Between nation and state: 'Fractured' regionalism among Palestinian-Arabs in Israel

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Abstract

Theories of nationalism have often overlooked variations in ethnic spatial settings, and have too easily subsumed nation and state. But nationalism surfaces in a variety of dynamic forms, such as among homeland ethnic minorities 'trapped' within states controlled by others. In such cases 'ethnoregional' identities often emerge, combining ethnonational and civic bases of identity with attachment and confinement to specific places or territories. Ethnoregional movements denote spatial and political entities which mobilise for rights, resources and political restructuring within their states. This is the case in the Israeli Jewish 'ethnocracy', where an oppressed Palestinian-Arab minority resides in stable but confined enclaves which make up an Arab 'fractured' region. The spatial, socioeconomic and political characteristics of the Arab struggle in Israel provide early signs for the emergence of an ethnoregional movement. This movement is creating a new collective identity, situated between Palestinian nation and Jewish nation-state. The ethnoregional interpretation challenges existing accounts which perceive the minority as either politicising or radicalising, and points to a likely Arab struggle for autonomy, equality and the de-Zionisation of Israel. Arab mobilisation also resembles other ethno-regional movements, whose persistent struggles expose embedded contradictions in the global 'nationstate' order.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-307
Number of pages23
JournalPolitical Geography
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 1999

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