The European Centre for Palestine Studies

Overview

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 is one of only two such centres 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.

Members

The European Centre for Palestine Studies is directed by Professor Ilan Pappé, an internationally recognised leader in Palestine Studies and encompasses academic staff drawn from a number of disciplines across the University.

Centre Director

NamePosition
Professor Ilan Pappé

Professor of History, Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies

Dr Nadia Naser-Najjab

Research Fellow

Honorary Fellows

NamePosition
Professor Mick Dumper Professor in Middle East Politics
Dr. Ghada Karmi Honorary Research Fellow
Dr Uri Davis Honorary Research Fellow
Dr Ghassan Khatib Honorary Research Fellow
Professor Tim Niblock Professor Emeritus
Dr. Sophie Richter-Devroe

Senior Lecturer in Gender and Middle East Studies

Professor Gareth Stansfield Al-Qasimi Professor of Gulf Studies


Advisory board

Chair – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu, Anglican Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, is an internationally renowned advocate for social justice. A founding member of The Elders – an independent group of eminent global leaders who work to ‘address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity’ – Archbishop Tutu rose to prominence during the 1980s as a leading opponent of apartheid.  He has since remained a tireless and inspiring critic of social inequity, whether manifest in the economy of post-apartheid South Africa, the barriers faced by the world’s poor in accessing medication for HIV/AIDS, or the reality of Palestine. Following the Israeli shelling of Beit Hanoun (northern Gaza) that killed 18 members of the same Palestinian family in November 2006, he led a United Nations investigations into possible war crimes. Archbishop Tutu’s social justice work has earned him widespread accolades, including receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize and the International Gandhi Peace Prize.

Noam Chomsky

Institute Professor and Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Noam Chomsky is the author of more than 150 books. He is widely regarded as having revolutionised the field of linguistics, but is perhaps even more well known for his contribution to contemporary political thought concerning the significance of power in intellectual life, struggles for freedom, and US foreign policy. In landmark publications ranging from his American Power and the New Mandarins (1969) to Year 501: The Conquest Continues (1993) and Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, now in its third edition (1999), he has established a record – in the apt words of Arundhati Roy – as ‘one of the greatest, most radical public thinkers of our time.’

John Dugard

Professor John Dugard is a distinguished South African jurist and the Chair in Public International Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He has held a range of important international posts, including as Judge ad hoc on the International Court of Justice in 2000 and as a member of the UN International Law Commission since 1997. With the repression that met the onset of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in late 2000, Dugard was appointed to chair the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Inquiry concerning the occupied Palestinian territories. He went on to serve as Special Rapporteur on the Palestine question for the Commission and for its successor organisation, the UN Human Rights Council.

Richard Falk

Richard Falk is professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, author or co-author of more than 20 books, and editor or co-editor of more than 20 others. In 2001, Falk served on the Inquiry headed by John Dugard concerning human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories. In 2006, he succeeded Dugard as Special Rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories for the Human Rights Council and is presently acting in this capacity. A leading public intellectual in the United States (and internationally), Falk also sits on the editorial boards of both The Nation and The Progressive.

Khalil Hindi

Professor Khalil Hindi is President of Birzeit University, a leading institution of research and higher learning in the occupied West Bank. Before assuming this position in 2010, he had held professorships in both engineering and management science at the American University of Beirut and at a number of British schools, including Brunel University, the University of Manchester and South Bank University, London. Professor Hindi is a founding member and serves on the board of trustees of the Gaza Library Project. He is former chairperson of the Association of the Palestinian Community in the UK.

Ronnie Kasrils

Ronnie Kasrils is a leading veteran of the South African anti-apartheid struggle and a former minister of the South African government. Kasrils has long been an important figure in the African National Congress. A member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee from 1987 to 2007, he also served in the ANC’s Political-Military Council from 1985-1989, as post-apartheid South Africa’s minister of defence from 1994-1999, and as Minister of Intelligence Services from 2004-2008. In 2001, he gained additional international attention when he spearheaded a ‘Declaration of Conscience by Jews of South African Descent’, and has since remained a prominent advocate of justice for Palestine.

Our research

‘EU policy towards Palestine: Reassessment of the Two State Solution.’

In cooperation with Dr. Ghassan Khatib, Birzeit University, this project will offer a reassessment of Europe, and in particular Britain’s, role in the conflict from the SC perspective as part of a research into the failure of the EU policy towards the Israel/Palestine question. It will further examine possible ways forwards through a critical analysis of the EU neo-liberal economic approach to the peace process through programs such as ‘people to people’ and ‘good governance’. 

