Contested heritage in Susya: Asymmetry and possibilities for peace

Elly Harrowell, Patricia Sellick

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Discussions about the role of heritage sites and practices in provoking conflict – or conversely, as opportunities for building peace – have gained new impetus in recent years. In this context, we discuss a site of contested heritage in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Susya national heritage site. The article first highlights the way this contestation relates to wider conflict over territory (as well as political, economic and cultural resources). Using oral histories gathered by Palestinian youth researchers, it then considers how heritage narratives reinforce or challenge competing claims to ‘belong’ in Susya against a backdrop of protracted conflict. Finally, the article asks whether such contested heritage sites could play a role as resources for peace by adopting a conflict transformational paradigm, and what the barriers are to this approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-Press)
Number of pages24
JournalCooperation and Conflict
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative
Commons Attribution License (,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
provided the original work is properly cited.


  • peacebuilding
  • heritage
  • agonism
  • Palestine


  • Peace and Conflict


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