The European Centre for Palestine Studies
The European Centre for Palestine Studies (ECPS) aims to function as a hub for intellectual engagement with the Palestine question, facilitating scholarly research, helping to refine public discussion, and offering programmes for postgraduate study. Based at the University of Exeter’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies and situated within its College of Social Sciences and International Studies, the Centre is well placed to draw on expert faculty from both the IAIS and the Department of Politics and to strengthen Exeter’s longstanding status as a leading centre for scholarly engagement with the Palestine question.
The question of Palestine occupies a central place in the politics and contemporary history of the Middle East. Globally, it has long galvanised the attention of people concerned with struggles for independence, democracy, and social justice; in Europe in particular, it has often preoccupied policymakers and in one way or another dominated efforts to coordinate European foreign policy. It is therefore remarkable that the ECPS was established in 2009 as the first university-linked Palestine studies centre in the Western world. It remains the only such centre in Europe, and seeks to cooperate with partners worldwide to encourage a new generation of scholars to examine academically issues that have been treated so far only politically and publicly.
Events hosted by the ECPS during the academic year 2010-2011 included an inaugural lecture featuring Filippo Grandi, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East (UNRWA), and book launches for Dr. Salman Abu-Sitta’s Atlas of Palestine 1917-1967 and Al-Quds University professor Basem L. Ra’ad’s Hidden Histories: Palestine and the Eastern Mediterranean. Further lectures and an ECPS Paper Series will be forthcoming.