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Doing activism like a state: Progressive municipal government, Israel/Palestine and BDS

Cooper, Davina, Herman, Didi (2019) Doing activism like a state: Progressive municipal government, Israel/Palestine and BDS. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, . ISSN 2399-6544. (doi:10.1177/2399654419851187)

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Activism is typically placed in opposition to state practice. Yet, state bodies often participate in campaigns and movements for change, drawing on different powers and capacities, including the ability to withhold goods, land and contracts. This article explores subnational state activism – what it means and the activist framework it offers – through a study of UK local government’s episodic participation in the pro-Palestinian movement for divestment and boycott of Israel. Municipal participation in this movement demonstrates certain tensions and challenges for subnational state activism, in conditions of conflict, where critics denounce local government for over-reaching and acting improperly. This article focuses on two key aspects: the relationship of municipal activism to de-subordination and the troubling of state hierarchy; and the place of responsibility, care and democratic embeddedness within municipal state practice. Together, these strands contribute to wider debates about progressive statehood and paradigms of institutional activism.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/2399654419851187
Uncontrolled keywords: Radical politics, local government, boycotts, municipal activism, BDS
Subjects: K Law
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Sian Robertson
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2018 14:16 UTC
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2019 14:32 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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