Weaponization of the Land and Property Rights system in the Syrian civil war: facilitating restitution?

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The Syrian civil war has seen the weaponization of its land and property rights system by the primary combatant groups in the country. The government is the most robust in its use of the tenure system to locate, target, destroy, confiscate, cleanse and gain revenue by way of the institutions and attributes comprising the system. Based on fieldwork with Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, this article describes seven ways the Syrian government is currently using the land and property rights system in its military-on-civilian engagements. While the objective of such use is presumably to permanently prevail over opposition civilian constituencies, the article describes how this actually creates evidence usable for effective restitution of lands and properties subsequent to the war.

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... The problems with land documents within the statutory tenure system in Syria are renown. Even prior to the loss, destruction and falsification of HLP documentation during the conflict (Clutterbuck, 2018;Unruh, 2016), there has been over recent decades a widespread practice in rural Syria of not updating formal land records and registries in matters of inheritance or transfer; with the result being that the land market is largely informal and lacking in registration (IBP, 2013). This means that the land documents which do exist, frequently only have the name of a long dead grandfather still listed as the current owner-and yet there appear to be very few problems associated with this. ...
... Such a reliance on customary tenure is likely encouraged by the history of incoherent land policies, land manipulations, unjust application of laws and exceedingly convoluted bureaucracies. These have pushed rural Syrians to use customary and other informal means to securing land rights in ways that evade, hides from, resists or confronts the state and its problematic legal maneuvers (Harastani and Hanna, 2019;Alrwishdi and Hamilton, 2018;Unruh, 2016). Tenure systems that are able to evade, resist and challenge the state exist in numerous countries around the world and can evolve quickly, invoking a variety of customary, indigenous, religious, ideological and grievance forms of legitimacy (e.g., Cohen, 1993). ...
... This will now be made worse given the significant departure of technical personnel who have fled the war and will likely not return to their previous positions, along with the low capacity of the statutory judicial system to adjudicate land problems (Aita et al., 2017). Then there is the use of the formal tenure system and particularly its documentation, as a weapon in the conflict to determine the location of opposition pockets through the alignment of certain lineage names with specific areas (Unruh, 2016). Such a use drives distrust and suspicion of the statutory system, which in turn drives local rural communities who once did engage the statutory system toward forms of more locally legitimate and accountable customary, Islamic or hybridized tenure systems that are not able to be accessed, controlled or used by government (Unruh, 2016). ...
The impending close to the war in Syria brings to the fore the prospect of approximately 13 million forcibly displaced people considering returns to places of origin in the country. However the reattachment of people to their housing, land and property (HLP) faces a daunting set of challenges—the prospect of demographic change, the application of expropriation laws, confiscations and political agendas. Greatly aggravating these challenges is the reality that there will now not be an internationally supervised and financed HLP restitution process applying accepted international conventions of transitional justice, rule of law and human rights as is the norm after wars. Instead, forms of land tenure resilience will become a primary influence in facilitating restitution and strengthening tenure security. With a focus on rural Syria, this article examines three forms of tenurial resilience which are likely to play a large role in the stabilization and recovery of the country, and explores opportunities for supporting these.
... Similarly, the procession of land and other property in their homeland is one of the main decisive factors for refugee's choice to return (Norwegian Refugee Council, 2017;Xchange, 2018). Besides, the possession of documents attesting ownership of HLP is equally as important (Norwegian Refugee Council, 2017;Unruh, 2016). The situation of livelihood and essential services, such as health care, food, water, firewood is also crucial for their intention to return (UNHCR, 2018b). ...
... Next, loss of HLP, access to HLP and loss of HLP documents are vital issues for forcibly displaced people (NRC, 2016;UNHCR, 2018d). HLP is often weaponized during the conflicts by damaging housing and properties, confiscating lands and deliberately destroying HLP records (Unruh, 2016). Most of the Rohingya's entire villages were razed to the ground during the conflict (Selth, 2018). ...
... This can be due to refugees' lack of confidence in appropriate restitution of their HLPs after return, and that they will have inhabitable housing and access to livelihood. These findings are in accordance with what researchers found in Syria (UNHCR, 2018b;Unruh, 2016), Somalia (UNHCR, 2014a), Sierra Leone (United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 2010), Afghanistan, Congo, Iraq and Palestine. ...
