Lori A. AllenJun 20, 2022
A History of False Hope
Investigative Commissions in Palestine
Stanford University Press 2020
Lori Allen’s A History of False Hope: Investigative Commissions in Palestine (Stanford UP, 2020) is a deep engagement with Palestinian political history through an examination of international commissions. Over twenty commissions established over the last century have investigated political violence and human rights violations in the context of Palestine and Palestinians’ rights, yet there has also been very little material change resulting from these commissions.
These commissions, Allen argues, operate as technologies of liberal global governance and do not bring justice to Palestinians. However—as her archival and ethnographic research shows, in a deep exploration of three such commissions—Palestinians continue to demand rights and recognition, even in the face of limited outcomes. A History of False Hope therefore serves as an exploration of the characters, motivations, and politics involved in Palestinians’ efforts to assert their rights—and colonial authorities’ and international organizations’ responses to Palestinians’ fights to for their rights—within the framework of international human rights.
Rine Vieth is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at McGill University, where they research the how UK asylum tribunals consider claims on the basis of belief. Their public writing focuses on issues of migration governance, as well as how inaccessibility and transphobia can shape the practice of anthropological research.