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Civility as collective self-care in Nablus (Palestine): face-to-face interactions in the shadow of war


Schaeublin, Emanuel (2023). Civility as collective self-care in Nablus (Palestine): face-to-face interactions in the shadow of war. Peacebuilding, 11(3):288-301.

Abstract

The inhabitants of the Palestinian city of Nablus in the West Bank, which has been under Israeli military rule since 1967, practice bottom-up civility to shape public life in spite of political rights being denied to them. As most institutional forms of ‘civil society’ are deeply distrusted, everyday civility among Palestinians dynamically reacts to occurrences of political violence. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Nablus in 2013 and 2014, this article argues that bottom-up civility constitutes a medium for addressing ethical and political questions about how to live together in dignity in the midst of a repressive and opaque political landscape. As such, civility can be understood as a form of collective ethical self-care. People laterally discipline one another to embody dignity and piety in their face-to-face interactions and to express respect for victims by hiding signs of consumption and market transactions. In an enclosed community facing repression, ethical claims about dignity and civility in public interactions are a form of political agency that calls for decentering common understandings of civil society.

Abstract

The inhabitants of the Palestinian city of Nablus in the West Bank, which has been under Israeli military rule since 1967, practice bottom-up civility to shape public life in spite of political rights being denied to them. As most institutional forms of ‘civil society’ are deeply distrusted, everyday civility among Palestinians dynamically reacts to occurrences of political violence. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Nablus in 2013 and 2014, this article argues that bottom-up civility constitutes a medium for addressing ethical and political questions about how to live together in dignity in the midst of a repressive and opaque political landscape. As such, civility can be understood as a form of collective ethical self-care. People laterally discipline one another to embody dignity and piety in their face-to-face interactions and to express respect for victims by hiding signs of consumption and market transactions. In an enclosed community facing repression, ethical claims about dignity and civility in public interactions are a form of political agency that calls for decentering common understandings of civil society.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:790 Sports, games & entertainment
390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Development
Social Sciences & Humanities > Safety Research
Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Uncontrolled Keywords:Political Science and International Relations, Safety Research, Development
Language:English
Date:3 July 2023
Deposited On:14 Dec 2023 09:01
Last Modified:30 Apr 2024 01:44
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:2164-7259
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/21647259.2023.2234734
Project Information:
  • : FunderNational Science Foundation
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderBerrow Foundation
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  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)