By: Rob Geist Pinfold
(Oxford University Press, 2023 | HB | 9780197658857 | £54.00 | $83.00| Ebook available, 344 pages)
Understanding Territorial Withdrawal: Israeli Occupations and Edits
In Understanding Territorial Withdrawal, Rob Geist Pinfold addresses this research gap. He focuses primarily on Israel, a unique but important milieu that offers pertinent lessons for other states facing similar policy problems. As Pinfold demonstrates, occupiers choose to either perpetuate or abandon an occupation because of three factors: their relations with the occupied, interactions with third parties, and the occupier’s domestic politics. He argues that each withdrawal is the culmination of a gradual process of policy re-assessment. Critically, it is a combination of local violence and international pressure that causes popular and elite opinion within the occupier to endorse an exit, rather than perpetuate the status quo. To affirm this pattern, Pinfold constructs a generalizable framework for understanding territorial withdrawal. He then applies this framework to multiple case studies, which include: Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula between 1974-1982; its “unilateral” withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000; and its “unilateral disengagement” from the Gaza Strip in 2005, as well as Israel’s non-withdrawals from the West Bank and Golan Heights. Overall, Understanding Territorial Withdrawal delineates commonalities that manifested in each exit yet were absent in the cases of occupation without exit.
Rob Geist Pinfold is a Research Fellow at the Peace Research Center Prague and a Lecturer in International Peace and Security at Durham University’s School of Government and International Affairs