f_0019754_16826 - The Palestinian Refugee Question: A...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 2009 45 The Palestinian Refugee Question: A Constitutive Constructivist Interpretation Nassef M. Adiong * Abstract The paper aims to present a constitutive constructivist interpretation of the Palestinian refugee question by examining the speeches and other public documents. The proponent questions the perennial inadequacy of mainstream theories particularly realism, thus its purpose is to present an alternative theoretical framework, and with the help of a method to deeply understand the problem. The constitutive version of constructivism differs from the conventional strand because it gives importance to the potency of the use of language. This will be undertaken through the verbs-in- context-system (VICS) method of content analysis. Consequently, the findings are not as good as we would hope for because based on the calculative verbs that were gathered using VICS, it gave us a negative and even pejorative interpretation whether all of the agreements and public statements were done in the spirit of pacta sunt servanda . However, there are glitches in the evaluated statements stating some plethoric and unbinding declarations. Most, if not all, were unilaterally declared based on their perspectives and insinuate some argumentative issues particularly on the right of the refugees to return to their homeland or acquire their lost properties. Key words: Palestinian refugees, constructivism, Habermas, political psychology, Verbs-In-Context System (VICS) The Palestinian Refugees: A Closer Look In this section of the research, it will correspond on the contemporary socio-economic and demographic plight of the refugees rather detailing an historical account. The Palestinian
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 2009 46 refugee problem was created in the course of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence or the Zionist Movement as some historians referred it. The general term “Palestinian refugee” 1 refers to population groups whose social and political situation is extremely uneven. Thus, 22 percent of the refugees live in the Gaza Strip; according to the UN agency, 818,000 of the 1.1 million Palestinians who reside in the Gaza Strip are refugees. Most of them are members or descendants of families that in 1948 fled from the region extending from Jaffa southward. Nearly half of these refugees live in eight tremendously overcrowded refugee camps. The Shati camp, for example, is home to 74,000 refugees who are squeezed into an area of less than one square kilometer. In 1949, the Palestinian population totaled 1,380,000 people, of whom 730,000 were refugees. Fifty-two years later, a second and third generation has been added to the first generation of refugees: Natural growth at a rate that is one of the fastest in the world has multiplied their number by fourfold at least. According to data of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which devotes its activity to the Palestinian refugees, their
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course COMM 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Boise State.

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f_0019754_16826 - The Palestinian Refugee Question: A...

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