The Palestinian Authority: Unsettling Status Quo Scenarios (2016)

Conventional thinking assigns the Palestinian Authority (PA) an indispensable governing role in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). The PA is also often described as a national achievement, having enabled Palestinians to govern, for the first time, a Palestinian population over a Palestinian land. The PA also supplies hundreds of thousands of Palestinians with employment through the public sector. It is the international community’s preferred interlocutor – as opposed to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). For Israel, the PA enables the maintenance of public order in the West Bank’s major cities. Continue reading The Palestinian Authority: Unsettling Status Quo Scenarios (2016)

Future of the PA

(2016) التصورات المتوقعة لمستقبل السلطة الفلسطينية

بالرغم من أن السلطة الفلسطينية لا تزال، شكلياً، في صميم السياسة الفلسطينية، على الصعيدين الداخلي والخارجي، غير أنها لم تُحدِث بعد ٢٢ عاماً على تأسيسها سوى تغييرات حقيقية قليلة في طريقة حكم الضفة الغربية. بل إن دور السلطة الفلسطينية في الحكم ضعيف وليس له قيمة من الناحية العملية. هذا الضعف بالتالي سيؤثر في الوضع السياسي الراهن. فالسلطة الفلسطينية، بحسب التفكير التقليدي، والتي تضطلع بدورٍ أساسي في حكم الأرض الفلسطينية المحتلة، غالباً ما توصَف بأنها إنجازٌ وطني لأنها مكَّنت الفلسطينيين من حكم أنفسهم، لأول مرة، على الأرض الفلسطينية. Continue reading (2016) التصورات المتوقعة لمستقبل السلطة الفلسطينية

Ronald Dworkin’s Justice for Hedgehogs

Can I call this book “Dworkin’s chef d’oeuvre”? It may be. The book defends a large and old philosophical thesis: the unity of value. As he says in the introduction: “Its title refers to a line by an ancient Greek poet, Archilochus, that Isaiah Berlin made famous for us.”
Dworkin dedicated this 500-pages book to ethics, morality and politics, through the lenses of his theory of interpretation. For him, many concepts – that we are used to look at as criteria concepts – should be instead considered as interpretative concepts. Law for example, is presented as a department, a subdivision, of political morality. In other words, it is not whether morality is separate from law (as positivism arguably suggests) nor is morality necessary for a law to be law (as natural law school arguably suggests). In those two schools, law and morality presuppose each other as distinct categories of values. Dworkin instead was ambitious to suggest the unity of value – through interpretation, morality becomes an essential part in the way law – as an interpretative concept – is understood from the beginning. Continue reading Ronald Dworkin’s Justice for Hedgehogs

Uncertainty and indeterminacy according to Ronald Dworkin

I read in Dworkin’s book, justice for hedgehogs (p.95), this interesting case for uncertainty – to be distinguished from indeterminacy – fashionable in law schools whenever one cannot make his mind for or against a case: “Absolute confidence or clarity is the privilege of fools and fanatics. The rest of us must the best we can: we must choose among all the substantive views on offer by asking which strikes us, after reflection and due thought, as more plausible than the others. And if none does, we must then settle for the true default view, which is not indeterminancy but uncertainty.” Continue reading Uncertainty and indeterminacy according to Ronald Dworkin

Shulem Deen’s “All who go do not return: A Memoir.”

15 May 2016 This book was described as “eloquent and heartbreaking” by the Wall Street Journal.” This was true for me. I enjoyed every detail in this book. I learnt about the Hasidic Community and about Jewish religion and culture generally. Most importantly, I had had an interesting example of how social and religious norms may obstacle individual freedoms and choices – which is not limited to Hasidic community or to Jewish religion alone. But to be honest, I mostly thought – while reading the book – about Deen’s wife and five children. At the end of the day it Continue reading Shulem Deen’s “All who go do not return: A Memoir.”

Jeremy Waldron’s “Political Political Theory”

I just finished reading this great book, by Jeremy Waldron: Political Political Theory Waldron re-introduces traditional institutions, in particular the parliament and the executive, back at the center of political theory. For this reason he calls his book “Political political theory”; it is about trying to provide a political theory that is based on institutions and not only concepts of justice and equality. This is a must read, not only for those interested in political theory, but also, for those interested in public law and constitutional law generally. Continue reading Jeremy Waldron’s “Political Political Theory”

Isaiah Berlin’s “The Hedgehog and the Fox”

11 May 2016 Just finished this small book of #Isaiah_Berlin: The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History Apparently this is his most famous and acclaimed book. Here is the first chapter It shows his … Continue reading Isaiah Berlin’s “The Hedgehog and the Fox”