Communities in Conflict in Mandate Palestine: Repression, Resistance, and Community Displacement


Fri, 04/08/2022 - 3:00pm


Part of the Spring 2022 Middle Eastern and North African Studies Colloquium Series

Daniel Arnon, Assistant Professor, School of Government and Public Policy, University of Arizona

image of Dr. Daniel Arnon


The historical literature on political conflict in Mandate Palestine richly emphasizes the Israeli and Palestinian narratives of the origins of the conflict and analyzes the lived experiences in specific localities, based on oral histories, memory, and archival materials. Yet despite this wealth of information, few efforts have been made to standardize these local-level sources for systematic comparative analysis among the complete set of communities in Mandatory Palestine and across the variety of relevant identity cleavages. Using a wealth of archival sources, including newly collected repositories from the Village Files, we document social, political, and economic characteristics within villages throughout Mandate Palestine for use in both qualitative analysis of specific villages as well as organized in a dataset for use in quantitative analysis. We then link these data to participation in the 1936-1939 revolt, experiences of British repression, and village displacement during the 1948 War. We present these data and ongoing research projects addressing 1) how village social structure impacts displacement outcomes during the 1948 War and 2) patterns of repression and dissent in the 1936-1939 Revolt. We discuss both the sources of information, our ethical and normative considerations, and the potential biases that arise through the use of archival sources from conflict settings. We end with a discussion on how to generalize our methods and findings both within the Mandate Palestine case and the Middle East more broadly.


Daniel Arnon is an Assistant Professor in the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona and is a principal researcher for the Political Terror Scale, an index of state violations of physical integrity rights. Dr. Arnon’s research focuses on conflict processes between individuals and the state, including individual violence against the state, namely terrorism and insurgency, and state violence against individuals, namely human rights violations and repression. His research focuses on the sources of lone actor political violence and its political consequences, the politicization of and biases in measuring human rights violations, how identity politics shapes tolerance for repression, and the dynamics of social cohesion and state repression, particularly in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His work has appeared in the British Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Human Rights, and the Journal of Conflict Resolution.

This event will be held in person at the Marshall Building, Room 490. Masks are required.

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