Voluntary repatriation has the utmost importance in the contemporary understanding of refugee protection. Voluntary repatriation in safety and with dignity is considered to be the most desirable and durable solutions for refugees. However, voluntary repatriation represents increasingly daunting challenges to the refugees, the governments of both home and host countries, and implementing partners. The repatriation planning of Rohingya refugees is widely criticized as being profoundly premature and dangerous. Most of the refugees are set to return to destroyed villages where food and shelter are inadequate, ecosystem services overstretched, livelihood opportunities marginal and the physical environment unfit for human habitation. Investigating the view and perspectives of the refugees on the factors that influence their intention to return can inform the implementing actors to secure those conditions and ensure a durable solution. Here, we identify the conditions that influence the decisions by Rohingya refugees in protracted displacement regarding return to Myanmar. This research also addresses the dual challenges of repatriation and sustainable post-conflict reconstruction, and, more specifically, provides a framework on how to integrate ecosystem services in the repatriation process.
... Jon Unruh notes that, within each religious and ethnic group there are those who support the regime and those who oppose it. As a result, the policies undertaken by Assad, on the whole, do not blindly target ethnic or religious groups, but instead constituencies within them [18], p. 3. ...
... Ironically, the Syrian state recognized this problem before the civil war began and started a process of digitizing property records in 2010. The uprising in 2011 interrupted the digitization process, only a limited number of documents were digitized, meaning that most documents exist only in their physical forms in land registries [18], p. 6. If refugees do not have copies of those documents when fleeing their homes, their ability to reclaim their property depends on the survival of these documents in the registries. ...
... Jon Unruh refers to state property seizures as the 'weaponization' of housing, land, and property. He notes a systematic process of property confiscation by the state through the destruction of property records and administrative infrastructure, targeting opposition supporters and areas of the country for property confiscation, redistributing confiscated property to regime supporters, sometimes by issuing false documentation, confiscation of civil and property documents from refugees as they cross border checkpoints, and creating laws to expropriate property [18], p. 2. In the next section of this article we will focus on the role of legislation in property expropriation. ...
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After eight years of civil war, parts of Syria are now free from conflict. In recognition of the return to peace, the government officially welcomes back all who fled the country to escape violence. Yet, a pattern of property expropriation supported by the government during the war limits the ability of some to return and reclaim their homes and businesses. We argue here that intentional changes to law and policy regarding property rights during the war has led to asset losses for members of groups opposed to the government and created a barrier to property restitution and the return of these groups. We examine legal documents and secondary sources identifying government actions and their impact, noting the proliferation of laws that systematically erode the property rights of people who lack proximity, legal status, and regime allies. As the results of these laws manifest after the war, a disproportionate number of Syrians who opposed the government will find themselves without the houses, land, and property they held before the war began.
... The conflict soon turned into a struggle of international powers with the main actors divided into two poles: The Assad Regime, regionally supported by Shiite Hezbollah and Iran, with the backing of both China and Russia. On the other hand, the mainly Sunni opposition is regionally supported by Saudi Arabia and the Arab coalition countries, backed by the U.S. and their allies in Europe (Unruh, 2016). ...
... The similarities that can be drawn from these two civil wars are the seemingly sectarian nature of the conflict, but the underlying reality of the global fight for power and natural resources (Unruh, 2016;Wehrey et al., 2010). Another notable aspect is the historical "tug of war" where Lebanon's political stability constantly seems to be influenced, under one form or the other, by the Syrian presence. ...
The Levantine basin’s complex identity has been carved by the sea, which, as history has shown, facilitated the flow of knowledge and cultures between civilisations, but later eased the expansion of political interests’ based conflicts. Inversely, Lebanon’s sea has been shaped by this identity, where throughout the years, construction and destruction left their toll on its marine and coastal environments. To this day, remnants of its wars persist through fragile ecosystems and political systems. A city of particular interest is Tripoli, whose complicated connection to its Syrian neighbour has left it marginalized and torn by recurring conflicts. However, as Tripoli’s port is preparing to handle a share of Syria’s post war reconstruction traffic, several questions arise. Is politically unstable Tripoli ready for this highly anticipated economic development? In fact, its coastal city, El Mina, is a microcosm of maritime potential, combining the country’s biggest fishermen community with its second largest commercial port and its only offshore islands. Therefore, can Maritime Spatial Planning support this fragile situation? To answer these questions, MSP and peacebuilding planning strategies were compared and combined in a joint conceptual framework, which was then applied on three proposed political scenarios based on the region’s historic overview.
