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Thanato-geographies of Palestine and the possibility of politics

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mark GriffithsORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


This article critically examines thanato-geographies of Palestine-Israel and Palestinians and the crucial question of the possibility of politics in the context of sovereign exception. The main argument of the article is that bare life as referent for Palestinians’ lives overstates the subject-making capacities of the sovereign and understates the possibilities of political agency. As a response, the discussion turns to two prominent examples of exception – Israeli checkpoints and the Gaza borderlands – with the aim to keep in sharp focus both the thanatopolitical and that which – whether as complement or counter – exceeds it. Two important correctives arise from such an approach: thanatopolitical formations are i) dependent on broader thanato-geographies of capitalism; and ii) countered by the political agency of those figured as bare life.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Griffiths M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space

Year: 2022

Volume: 40

Issue: 8

Pages: 1643-1658

Print publication date: 01/12/2022

Online publication date: 01/06/2022

Acceptance date: 20/04/2022

Date deposited: 26/04/2022

ISSN (print): 2399-6544

ISSN (electronic): 2399-6552

Publisher: Sage


DOI: 10.1177/23996544221099461


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Funder referenceFunder name
British Academy (SRG/170330)