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Faculty Cafe - Ronnie Olesker

4/13/18 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Sykes Common Room

Faculty Café: Ronnie Olesker, Government

 “Legitimacy as a Security Issue: Israel, BDS, and the Battle for Legitimacy ”

Friday, April 13th
4:00pm - 5:30pm
Sykes Common Room

What does it mean to be legitimate? Can threats to legitimacy of a state be seen as security threats? Is legitimacy a national security issue and if so, how should states address the threats to legitimacy? My research explores the concept of legitimacy in securitization studies—a sub-field of international relations that explores how issues are constructed as threats. My work focuses on Israel’s construction of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) as an existential national security threat on par, for example, with an Iranian nuclear bomb. 

I ask what is the meaning of legitimacy in the securitization process and whether legitimacy can and should be seen as a security issue by exploring Israel’s response to the BDS movement, which seeks to delegitimize the state’s Jewish identity, its treatment of its own Palestinian minority population, and its occupation of Palestine.  

These Friday events provide an opportunity to celebrate faculty members’ ongoing research and scholarly accomplishments. They provide time to relax at the end of the work week, catch up with old friends, and meet new people from across campus as you enjoy wine, beer, other drinks, and snacks. The Cafés and Book Publication Celebrations are a place for faculty to share their scholarly projects, in language accessible to the broad campus community, in the hopes that it will inspire lively discussion, helpful feedback and criticism, and possibly interest in future collaborations across disciplines. All faculty and staff are welcome at these events, and we encourage you to make them a regular part of your schedule. The Faculty Development Committee and the Academic Dean’s Office plan the Cafés and Book Celebrations, and the Center for Teaching and Learning and Corporate and Foundations Relations provide financial support.