Alaa Tartir, Tariq Dana, and Timothy Seidel (eds.), Political Economy of Palestine: Critical, Interdisciplinary, and Decolonial Perspectives (Palgrave Macmillan, Middle East Today Series, 2021).
Jadaliyya (J): What made you edit this book?
Alaa Tartir, Tariq Dana, and Timothy Seidel (AT, TD & TS): We believe making sense of the last quarter century in Palestine—from the Oslo Accords, to US President Trump’s “deal of the century,” to the recent bilateral agreements normalizing relations between Israel and Arab states such as the United Arab Emirates—requires a critical understanding of political economy that turns on the colonial question. We edited this volume with the goal of a deeper analysis of these regional and international developments provided by critical, interdisciplinary, and decolonial perspectives. Attention to these factors also provided a focus on resistance as a critical political economy approach aids in the exploration of embodied forms of political subjectivity, especially in neoliberal, settler colonial contexts.
J: What particular topics, issues, and literatures does the book address?
AT, TD & TS: This volume argues that an approach to economics that does not consider the political—a de-politicized economics—is inadequate to understanding the situation in occupied Palestine. Including a conclusion by renowned political economist Sara Roy, the contributions in this volume make the case that critical, interdisciplinary, and decolonial perspectives provide a more robust framework and signal a commitment to a politics of solidarity with popular struggles in Palestine and around the world. With particularly salient implications for peacebuilding and development, Political Economy of Palestine details how ongoing events in the region demonstrate once again the failures of “economic peace.” It outlines a critical interdisciplinary approach to political economy that challenges prevailing neoliberal logics and structures that reproduce racial capitalism, and explores how the political economy of occupied Palestine is shaped by processes of accumulation by exploitation and dispossession from both Israel and global business, as well as from Palestinian elites. It also explores a decolonial approach to Palestinian political economy that foregrounds struggles against neoliberal and settler colonial policies and institutions, and aids in the de-fragmentation of Palestinian life, land, and political economy that the Oslo Accords perpetuated, but whose histories of de-development over all of Palestine can be traced back for over a century.