... Control over HLP has played a central role in the Syrian conflict -including the initial uprising (Loveluck and Habib 2017) -producing acute complications for the prospect of return for the over 11 million dislocated people (OCHA 2016). The HLP restitution effort needed for this population is thought to be large-scale, costly and require a significant timeframe (NRC 2016;Unruh 2016a). ...
... This technique seeks to corroborate that certain assertions and evidence regarding land and property rights are true or likely to be true -such as the address or general area of origin of the claimant. The technique can be compromised however if one of the belligerent parties in a war realizes the usefulness of such databases for this purpose and destroys themwhich is the case for Syria (Unruh 2016a). However, this technique can be upgraded to get around the destruction of such domestic non-party databases, and amplify its corroborative ability. ...
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The large-scale restitution of housing, land and property (HLP) for those dislocated due to armed conflict has significant repercussions for the prospect of return, recovery and durable peace. Failure to adequately engage in restitution and other remedies for displaced populations has demonstrated that the grievances generated usually do not abate, but instead grow, including over generations, to produce subsequent problems, including armed conflict. While advances in transitional justice have supported the development of mass claims processes for HLP in war- affected countries, the current magnitude and complexity of forced dislocation is beyond the ability of conventional techniques to manage in an effective and timely way. This article argues that the current approach for handling massive numbers of HLP claims in postwar scenarios needs a critical upgrade; and describes what such an upgrade could comprise with a set of advanced techniques. These techniques focus on the issues of time, the size and complexity of the problem, new spatial technologies, and the now much greater agency possessed by displaced populations made possible by mobile digital technologies.
... While such documentation may be an opportunity to reclaim HLP after a war, it also offers a very large opportunity for fraud, falsification, confiscation, and sales that are coerced or under duress. The existence of such documentary evidence can be a reason that state archives and HLP offices are often one of the first targets in wars (Unruh 2016). For customary tenure, a 'memory cadaster' is held by members of the local community, lineage or tribe who retain knowledge of who lived where prior to a war (Batson 2008;Unruh et al 2017). ...
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The ongoing use of landscape-based conflict commodities — diamonds and other minerals, timber, wildlife, etc. — to finance wars continues to evolve. The success with which such commodities can be transacted to support militaries, militias and insurgencies has led belligerents to innovate with additional commodities. Housing, land and property (HLP) rights within war zones have belatedly joined the list of conflict commodities that are subject to transaction, and to such an extent as to warrant significant concern. However, the use of ‘conflict HLP rights’ has not yet been operationally described in the way that other conflict commodities have been. This is a necessary first step towards deriving and designing countermeasures. This article makes a preliminary attempt to delineate the exploitation of conflict HLP rights by examining how they are transacted to support belligerent groups in three conflicts: Darfur, Colombia and Syria.
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This article examines the role of siege warfare and population control in the coercive counterinsurgency strategy used by the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad to effectively crush the revolution that began in 2011. We extend the coercive counterinsurgency framework offered by Monica Duffy Toft and Yuri Zhukov to analyze the Syrian regime’s use of the twin tactical pillars of siege warfare and population control. We focus on how these two types of denial – military and political – proved essential to the regime’s military victory.
Purpose As the Syrian civil war winds down, the massive reconstruction of the devastated cities has become a recurring subject of political and scientific discussions. A crucial question pervades all these debates: is the current legal framework adequate for confronting the reconstruction challenges in an effective way? With the purpose of understanding and informing the question, this study aims to analyze the most important legal instrument for the Syrian urban reconstruction, Law 10/2018. Design/methodology/approach A functional analysis of the legal text and of its effective implementation is provided. Following a doctrinal legal approach, internal inconsistencies are highlighted, as well as possible “legal gaps” that might allow and favor instances of disrespect of the rule of law and regulatory capture. Findings The main hypotheses discussed are, first, from a descriptive-analytical perspective, that the neoliberal trend in the Syrian political economy underpins the legal framework for the Syrian reconstruction. Second, from a design perspective, that, while offering a strong mechanism for disciplining the Syrian urban planning, Law 10/2018 does not warrant a scenario of respect of the rule of law and seems too easy prey for regulatory capture. Originality/value While the most recent and prominent legal instrument aimed to frame Syrian post-war reconstruction, Law 10/2018, has been subject to multiple policy analyzes and critiques, these have focused almost exclusively on its presumed warchitecture dimension, lacking contextual depth and, most worryingly, ignoring any kind of doctrinal legal analysis. Setting the Law 10/2018 in its legal context is something that has not been done yet, even if, according to their own ontology, legal provisions have to be understood within the context of the legal system they are inserted in. This paper delves into the subject, analyzing the legal text, its juridical context and the way it has been interpreted by the administrative decision-maker while looking at instances where the axiological goals constitutionally proclaimed and legally enshrined might be prevented by the very regulatory configuration.