Gender and Settler Colonialism: Women's Oral Histories in the Naqab

The project “Gender and Settler Colonialism: Women’s Oral Histories in the Naqab” contributes to the AHRC’s highlight notice “Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past”, and, specifically, to its thematic focus on “global trauma/conflict and transitions to new futures.” By collecting, analysing and preserving the oral histories of Naqab Bedouin women in Israel, who have been subjected to discriminatory settler-colonial policies by the Israeli state for more than 60 years now, the project hopes to strengthen this indigenous community’s historical and cultural consciousness, and thus their struggle for a just future. 

Palestinian Refugees' Strategies of Conflict Resolution: Reconciling Citizenship Rights and Return

A joint project with Dr. Ruba Salih (SOAS). It is funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation ‘s Special Programme on "Security, Society, and the State."


The project investigates how Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Jordan and Lebanon reconcile citizenship strategies with their right to return. By counteracting their classic image as marginal subjects, Palestinian refugees are important conflict resolution actors: they are protagonists of new forms of political mobilisation, and catalysts of innovative non-territorial conceptualisations of citizenship and the nation-state.

Towards a Common Archive / Video Testimonies by Zionist Fighters in 1948

In Tel-Aviv, the ECPS together with a local NGO Zochrot organised an exhbition and interactive archive under a project initiated by the ECPS under the name The Common Archive. A pilot project of this archive was funded by the AHRC.  ECPS is now preparing a grant for a major project on this subject. Exhibition Page.

Events and workshops

Past events 

Professor Ilan Pappé 

18th April 2017

Launches his latest book, Ten Myths About Israel, at the Mosaic Rooms, London.

Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy  “Israel Lobby and American Policy” conference.

24th March 2017

Professor Ilan Pappé: The value of viewing Israel-Palestine through the lens of settler-colonialism, how Zionist myths have been shaped and/or perpetuated by the Israel lobby, and what framework is necessary to overcome these myths and ensure that efforts to resolve the "conflict" are grounded in reality.

Exeter Branch Historical Association, University of Exeter Student History Society and one selected University of Exeter Research Centre.

6th March 2017

Speakers: Professor Ilan Pappé Dr Nadia Naser-Najjab

Title: History and Politics in Israel and Palestine. The talk will cover the impact of politics on history and historiography in Israel and Palestine, from the emergence of the ‘new historians’ to the Palestinian textbooks controversy.

Visiting Speaker: 19th January 2017

Dr Toufic Haddad, In Palestine Ltd. Toufic Haddad explores how neoliberal frameworks have shaped and informed the common understandings of international, Israeli and Palestinian interactions throughout the Oslo peace process. 

Visiting Speaker: 10th February 2016

Dr Ghassan Khatib, Birzeit University, Palestine. 'The Deadlock in Palestine: Is there a Way Out?’

Visiting Speaker: 30th November 2016

Avigail Abarbanel, Fully Human Psychotherapy.  The theory Avigail  discussed has special relevance to understanding the relationship between the individual and the group in general and particularly in the Zionist and Israeli context.

Professor Ilan Pappé  and Dr Nadia Naser-Najjab

11th - 13th April 2016

Presented a joint paper at The Third International Conference and Workshop of the Palestine History and Heritage Project in Copenhagen.  Title: History, Curriculum and Textbooks”.  To develop into a chapter as part of a book project.

Dr. Nadia Naser-Najjab

10th October 2016

Presented a paper in a parliamentary seminar organized by Palestinian Return Centre (PRC).  Pape title, ‘The Two State Solution Discourse and the Issue of the Palestinian Refugees’. The event took place inside the Attlee Suite of the UK Parliament to discuss the prospects of Palestinian refugees in Jordan. The event was hosted and chaired by Dr. Paul Monaghan MP of the Scottish National Party.

http://www.prc.org.uk/portal/index.php/activities-news/workshop-seminar/3522-prc-successful-parliamentary-seminar-highlights-the-suffering-of-palestinian-refugees-in-jordan

Workshop

10th January 2015

‘EU policy towards Palestine: Reassessment of the Two State Solution.’To be developed into Research Proposal for ERC Funding. 

Conference on Settler Colonialism in Palestine & Workshop on the Naqab Bedouin 

The study of settler colonialism as an historical, geographical and political formation is attracting the attention of more and more scholars around the globe. Our effort will be oriented towards the examination of the settler colonial paradigm’s validity in the context of Palestine. The organisers encourage interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to the study of settler colonialism in Palestine, so as to build bridges between settler colonial studies and other disciplines, as well as to challenge Israel’s alleged exceptionality

A Series of Community Workshops on Oral History in the Naqab

A series of community workshops on oral history were held in cooperation with the Rahat Youth Centre (Markaz ash-Shabab), organised by Dr Mansour Nasasra, (Council for British Research in the Levant, Kenyon Institute Jerusalem), Dr Sophie Richter-Devroe (University of Exeter) and Atwa Abu Frieh (Rahat Youth Centre).

