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Violence, Rights, Justice and Peace in the Middle East

This module explores the reasons for violence and human rights violations and the possibilities for peace and justice in the Middle East. The module focuses on the case of the ‘Israel-Palestine conflict’ as the most intractable conflict in the Middle East.

Students will be briefly introduced to mainstream International Relations theories (realism, liberalism and constructivism) in addition to more marginalized approaches, such as postcolonialism and poststructuralism, in order to assess key debates in the study of the conflict, such as:

  • Why is the conflict so intractable?
  • What is the role of memory and history?
  • What is the role of law?
  • What is Zionism and what is Palestinian nationalism and are their goals reconcilable?
  • Is Israeli state violence against Palestinians legitimate?
  • Is Palestinian violence against Israelis legitimate?
  • Why did the Oslo peace process fail? What are some alternatives to the Oslo peace paradigm?
  • Can Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) bring peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians?

The module will encourage students to critically reflect upon the limitations of mainstream International Relations theories in terms of reproducing dominant relations in the international system and the possibilities that decolonial and other marginalized approaches may challenge these hierarchies, paving the way for more peaceful and just solutions.

Module Director:

Nicola Pratt