Settler colonial studies is not a new approach: Walid Salem, ‘Jerusalem: Reconsidering the Settler Colonial Analysis’, Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics, and Culture, 21, 4, 2016, pp. 21-27


Abstract: The period from the 1940s to the 1970s was one of decolonization and self-determination for many countries in Asia and Africa. An immense amount of academic and intellectual writings about colonialism, neocolonialism as well as settler colonialism accompanied that process of decolonization. At the same time, the United Nations released several resolutions and documents condemning colonialism and seeking the immediate fulfillment of the right to self-determination for all peoples living under colonial rule. The most famous among these resolutions is the 1960 UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV), Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.

The writings on colonialism at that time focused on military colonialism and the right of all peoples to self-determination and emancipation from colonial occupation, while neocolonialism focused on how colonialism “left through the door and came back through the window,”, using economic and cultural means rather than direct military control as it was the case with colonialism before.

The writings about settler colonialism focused on a type of colonialism which combines military occupation with a settler colonial component that included taking over land, space, territory and landscape, by displacing and uprooting indigenous populations and replacing them with another population. This created, at the cost of the dispossession of the indigenous people, a new society and state with a different type of space, landscape, language and culture. The Palestinian academic and intellectual Fayez Sayigh was one of the pioneers of analyzing the Israeli Zionist settler colonial project, alongside Edward Said, whose book Orientalism is considered a leading work in the field.

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