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A Forgotten Mobilization: The Tunisian Volunteer Movement for Palestine in 1948

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This paper goes beyond the ideological views of nationalist leaders who positioned the departure of Tunisian volunteer soldiers for Palestine in 1948 in the framework of national-liberation history, and it analyzes the volunteer movement to provide a picture of the internal mechanisms of popular mobilization. This was a dual movement, of spontaneous participation and organized recruitment by local committees. The volunteers were ideologically heterogeneous, some having had no previous political career. The decentralized nature of the mobilization and the regionally differing socioeconomic compositions of the volunteers suggest that regionally diverse trajectories of nationalism movements coexisted in Tunisia. Understanding this volunteer movement from the bottom up, focusing particularly on the socioeconomic conditions that made the mobilization possible, can help us understand the dynamism of nationalism as a social movement.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Developing Economies Chiba shoko_watanabe@ide.go.jp

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/content/journals/10.1163/15685209-12341428
2017-05-12
2018-05-23

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