Ethno-National Colonialism in South Africa
The purpose of this dissertation is to answer the question: why do ostensibly similar ethno-national conflicts within a system of settler-colonial domination see such wide variation in their outcomes? How they emerge from conflict through power sharing and social integration versus the endurance of separation and systems of domination and control? The study identifies causal paths that resulted in the decline of domination systems of this type. Ethno-national conflicts that feature certain similarities develop in different trajectories due to certain conditions that culminate in transforming the structures of these conflicts towards integration (the establishment of a single political entity) or separation (independence in separate entities). The goal of the dissertation is to examine the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through a comparative lens in order to specify the conditions that led to the persistence of the two-state solution and to examine the prevalence or lack of necessary and sufficient conditions for the emergence of a one civic-democratic state. Building on the comparative approach I argue that ethno-national territorial underpinnings of the conflict and the “regimes of territorial legitimation” of the dominant group are the most crucial explanatory factor in determining the trajectory and outcome of the conflict. “Regimes of territorial legitimation” are the practices, procedures, systems of meaning, and institutional designs that found the relationship between a nation, people or ethno-national group and geography/territory. The dissertation features a qualitative structured and focused comparison of the conflicts in South Africa, and Palestine. Method of difference is applied for a case-oriented interpretive inquiry that focuses on the complexity of each of the two cases and aims at capturing the historical diversity of these similar cases.
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