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Contemporary Political Movements and the Thought of Jacques RancièreEquality in Action$
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Todd May

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748639823

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748639823.001.0001

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Subjectification in the First Palestinian Intifada

Subjectification in the First Palestinian Intifada

(p.46) 3 Subjectification in the First Palestinian Intifada
Contemporary Political Movements and the Thought of Jacques Rancière

Todd May

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter addresses the question of subjectification, which is a central aspect of a democratic politics. The particular subjectification considered in this chapter is that of the Palestinian rights movement during the first Palestinian intifada, which started in December 1987. It concentrates on the early years of the intifada, from 1987 to 1989. The empowerment of Palestinians by their stone-throwing youth is particularly relevant to their presupposition of equality. The demonstrations and stone-throwing were only the most visible manifestations of the first intifada. The first Palestinian intifada presents one of the great recent examples of subjectification as Jacques Rancière envisions it. Subjectification does not display only the emergence of a collective subject. The second intifada was hierarchical, violent, and nonparticipatory. Subjectification is co-extensive with the existence of people acting collectively out of the presupposition of their equality.

Keywords:   subjectification, democratic politics, Palestinian rights movement, Palestinian intifada, equality, Jacques Rancière, second intifada, Palestinians

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