The national body in Israel and Syria: comparing processes of unity and fragmentation
Middle East Critique
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Reason for embargo
Responding to this journal’s call to establish new strategies of analysis that account for the circulation and contestation of power and agency, this article focuses attention on the socio-political mechanisms that link states and societies in Israel and Syria. We argue that the tensions between the powerful concept of a harmonious national body and the material realities of Israeli and Syrian societies reveal the extent to which the ‘national’ population arises not only through processes of social unification, but also—and perhaps most effectively—through active processes of fragmentation. Drawing together empirical research conducted in Damascus during 2009–2010 and in Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem during 2010–2011, this article situates seemingly disparate contexts within a shared methodological and theoretical frame. In doing so, we highlight not only how continuities and contradictions link states with societies, but also how shared historical and structural formations importantly connect the Israeli and Syrian contexts.
Research in Israel-Palestine was made possible in part through funding by SOAS, University of London, and the University of London Central Research Fund. Research in Syria was partly funded by the University of London Central Research Fund and the Council for British Research in the Levant
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 25, pp. 229 - 247