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Current FlowThe Electrification of Palestine$
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Ronen Shamir

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804787062

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804787062.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Current Flow

Ronen Shamir

Stanford University Press

This chapter surveys some studies of electrification and presents the novelty of the present study: first, attention to a colonial setting rather than a focus on a core industrialized country and, second, a theoretical shift from treating electrification as a politically-driven process to a consideration of how electrification enacts politics. Guided by principles of actor-network-theory, this chapter argues that it was not some ethno-political forces behind electrification that best account for its consequences. Against the background of studies that assume self-evidently coherent entities (Arabs and Jews) that developed along distinct and separate paths, this chapter outlines the proposition that group formation is a process ’in action’: the process of electrification accounts for the ways in which a seemingly technical process actively shapes and contributes to the assembly of such ethno-national formations.

Keywords:   actor-network-theory, Zionism, ethno-nationalism, colonialism, electric-grid, Mandatory Palestine, techo-politics

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