The biopolitics of israeli settler colonialism: Palestinian bedouin children theorise the present

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In the unrecognised Bedouin villages in the Naqab, Palestinians suffer from state negligence, deprived of equal representation and access to essential services like healthcare and education. Whereas previous scholarship points to cultural, lifestyle, or societal conditions to account for the trends of poor health and education in Bedouin communities, this article seeks to identify the underlying structures of dispossession that produce everyday obstacles to the livelihoods of Palestinian children. Student dropout rates or socially threatening behavior amongst Bedouin children is misrepresented as stemming from Bedouin society rather than from biopolitical attempts to use children as politicised tools within a settler colonial society. In analyzing Israeli policy and testimonies collected from children living under these conditions, I argue that the advancement of a culture of blaming for this exploitation and impoverishment furthers eliminatory efforts against native Palestinians and reveals the culpability of the state in the technologies of violence in the lives of Bedouin children.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)7-29
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies.


  • Agamben
  • Bedouin
  • Biopolitics
  • Children
  • Naqab
  • Palestinian
  • Settler-colonialism
  • Unrecognised


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