On 5 April 2014 a workshop on oral history was held at the Rahat Youth Centre (Markaz ash-Shabab) with twenty-two BA and MA students from the Naqab. This workshop was part of the AHRC funded project Gender and Settler Colonialism: Women's Oral Histories in the Naqab. The workshop engaged and trained members of the local community in oral history and created a dialogue between members, scholars, and representatives of the community. It targeted specifically younger members of the community to raise their historical awareness and train them in oral history. Please see here‌ for the agenda.

Given the strong interest which this first workshop generated a series of follow-up events on oral history in the Naqab were organised. On 26th April 2014 Ahmad Amara, New York University, gave a presentation to students on his fieldwork-based research project in the Naqab, focusing on methodological challenges. On 21 March 2015 a study trip to Jerusalem was organised for ca. 20 Naqab Bedouin students. The students were given guided tours and lectures at the Issaf Nashashibi Center for Culture and Literature (its library, archive, and cultural center) as well as at the Palestinian Heritage Museum of Dar al-Tifel in East Jerusalem. The study trip initiated discussions, and raised interest in the possibilities and challenges of creating an oral history archive in the Naqab.

 

 “Why Should Palestine Still Be an Issue?” By: his Excellency Dr Salam Fayyad, Former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority

25th March 2014

The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies & the European Centre for Palestine Studies (ECPS) received an honoured guest speaker; his Excellency Dr Salam Fayyad, Former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority.  His talk was entitled:“Why Should Palestine Still Be an Issue?”

 

Dr Uri Davis - The Next Steps for Palestine at the UN.

19th Febraury 2014

Video recording from the event

Key Note Document.

 

20th Anniversary of the Oslo Agreement

7th - 8th  September 2013

International conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the Oslo Agreement. The 2-day event took place in London. The conference was jointly organized by The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) and Professor Ilan Pappé representing ECPS.

 

A talk by Ray Dolphin - UN-OCHA Senior Humanitarian Researcher

4th March 2013

"Humanitarianism and its Discontent: Monitoring the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories”

 

The Disease of Love, A Medical View of Infatuation in the Medieval Arab World.

23rd January 2013

 A talk by Dr Karmi

 

Teaching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - problems and rewards

14th November 2012

Dr Ghada Karmi speaks on teaching the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

 

Cultures of Resistance - The Case of Palestine and beyond

4th May 2012

This workshop focused on different understandings and forms of resistance practiced in and for Palestine. Please view the workshop agenda for further detail.  Mainstream literature on the Israel/Palestine conflict has often focused on formal politics and avenues of participation while scarce attention has been devoted to cultural politics. This is despite the fact that cultural politics functions as a crucial site of political expression aimed at constructing and deploying ethnicised, racialised, nationalised, religious, class, gendered, and other collective identities. This workshop led to (forthcoming 2014) special issue of Arab Studies Journal  See here for Concept note.

 

The Invention of the Land of Israel

7th December 2011

talk by Prof Shlomo Sand studied history at the University of Tel Aviv and at the cole des hautes tudes en sciences sociales, in Paris. He currently teaches contemporary history at the University of Tel Aviv.

 

Negev Bedouin

13th – 14th February 2010

Rethinking the Paradigms: Negev Bedouin Research 2000+ 

 

Strategies of Survival East Jerusalemite Responses to the Israeli Occupation

1st February 2012

Dr Craig Larkin worked alongside Professor Mick Dumper on a 5 year ESRC funded project, Conflict in Cities and the Contested State: everyday life and the possibilities of transformation in Belfast, Jerusalem and other divided cities. The project talk was part of the project that focused on divided cities as key sites in territorial conflicts over state and national identities, cultures and borders

Postgraduate research

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.

Academic staff in the The European Centre for Palestine Studies are actively involved in postgraduate teaching and offer Masters programmes and modules informed by the latest research. See our taught postgraduate programmes for our course listings.

Our MPhil/PhD Palestine Studies offers candidates a multi-disciplinary course of study.

Our other MPhil/PhD programmes provide an opportunity for you to study with leading specialists in the field.

Contact us

The European Centre for Palestine Studies
Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
Stocker Road
University of Exeter
Exeter EX4 4ND 
UK
Telephone: +44 (0)1392 725250
Fax: +44 (0)1392 264035
email: ecps@exeter.ac.uk