Burke III, Edmund
March 1985
Theory & Society;Mar85, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p223
Academic Journal
There has been a revolution in the understanding of the question of Palestine these past twenty-five years. The sharpening political debate has led to a renewed examination of the roots of Palestinian resistance, and a much clearer understanding of the historically grounded social and economic structures within which the story unfolds. The appearance of three recent collections of essays on Palestine, Joel Migdal's "Palestinian Society and Politics," Khalil Nakhleh and Elia Zureik's "The Sociology of the Palestinians," and Roger Owen's "Studies in the Economic and Social History of Palestine," provides a convenient occasion to survey developments in the emerging literature on Palestinian society. The contributors run the political gamut from Zionist to Palestinian nationalist, and from liberal to Marxist. Taking these books together, three topics receive special attention. One is the political economy of Palestine from the Ottoman period to the present. A second is the nature of the Palestinian elite and its relations with government authorities. The third topic is Palestinian society at present, in the refugee camps, within Israel, and in the occupied territories, as well as in the Palestinian diaspora of the Middle East.


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