Towards ‘ethno-national peripheralisation’? Economic dependency amidst political resistance in Palestinian East Jerusalem

Marik Shtern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Recent studies discuss ‘peripheralisation’ as an uneven socio-spatial phenomenon driven by processes of economic centralisation and marginalisation (Kühn and Bernt, 2013) in capitalist (or capitalising) societies (Bernt and Colini, 2013). In this article, I utilise the concept of peripheralisation in the context of an ethno-national dispute in which spatial, economic and regional dynamics are largely determined by territorial policies of control and exclusion. I combine extant literature on the geopolitics and economy of Jerusalem with the Centre–Periphery framework in order to analyse the development and decline of East Jerusalem’s socio-economic status and political environment from 1967 to 2016. As I will show, since the beginning of the 1990s, Israeli national security policies have transformed East Jerusalem from a Palestinian metropolitan centre into a region on the socio-economic periphery of Israel. I term this particular type of marginalisation ‘ethno-national peripheralisation’, a process of socio-economic decline that is not a relational product of neoliberal centralisation, but an output of ethno-national policies of division and annexation. The radical shift in East Jerusalem’s regional socio-economic status, from a centre of one national realm to the periphery of another, transforms urban life and political spatial strategies in contemporary Jerusalem. The case of East Jerusalem’s peripheralisation demonstrates the ways in which ethno-national policies can create counter outcomes of ethno-national desegregation accelerated by physical entrapment, economic dependency and urban neoliberalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1147
Number of pages19
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 May 2019


  • Centre–Periphery
  • Israel/Palestine
  • Jerusalem
  • divided cities
  • neoliberalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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