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Master Thesis

The power of violence in an intractable conflict: power and violence in the Israeli-Palestinian water conflict through discursive processes

Abstract : The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is intractable in many ways, and water is not exempted from this. Water occupies a core place in the history of Israel who has securitized its access in four periods: Zionist aspirations from the pre-1948 period, Zionism alive from 1948-1967, then Israeli domination era from 1967-1995 and since 1995, the Israeli hegemony era. This pre-Oslo period has been qualified as an activated hegemonic power because the existing 'order of things' is taken as the natural order of things, providing Palestine near-formal equality with its former occupier in spite of an asymmetry of power or control over transboundary flows. It reflects upon the prospects of peace and development of a reliable Palestinian water sector. The dissertation discusses the concepts of violence and power reviewing the meaning of peace, cooperation and conflict in a constructivist approach. It revisits Foucault and Arendt's literature on power and violence using Galtung's positive definition of peace. It gathers historical evidence and field observations of the Palestinian water sector to translate their meaning into acts. It reveals the 'hidden politics' of the Israeli discursive domination over International Organizations (IOs) and the Palestinian Authority trying to impose another view of water security. Evidence from IOs' humanitarian interventions demonstrates the hegemonic constrains for the Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (EWASH) United Nations cluster to assess the needs and provide the appropriate response to water scarcity and quality issues. The relative success of their strategy also proves that the discursive speech act of securitization is embedded in practices, in this case: tools, thresholds setting and coordination among the members of the EWASH cluster.
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Master Thesis
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Krystel Wanneau. The power of violence in an intractable conflict: power and violence in the Israeli-Palestinian water conflict through discursive processes. Political science. 2010. ⟨dumas-00809164⟩

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