Enclosures from Below: The Mushaa' in Contemporary Palestine
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
This article traces the declining fortunes of the mushaa', a once-prominent Levantine culture of common land. Palestinians managed to resist attempts by the Ottoman Empire and the British Mandate to break up the mushaa'. Under Israeli colonization, the remaining commons are now subject to another type of appropriation: individual Palestinian contractors seize hold of mushaa' land and build on it. This article introduces the concept of "enclosures from below", whilst looking at the dynamics of seizure of the commons by Palestinian refugees, who once were peasants practising mushaa' on their lands and are now landless, some having become expert contractors. I show that the contractors consider their actions to be a form of resistance against the settler colonial project, manifested in the advancing of the Wall and settlement expansion. This is described through a case study of the Shu'faat area in Jerusalem. Changing uses of mushaa' land reflect wider tendencies in the Palestinian national project that has become increasingly individualized.
|Research areas and keywords||
Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY
|Early online date||2017 Mar 21|
|Publication status||Published - 2017 Nov|