Most studies of the Arab uprisings and their aftermaths focus on national-level political processes, neglecting changes at the municipal level. The few studies of municipalities that do exist tend to treat municipalities either as corruption-prone institutions exploited by local elites, or else as areas in need of intervention to make them function properly. We argue that municipalities are an overlooked site of political change—both spatially and temporally—that began prior to the uprisings but accelerated in their aftermath. Drawing on original empirical material from Tunisia and Syria between 2007 and 2014, we highlight two changing dimensions of municipal governance: how municipalities have sought to expand their power by stretching into new areas; and how, since the uprisings, municipalities have taken up new regulatory and enforcement roles in the wake of central state retreat. To support this analysis, we utilize on-the-ground interviews and fieldwork in Tunisia and off-site interviews and aerial analyses of urban growth in northern Syria. We find that, first, city governments are moving into the spaces where national actors are absent, transforming municipalities into spaces for meaningful political engagement (Tunisia) and the allocation of resources (Syria). Second, municipalities have gained greater autonomy in the arenas of service delivery and planning. This increase in municipal power does not represent a break from pre-uprising practices, but rather a continuation and perhaps acceleration of the politicization and expansion of municipal authority that began pre-2011.
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The Arab Spring uprisings have released a flood of land and property conflicts, brought about by decades of autocratic rule. Expropriations, corruption, poor performance of the rule of law, patronage and sectarian discrimination built up a wide variety of land and property transgressions over approximately 30 years. The result has been the creation of longstanding, acute grievances among large components of national populations who now seek to act on them. If new, transitional or reforming governments and their international partners fail to effectively attend to such grievances, the populations concerned may act on them in ways that detract from stability. This article critiques the case of Yemen, whose transitional government, with international support, initiated a land and property mass claims process in the South in order to address a primary grievance of the southern population as part of the National Dialogue transition. A series of techniques are described that would greatly improve the mass claims process once it inevitably recommences after the Houthi conflict comes to an end. These improvements would attach more importance to socio-political realities and how to quickly attend to them, as opposed to an over-reliance on specific legalities. Such an approach could have wider utility among Arab Spring states seeking to address similar land and property grievances.
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Grievance-based narratives are a primary component of civil wars. While present among the general population affected by conflict, the variants held by the segment of the population most proximate to the armed factions – constituencies – play a primary role in the development and conduct of a conflict. Such narratives can coalesce around specific volatile issues and enable non-combatant constituencies to participate in the conflict through the use of specific 'legalities' or legal precepts. These legalities facilitate the engagement of sets of collective action that are opposed to those derived by constituencies of the opposing side. However such constituencies and their narratives are also where potential opportunity resides for peace-building, both during and subsequent to hostilities. This article looks at the case of Darfur to examine these ingredients, with a focus on land rights as the volatile set of issues around which narratives have developed. In Darfur, opposed narratives which maintain how and why groups claim and deserve access to land and territory, and how groups were unjustly displaced or excluded from lands (and hence power), became solidified and acted upon prior to the conflict to become a primary driver in the current war. In certain cases however narrative change has led to interaction between members of opposed constituencies for the purpose of exploring cooperative arrangements.
