Social movement scholarship convincingly highlights the importance of threats, political opportunities, prior social ties, ideological compatibility, and resources for coalition formation. Based on interviews with Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists involved in two transnational coalitions in Israel/Palestine, this chapter illustrates the emergence of transnational coalitions, particularly those that cross polarized ethno-national divides, depends not only on such facilitators, but also, and critically, on the belief that such diverse cooperation is strategic. I argue these unique coalitions intentionally formed with individuals and organizations situated in different national communities out of a strategic decision by the Palestinian initiators, given the closed political opportunity structure they faced domestically, to enlarge the scope of conflict by drawing in new people and communities who may have some leverage on the Israeli government. Consequently, this chapter also makes clear that partners in the Global South make intentional choices about who to partner with, and that the agency is not solely linked with their more privileged partners in the Global North (cf., Bob, 2001; Widener, 2007). Finally, it illustrates that coalition partners are recruited not only because of social ties, prior histories of interaction, ideological similarity, and shared organizational framing, but also due to key considerations including perceptions of what the ethno-national diversity, varying networks, and differing privileges make available.
I would like to thank William A. Gamson, Eitan Alimi, Lisa Leitz, and the anonymous reviewers for their very helpful and insightful comments. Moreover, I would like to thank Gregory M. Maney for his friendship and informal mentorship throughout my years as an Assistant Professor. He is greatly missed.
Gawerc, M.I. (2019), "Endeavoring to Change History: Palestinian-led Transnational Coalitions in the Occupied West Bank", Bringing Down Divides (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Vol. 43), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 39-61. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-786X20190000043008Download as .RIS
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