Nationalism, social theory and the Israeli/Palestinian case

Juval Portugali*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter surveys the scientific literature concerning Israeli-Palestinian relationships and found that the few studies which employ and discuss theoretical models are derived almost exclusively from recent social theory. It insists on separating nationalism from nation-state: The first being a psychological-spiritual-sentimental phenomenon and the second material-institutional. The crux of the matter is the persistence of social theories to preserve an anachronistic conceptual separation of state, civil society and economy; its causal-mechanistic separation between the material and spiritual domains and its disregard of socio-spatial relations and consequently its misconception or under-estimation of the role of nationalism in the existing social order. Nationalism as a generative social order is the Moloch to which both Zionists and Palestinians worship and by which both people are united. It is the nationalist generative order which has created the modern form of both nations and their activities in war, terror and expropriation are derived from this source.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNationalism, Self-Determination and Political Geography
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781317610137
ISBN (Print)0709914806, 9781138809857
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


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