International Graduate Student Conference
Vienna, 13 - 15 December 2013
Deadline for Abstracts: 30 September 2013
Twenty years have passed since the Declaration of Principles was signed in Oslo in 1993, still one can observe that the current project of state formation in the West Bank and the siege on the Gaza Strip have definitely led to nowhere, no peace, no justice. As opposed to developments in the Gaza Strip, it seems that the West Bank first strategy by western powers as well as Israel is linking together two basic elements to reach the aim of preventing an independent Palestinian state at least in the short term: by implementing a development agenda that is biased strongly neoliberal and by supporting the current political as well as economic elites in Ramallah a ‘globalized Palestinian elite’ (Sari Hanafi and Linda Tabar) backed by an emerging middle class in urban centers, especially in Ramallah, is to be developed. At the same time, occupation practices are continuing through various means such as the confiscation of land in order to establish and extend existing settlements. From this perspective, there seems to be no space for Subalterns beyond emergency assistance and a repressive apparatus of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) which is trained and financed by the US and EU. This process of neoliberal state formation in the West Bank is not just about restructuring of ‘state’ apparatuses, their ideological legitimacy, economic underpinnings, and external interventions (ranging from aid industry to restructuring neoliberal ‘institution building’ via World Bank and IMF, Gulf-based private investors, military support, etc.) but also about a process of societal restructuring. In short, under the fundamental condition of an ongoing occupation such restructuring has been and always will be a highly contested one. Given this short description of some current developments in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) one has to ask what does ‘neoliberal development’ economically, politically, as well as socially mean. How does it constitute developments of crisis in Palestine and how could that come about? What are its contradictions and limits? How can we analyze such developments under continuing occupation?
The conference should bring together critical theoretical and empirical research on Palestine as well as repercussions of the Arab uprisings in Palestine from a diversity of disciplinary perspectives, e.g. development studies, gender studies, geography, sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, law, history or political economy.
The conference will offer an opportunity for graduate students/researchers and PhD candidates to provide fresh insights into different issues and to reshape established orthodoxies of their disciplines. In particular, it is an excellent opportunity to present and to discuss one’s own work and should encourage networking between advanced MA and PhD students and scholars from Palestine as well as Arab and European countries.
For complete conference information, please see http://cds-ie.univie.ac.at/en/home.html