Gregory on Benhabib on Butler.

geographical imaginations

BUTLER Parting waysWhen I first became interested in critical theory (an age ago now), I found Seyla Benhabib‘s work – and especially Critique, norm and utopia (1986) – wonderfully clear and immensely helpful. She has recently published an extended review essay on Judith Butler‘s Parting Ways: Jewishness and the critique of Zionism in Constellations (2012) (open access – at least for now).  It’s a characteristically careful, lapidary essay, which works towards this climactic conclusion:

Is there any hope then? I believe there is but not through boycott, divestment and sanctions movements, which are based upon a false analogy between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the South African struggle, but through continued, sustained, and deep engagement with all countries in the region. Even if the Arab Spring in Egypt brought into power a conservative Islamist party, building and drawing upon its years of resistance to the Mubarrak regime, it was a new…

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