Women's Political Activism in Palestine

Peacebuilding, Resistance, and Survival
Author: Sophie Richter-Devroe
A sobering yet optimistic view of the ongoing struggle for Palestinian liberation
Cloth – $110
Paper – $27.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 10/08/2018
Cloth: 10/08/2018
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About the Book

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.

About the Author

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."


"Richter-Devroe's book navigates many complex trajectories and dispels the notion of understanding the Palestinian anti-colonial struggle from a Western liberal viewpoint." --Middle East Monitor

"A narrative that is rich with fresh insights and enlightening anecdotes, and affords a cluster of new solutions to old problems." --South Asia Magazine

"Sophie Richter-Devroe's research offers a rich description and analysis of women's political activism in Palestine. . . . The focus on women's multiple forms of political engagement in the post Al-Aqsa intifada fills a gap in our knowledge about the contemporary landscape of women's politics in Palestine." --Journal of Women, Politics & Policy

"This highly engaging book poses new questions about Palestinian women's activism in Occupied Palestine, in light of the failure of the Oslo process, ongoing and intensifying Israeli colonization, dispossession and violent repression, and the absence of an effective and legitimate Palestinian national leadership." --Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies

"The author has succeeded in achieving the aim of analysing and generating a better understanding of micro-level politics as represented in Palestinian women's everyday practices." --Women's Studies International Forum

"Women's Political Activism in Palestine is remarkable for its attention to detail that is skillfully pitched to appeal both to readers with interests in women's activism more generally and to those with a deeper regional knowledge specific to Palestine. . . . A thought-provoking text that sits among the finest social scientific works on contemporary Palestine in recent years." --LSE Review of Books


"This brilliant book challenges successfully common theoretical approaches to the ongoing struggle in Palestine. Richter-Devroe takes the analysis of women's resistance in Palestine into new intriguing and fascinating areas of inquiry. This book successfully combines a very thorough theoretical examination with a very humane narration of life in Palestine under the Israeli colonization. A must-read for students, scholars, and anyone looking to shed new light on the evergreen topic of Palestinian resistance."--Ilan Pappé, author of The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel

"Richter Devroe offers a rich and nuanced account of women’s ways of doing politics in contemporary occupied Palestine. It is an essential reading for all those seeking to understand how resistance is entrenched into mundane and ordinary practices in everyday life."--Ruba Salih, author of Gender in Transnationalism: Home, Longing, and Belonging among Moroccan Migrant Women