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Checkpoint study earned distinction for GEO PhD student

Published on
December 30, 2019

Alexandra Rijke successfully defended her PhD thesis on 15 November 2019 and graduated cum laude with ‘The Land of the Checkpoints, A study of the daily geographies of checkpoints in the Occupied Palestinian Territories’.

Alexandra's research was supervised by Prof. dr. Claudio Minca (promotor) and dr. Meghann Ormond (co-promotor). Alexandra will continue her career as a lecturer at the Cultural Geography (GEO) group.

Summary of thesis:

When the Israeli state occupied the Palestinian Territories in 1967, it gradually created restrictions on Palestinian movement. At first easily circumvented by Palestinians, these restrictions have become an intricate multi-layered ‘architecture of occupation’ in the last 50 years. This architecture of
occupation includes the Wall, illegal Jewish settlements and an elaborate checkpoint system. As a consequence, many Palestinians and Jewish settlers have to pass through Israeli checkpoints on a daily basis. Their experiences are analysed
in this thesis. The workings of the checkpoints - its rules and regulations, managers and machines – are studied, as well as the diverse ways in which Palestinian commuters engage with the checkpoints. It is concluded that these checkpoints produce arbitrary, mutable and selective regimes of mobility, and
that they should be seen as the outcome of the endless interplay between its managers, commuters, rules, material devices and procedures of control.

Link to the thesis.


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