Explores the civic activism of the Palestinian minority in Israel for a better understanding of the relationship between civic activism and democratization in ethnic states.
Reconstructing the Civic examines the civic activism of the homeland Palestinian minority in Israel. Employing a multi-methodological and empirically rich approach, Amal Jamal blends historical description with interviews of Palestinian elites drawn from a diverse range of civil society groups such as NGOs, youth movements, and religious organizations. He also critiques the failure of Western/liberal scholarship to account for the experience of minority civil society organizations in illiberal social and political contexts, largely because this literature assumes there is an inherent relationship between civil society and democracy. Jamal places an important spotlight on the complex interplay between liberal and illiberal trends in the emergence, organization, and transformation of Palestinian civil society in Israel as well as the need to introduce an alternative ethical model that aims to reconstruct ethnic states in universal civic terms.
Amal Jamal is Associate Professor of Political Science and Political Communication at Tel Aviv University and the author of Arab Minority Nationalism in Israel: The Politics of Indigeneity.
"This book is the first of its kind and a valuable contribution to both the study of the Palestinians in Israel and for understanding the construction of civil society. Jamal provides a very thorough and comprehensive look into a major socio-political occurrence. Most existing studies of civil society worldwide do not deal with cases of subjugated ethno-national groups in conflict, and there is a particular theoretical interest in this case. " — Tamir Sorek, author of Palestinian Commemoration in Israel: Calendars, Monuments, and Martyrs