Resistance is a structure not an event



Publication Details

Svirsky, M. G. (2017). Resistance is a structure not an event. Settler Colonial Studies, 7 (1), 19-39.


By looking into the case of Palestine, this article has two goals: the first is to provide philosophical scaffolding to the theme of resistance in settler colonial theory, and in so doing to argue that resistance need to be regarded as part of the structure in settler social formations. Secondly, the article rereads 'the logic of elimination' upon which settler colonialism is founded in order to suggest that as a settler colonial project Zionism historically evolved via a process of 'double elimination' - of indigenous life and of shared life. The aim of this article is then to fold the second conclusion into the first: alongside with indigenous resistance, shared life need be conceived as part of the structural struggle against settler colonialism. The article has three sections. In the first section, the state of the art in the field of settler colonial studies is presented in order to identify strengths and weaknesses. The second section offers a conceptualisation of the idea/practice of resistance by drawing from Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari's works. The last section reframes the logic of elimination concluding with a political vision that expands on the notion of resistance.

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