Making During the 1982 War (1986); British Policy Towards Syria and Palestine, 1906-1914 (1980); and co-editor of Palestine and the Gulf (1982) and The Origins of Arab Nationalism (1991), and The Other Jerusalem: Rethinking the History of the Sacred City (2020).

This event is part of the lecture series:
Lecture series in the academic year 2020/21
The Historicity of Democracy Seminar