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Kareem Rabie


What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Political Economy?

[Cover of Mandy Turner and Omar Shweiki,

Mandy Turner and Omar Shweiki, editors, Decolonizing Palestinian Political Economy: De-Development and Beyond. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. Anyone who visited Ramallah in 2013 would have heard a lot of talk about seatbelts. Everyone there—everyone—was talking about them, and how consistent and prevalent they had become after just a little bit of police enforcement. In 2010 it was the multi-space parking meters the Ramallah municipality had recently installed. Both ...

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Ramallah’s Bubbles

[Downtown Ramallah. Image by the author.]

Recently there has been a proliferation of talk about Ramallah’s “bubble.” Based on the seeming contradiction between the quality of life there versus elsewhere in the occupied West Bank, popular accounts are rife with descriptions of bubbles emerging and bursting.  The bubble language is pervasive but it is not coherent. Some argue that the bubble is economic, poised to pop and thereby destroy Ramallah’s boomtown economy. Others contend that the bubble is an ...

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Kareem Rabie


Kareem Rabie is Harper Schmidt Fellow and Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. Previously, he was Senior Researcher and Marie Curie Fellow at the Center on Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS), and Research Associate at the Oxford Program on the Future of Cities at the University of Oxford. Kareem received his PhD in anthropology from the Graduate Center, City University of New York and his BA in anthropology from the University of Chicago. He is currently working on a manuscript based on dissertation research on new town development and the state building project in the West Bank, as well as beginning a new project on geographies of globalization under occupation, and the political economy of Palestine/China trade.