Learn to be a good investigator and a successful retracement surveyor. In the era of CSI, forensic science has taken on an unaccustomed glamor. The fact is, forensic science plays as crucial a role in the field of land surveying and title investigation as it does in flesh-and-blood criminology. Land location, the stability of property lines, and the sanctity of title documents are of utmost interest to the legal system in general, and the court system in particular. Forensic Procedures for Boundary and Title Investigation is the first book to present the application of investigative forensic techniques to the field of land boundary retracement. Covering basic logic, document research, and the interpretation of physical evidence on site, Forensic Procedures for Boundary and Title Investigation is an indispensable guide for?surveyors faced with a difficult retracement having little or faulty evidence. Demonstrating the techniques that can be applied to boundary location, this fascinating and useful introduction to forensic science: Covers basic logic with tips for avoiding assumptions during the investigation that might result in error and bad conclusions. Explains the standard operating procedures, common to all forensics fields, for the protection of scenes, evidence collection, and photography. Provides detailed information on records research, reconstructing historical documentation, dealing with damaged documentation, and interpreting historic records containing antiquated measurements and wording. Includes a unique presentation of physical evidence investigation techniques including interpreting stone, wood, and metal evidence found on site. Takes an international approach, presenting universal investigative techniques and methods beyond the specifics of any single country. Includes advice on using the Internet for research and how to draw upon surprising sources of historic information such as postcards, advertisements, and family histories. This extensive treatment is sure to become a standard reference work for professionals in many fields related to land investigation as well as a practical text for the training of investigators in the evidence recovery and interpretative processes leading to successful property location and ownership.
Since the shock takeover of Mosul, the progress of ISIS and its allies through Iraq has been slowed and, in a few places reversed. This has happened partly because further, Shia-dominated territory in Iraq is more difficult for ISIS to conquer and partly because demoralised official Iraqi forces are increasingly supported by Shia militias, often with Iranian organisational help, by Kurdish Peshmerga forces who are receiving assistance from the West, and by US air strikes. In Syria, ISIS is up against a range of opponents: Jabhat alNusra, the Free Syrian Army, the Syrian Kurds and, to a certain extent, the Syrian armed forces.
This book is an authoritative account of ethnic cleansing and its partial undoing in the Bosnian wars from 1990 to the present. The book combines a bird's-eye view of the entire war from onset to aftermath with a micro-level account of three towns that underwent ethnic cleansing and later the return of refugees. Through the lens of critical geopolitics, which highlights the power of both geopolitical discourse and spatial strategies, the book focuses on the two attempts to remake the ethnic structure of Bosnia since 1991. The first attempt was by ascendant ethnonationalist forces that tried to eradicate the mixed ethnic structures of Bosnia's towns, villages and communities. While these forces destroyed tens of thousands of homes and lives, they failed to destroy Bosnia-Herzegovina as a polity. The second attempt followed the war. The international community, in league with Bosnian officials, tried to undo the demographic consequences of ethnic cleansing. This latter effort has moved in fits and starts, but as the book shows, it has re-made Bosnia, producing a country that has moved beyond the stark segregationist geography created by ethnic cleansing.
Terms of use: This chapter may be used free of charge for educational and non-commercial purposes. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) only, and do not necessarily represent those of the sponsoring organizations.
In this article, drawn from a presentation at a seminar held at the Centre for Arab Unity Studies on 9 September 2011 in Beirut, veteran Syrian writer and political thinker Michel Kilo analyzes the situation on the ground in Syria in the midst of the ‘Arab Spring’, unrest and violent clashes between the state and various forces. The reforms President Bashar al-Assad initially mentioned when he replaced his father in the summer of 2000 ? when he endeavoured to open up the country to a degree ? were accorded low priority until the events of 2011 obliged his government to readdress them. Kilo argues that the Ba?athist ideology has long since been obsolete and ill suited to present realities, that regime priorities have been misdirected and that while the entrenched security apparatus is still a force to be reckoned with, genuine reforms are inevitable if a major catastrophe is to be averted. Gross income disparities and inequalities such as those the author details, which are intrinsic to the system, must be rectified; and in what is most germane in the present context, the Syrian middle class can no longer be placated or controlled through the typical strategies that the regime has historically employed. Syria at large, and especially the youth, has come to experience the wider virtual public space afforded by the internet and its social media websites, and they are eager to transfer the freedoms of cyberspace to the real political sphere. Kilo also asserts that there is a grave danger of civil war in the event that Syrians and the regime prove unable or unwilling to sort out their issues, and the presence of armed Islamist groups at the local level is a genuine threat where such are capable of drawing elements of the general population closer and into the sphere of radical political Islam if the regime continues its draconian tactics and opts for a ?security solution?. Kilo argues that Syrians themselves must rectify the situation and that foreign intervention will only ultimately play into the hands of the regime or the Islamists or both, and that such would be highly detrimental to the project of democratic transition via apparatuses of civil society in which Syrian intellectuals and the middle class play a vital role. Syria is at a precipitous crossroads ? a breaking point ? and Kilo, as an insider long affiliated with the Syrian intellectual opposition, provides essential reading for comprehending the players and dynamics of the crisis ? one which will have serious implications for Lebanon and the rest of the region.
