Politics of recognition in between antagonism and agonism: Exploring ‘mediated agonism’ in Jaffa

Ronnen Ben-Arie*, Tovi Fenster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The paper presents a micro-geography research methodology that emphasizes the contested historiography of a house in 58 Shivtei Israel St in Jaffa. It explores the changing Palestinian/Israeli ownership of the house in its colonial urban setting, since 1948 until today, and analyses how it functions within current day urban planning and transformation. The detailed analysis of the specific allocation and planning procedure reveals how a binary conflict/consensus standpoint is not helpful to fully understand the political relations operating through the urban planning process. Rather, the paper suggests we need to think the relations between the two as a dynamic continuum along which we can locate the various claims of the different actors in the urban arena. This nuanced analysis helps us to uncover a contentious planning process which is based on contestation, tension and disagreement, but also on pragmatism and acceptance – a process through which the different actors reposition themselves with regard to their own and others’ objectives, beliefs and narratives of the urban space. Thus, the production of urban space could be understood as a dynamic process of controversy and dissent instead of as one of fixed and all-too-known positions and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-422
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Politics and Space
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2020


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation855/14


    • Israel–Palestine
    • Urban planning
    • agonism
    • antagonism
    • contested urban spaces


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