Emilio Dabed is a lawyer, specialized in constitutional matters. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Sciences from Institut de Sciences Politiques d’Aix en Provence, and IREMAM (Institut de Recherche et d’Etudes sur le Monde Arabe et Musulman, Aix-en-Provence, France) on the constitutional process in Palestine. Currently, he is a professor in the Human Rights Program at Al-Quds University/Bard College, Jerusalem. His latest research looks at the relation between, on the one hand, legal processes and discursive practices, and, on the other hand, political and social changes, subjectivity, and identity formation. It aims to shed light on the role that juridical phenomena play in sociological and anthropological questions.

A Constitution for a Non-state: Understanding Palestinian Politics Through Law
Saturday, April 27th, 2:00pm
Campus in Camps Al Feneiq Center, Deheishe Refugee Camp

Understanding social and political transformations in Palestine through the law can be useful in two ways: first, because legal and institutional processes are historical product that bears the traces of the social and political context in which they take place. Emilio will argue that during the “Palestinian constitutional process” significant political and social dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict –i.e. the nature of the actors’ power relations, their conception of the Oslo process, the role that they attributed to the PA – were spelled out in legal-institutional terms and mirrored in the political structure of PA. It is in this sense that the constitutional order can be understood as a sort of “metaphoric representation” of Palestinian politics. Second, because the PA’s legal order contributed to the ‘fabrication of social reality’. Emilio will argue that the ability of legal structures to produce reality -reshaping the Palestinian social space- became visible in two ways: materially, by facilitating the creation of new social groups, new power dynamics and a new regulatory frame for social and political action; and symbolically, by promoting a particular discursive practice framing the way in which Palestinian-Israeli conflict is portrayed and understood and that, at once, imposes and legitimizes political and social changes.