Description: In recent years, as peace between Israelis and Palestinians has remained cruelly elusive, scholars and activists have increasingly turned to South African history and politics to make sense of the situation. In the early 1990s, both South Africa and Israel began negotiating with their colonized populations. South Africans saw results: the state was democratized and black South Africans gained formal legal equality. Palestinians, on the other hand, won neither freedom nor equality, and today Israel remains a settler-colonial state. Despite these different outcomes, the transitions of the last twenty years have produced surprisingly similar socioeconomic changes in both regions: growing inequality, racialized poverty, and advanced strategies for securing the powerful and policing the racialized poor. Neoliberal Apartheid explores this paradox through an analysis of (de)colonization and neoliberal racial capitalism.

After a decade of research in the Johannesburg and Jerusalem regions, Andy Clarno presents here a detailed ethnographic study of the precariousness of the poor in Alexandra township, the dynamics of colonization and enclosure in Bethlehem, the growth of fortress suburbs and private security in Johannesburg, and the regime of security coordination between the Israeli military and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. The first comparative study of the changes in these two areas since the early 1990s, the book addresses the limitations of liberation in South Africa, highlights the impact of neoliberal restructuring in Palestine, and argues that a new form of neoliberal apartheid has emerged in both contexts.

Abstract: Based on the reflections of frontline workers, this paper explores restorative justice programming in Winnipeg, Manitoba and critically raises questions around settler colonialism, the justice process, and the “participant” “worker” relationship. Within settler colonial theory, the criminal justice system is seen as a colonial project that continues to disproportionately control and confine Indigenous Peoples. In theory, restorative justice is an alternative to the criminal justice system because of its emphasis on addressing harms rather than doling out punishment, yet it too is constrained by an ongoing settler colonial system. Exploring how workers understand settler colonialism and the restorative justice difference in their work and in their relationship with participants, this thesis argues that, to its detriment, restorative justice theory has not adequately considered settler colonialism. Bringing together Peace and Conflict Studies theories of relationship building and emerging critical theories of settler colonialism, this project explores frontline hopes for and critiques of restorative justice programming in an urban setting. Grounded in a critical constructivist research paradigm, data was collected through one-on-one interviews and focus groups with ten frontline workers who are program coordinators, victim offender mediators, and community workers. Framed by the writer’s own experience as a frontline worker, the collected narratives offer critical, yet hopeful insight into restorative justice theory and practice, particularly within settler colonial contexts.

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.

Thursday, March 09, 2017 to Friday, March 10, 2017

At a time of heightened awareness of the enduring challenges of race in America, this conference will highlight transnational insights on the historiography of race that have emerged from the study of settler colonialism. The similarities that connect the histories and displacements of indigenous populations from Hawaii and Australia to North America, South Africa and Brazil, are rarely connected to broader questions of race. Yet interdisciplinary study of indigenous peoples in the context of settler colonialism has given rise to important new scholarship on the operation of race as a conceptual category and as a structure of subordination.

Seminal insights in this area were developed by the Australian anthropologist Patrick Wolfe (1949-2016), to whose memory the conference is dedicated. His work centered on indigenous histories in Australia and the United States to develop grounded insights into the present crises faced by African-Americans, Afro-Brazilians, and Palestinians. The conference will gather scholars from around the world to explore new approaches to race and indigeneity inspired by Wolfe’s recent research, which explored settler colonialism to offer a compelling new analysis of race. Drawing the distinction between colonialism and settler colonialism, Wolfe launched a rich field of inquiry, enabling researchers to develop new paradigms for the study of race that contribute to political theory, constitutional theory, historical understanding and new ethnographies and sociologies of indigeneity. His untimely passing has created a moment to bring these many strands of inquiry into conversation.


Conference Program

DAY 1: Thursday, March 9

1 PM
Welcome and Opening Remarks: Asli Bali (UCLA)

1:15 PM
PANEL 1: Remembering Patrick Wolfe
Moderator/discussant: Lorenzo Veracini (Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia)
Pamela Grieman (UCLA)
Ghassan Hage (University of Melbourne)
Saree Makdisi (UCLA)
Aziz Rana (Cornell Law School)

2:45 PM

3:00 PM
PANEL 2: Patrick Wolfe’s Elementary Structures of Race
Moderator: Asli Bali (UCLA)
Cheryl Harris (UCLA)
Jemima Pierre (UCLA)
Aziz Rana (Cornell Law School)
Shannon Speed (UCLA)


DAY 2: Friday, March 10

9:30 AM
PANEL 3: Settler Colonialism in Comparative Perspective 1: Palestine and North America
Moderator: Cheryl Harris (UCLA)
Jessica Cattelino (UCLA)
Sherene Razack (UCLA)
Sherene Seikaly (UCSB)
Gershon Shafir (UCSD)

11:15 AM

11:30 AM
Keynote: Lorenzo Veracini (Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia)

12:45 PM
Lunch Break

2:00 PM
PANEL 4: Settler Colonialism in Comparative Perspective 2: Australia, South Africa, Algeria, Ireland
Moderator: Susan Slyomovics (UCLA)
Sung Choi (Bentley University)
David Goldberg (UC Irvine)
Ghassan Hage (University of Melbourne)
Muriam Haleh Davis (UCSC)
David Lloyd (UC Riverside)

4:00 PM

4:15 PM
ROUNTABLE: Bringing the Threads Into Conversation
Moderator: Saree Makdisi (UCLA)
Pamela Grieman (UCLA)
David Lloyd (UC Riverside)
Aziz Rana (Cornell Law School)
Shannon Speed (UCLA)
Lorenzo Veracini (Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia)

Johanna Romero

Sponsor(s): Center for European and Russian Studies, Center for Near Eastern Studies, Department of History