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CSPO 2555A - Introduction to the Palestinian question

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This undergraduate course is designed as an introduction to one of the most debated issues in contemporary history. It does not pretend to cover the complex and multi-faceted developments of the Israeli-Arab conflict, but it is dedicated to the understanding, description and interpretation of the various phases of the so-called “Palestinian question”. Each session will address one critical period of this one-century long historical cycle.


FILIU, Jean-Pierre (Professeur des universités à l'IEP de Paris)

Pedagogical format

1. Palestine through History Krämer, chapters 2 and 6. 2. The Balfour declaration and the British mandate (1917-29) Khalidi, chapter 2, Krämer, chapters 8 and 9. 3. The « Great Arab Revolt » (1929-39) Khalidi, chapter 3. 4. WWII and the foundation of Israel (1939-49) Morris, chapters 3, 4 and 5. 5. The Arab occultation of Palestine (1949-67) Jean-Pierre Filiu, « The origins of Hamas », in Journal of Palestine Studies, n°163, Spring 2012. 6. Black September and the October War (1967-74) Shlaim, chapters 8 and 26. 7. The Lebanese crisis (1975-82) David Hirst, Beware of small states, New York, Nation Books, 2010, chapters 5 and 6. 8. Divisions and intifade (1983-90) Jean-Pierre Filiu, Gaza, a history, London : Hurst, 2014, chapters 11 and 12. 9. Madrid, Oslo and the peace process (1991-95) Khalidi, chapter 5. 10. The crisis of the Palestinian Authority (1996-2000) Shaul Mishal and Avraham Sela, The Palestinian Hamas, New York: Columbia University Press, 2000, chapters 5 et 6. 11. The Second intifada (2000-06) Shlaim, chapters 22 and 23. 12. One Palestine against another (2006-14) Sara Roy: "Key Paradigm shifts in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict", in Journal of Palestine Studies, n° 163, spring 2012.

Course validation

- One oral presentation (40% of course mark); - One take-home exam (50% of course mark); - In-class participation (10% of course mark).

Required reading

  • Rashid KHALIDI, The Iron Cage, Boston: Beacon Press, 2006
  • Gudrun KRÄMER, A History of Palestine, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008
  • Benny MORRIS, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003
  • Avi SHLAIM, Israel and Palestine, London: Verso, 2009.

Additional required reading

  • Jean-Pierre FILIU, Gaza, a history, London, Hurst, 2014.
  • David HIRST, Beware of small states, New York, Nation Books, 2010.
  • Khaled HROUB, Hamas, a beginner's guide, London, The Other Press, 2009.
  • Roger LOUIS and Avi SHLAIM (dir.), The 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Cambridge, Cambrige University Press, 2012.
  • Shaul MISHAL and Avraham SELA, The Palestinian Hamas, New York, Columbia University Press, 2000.
  • Benny MORRIS, Israel's border wars : 1948-1956, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1993.
  • Eugene ROGAN and Avi SHLAIM (dir.), The War for Palestine, rewriting the history of 1948, Cambridge, Cambrige University Press, 2001.
  • Joe SACCO, Footnotes in Gaza, New York, Metropolitan Books, 2009.
  • Avi SHLAIM, Lion of Jordan, London, Allen Lane, 2008.
  • Tom SEGEV, 1967, New York, Metropolitan Books, 2007.