Unsettled States, Disputed Lands: Britain and Ireland, France and Algeria, Israel and the West Bank-Gaza

Unsettled States, Disputed Lands: Britain and Ireland, France and Algeria, Israel and the West Bank-Gaza

Unsettled States, Disputed Lands: Britain and Ireland, France and Algeria, Israel and the West Bank-Gaza

Unsettled States, Disputed Lands: Britain and Ireland, France and Algeria, Israel and the West Bank-Gaza

Synopsis

"Ian Lustick... has written a valuable study concerning the changing relationship of Britain to Ireland (1834-1922); France to Algeria (1936-62) and Israel to the West Bank/Gaza (since 1967). This richly detailed and thoroughly documented book can be read on a number of different levels and therefore has much to offer to a wide variety of audiences."-Robert Bookmiller, Middle East Policy

Excerpt

This book studies the incorporation of additional territories into existing states and the equally problematic process of how states relinquish control over territories. The theory I develop views state expansion and contraction as closely related but asymmetric political achievements. Though the initial impetus for the analysis was the relationship of Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and though I developed my theory by comparing the changing relationships of Britain to Ireland (1834-1922) and France to Algeria (1936-62), this book has a larger purpose -- to explain patterns of similarity and difference in the expansion and contraction of any state by treating states as institutions subject, in their own way, to the laws governing all institutions.

I began this project as an analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the Department of State in 1979-80. Among other things, I was charged with evaluating scenarios for the eventual disposition of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, occupied by Israel since the June 1967 war but inhabited, despite intensive Israeli settlement efforts, by overwhelming majorities of Palestinian Arabs. It was clear enough that the goal of Israeli government policy at the time was to incorporate the territories into the Jewish state by policies of de facto annexation. But how likely were these policies to succeed, and on what factors would this success depend? What theory of state expansion and contraction, I wondered, when applied to the forces pushing toward incorporation or separation of these territories, could sort the impossible from the possible, the possible from the probable, the probable from the inevitable?

Inside the State Department there was not much I could do about my . . .

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