Architect Eyal Weizman and historian Andrew Herscher discuss their research on architecture as a target of political violence and the consequent interpretation(s) of architectural destruction in international law. The act of destruction fundamentally transforms the meaning of a building, and often architecture only acquires significance at the very moment of its destruction. Their discussion reveals the complexity of meaning surrounding architecture as both victim and witness, and challenges the too-frequent assumption that buildings only ever serve as static symbols of identity.
My selection as an Office of the Director of National Intelligence Fellow allowed me to research the topic of "Registering the Human Terrain". A term now in vogue to describe the rending of socio-cultural information to a map is "mapping the human terrain", which is also an intelligence topic of increasing salience. However, this books is not about mapping the human terrain, but about registering the human terrain: tying a "person", an individual, a group, or a non-natural person such as an organization, to a geographical place through property records. This book manifests how to answer the "who" question with the same precision the U.S. Intelligence Community answers the "where" question.
The term “warchitecture” emerged in Sarajevo as a name for the catastrophic destruction of architecture during the 1992–1996 siege of the city. Blurring the conceptual border between “war” and “architecture,” the term provides a tool to critique dominant accounts of wartime architectural destruction and to bring the interpretive protocols of architecture to bear upon that destruction. Reflection on warchitecture can therefore open up new ways to examine and understand violence against architecture and to connect this violence with emergent discussions of war, violence, and modernity in and across other disciplines.
The success of a society depends on construction of formal, liberal property regimes. The United States and other Western countries waste billions of development dollars every year on programs that have not been built on firm property systems. The West's property regimes are successful because of the high quality of the evidence of everyday rights, the capacity of the citizenry and governments to implement the meaning of that evidence, and because the basic rules which determine what can be owned and who can be owners are liberal in measure appropriate to the common understanding of justice. Formalized property information feeds conflict resolution mechanisms by clearly identifying owners, claimants, rights and duties so that disagreements can be more peaceably reconciled; creates confident stakeholders willing to support the rule of law; helps create and expose capital, which ameliorates negative socio-economic conditions that fuel internal conflict; produces landowners who are less inclined to engage in illegal behavior because they risk forfeiture; and the records associated with formal property provide a powerful forensic tool with which to support peaceful conflict resolution processes, restitution programs, and bring violators of basic human rights to justice.
This article develops a conflict approach for studying the field of international criminal law. Focusing on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, we draw on Burawoy's (2003) elaboration of reflexive ethnography to determine how external political changes affect the work of an international legal institution. We explore how political frameworks of legal liberalism, ad hoc legalism, and legal exceptionalism result in internal office, organizational, and normative changes within this Tribunal, thereby linking national political transformations with the construction of the global. Drawing on rolling field interviews and a two-wave panel survey, we conclude that the claims to universals that underwrite transnational legal fields cannot be understood solely through an analysis of external political forces, but must be combined with attention to how these are refracted through internal organizational change within international institutions.
On the open landscape of Israel and the West Bank, where pine and cypress forests grow alongside olive groves, tree planting has become symbolic of conflicting claims to the land. Palestinians cultivate olive groves as a vital agricultural resource, while the Israeli government has made restoration of mixed-growth forests a national priority. Although both sides plant for a variety of purposes, both have used tree planting to assert their presence on—and claim to—disputed land. Shaul Ephraim Cohen has conducted an unprecedented study of planting in the region and the control of land it signifies. In The Politics of Planting, he provides historical background and examines both the politics behind Israel's afforestation policy its consequences. Focusing on the open land surrounding Jerusalem and four Palestinian villages outside the city, this study offers a new perspective on the conflict over land use in a region where planting has become a political tool. For the valuable data it presents—collected from field work, previously unpublished documents, and interviews—and the insight it provides into this political struggle, this will be an important book for anyone studying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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