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State of the //ART// of the State : a political economy of assisted reproduction in Palestine/Israel

Sigrid Vertommen UGent (2017)
abstract
This dissertation aims to unravel Israel’s pronatalist fertility regime as co-produced by ongoing histories of Zionist settler colonialism and biocapitalism. Rather than adhering to dominant culturalist viewpoints on (assisted) reproduction in Israel, which focus on the particularity of fertility in Jewish culture, law and religion, State of the //ART// of the State advances a gendered political economy perspective. This transdisciplinary perspective looks into the sociomaterialities of ART in Israel/Palestine at the intrasecting logic of biocapital accumulation and demographic elimination, by bringing to the fore its mutually constituting power hierarchies of class, race, gender, biology, sociality, life and death. Taking reproductive technologies and practices such as IVF, Pergonal, egg donation and transnational surrogacy as case studies that have been studied through qualitative fieldwork in Israel/Palestine, I have unpacked the gendered political economy approach by consistently looking into four key themes: 1) settler colonial demographies, 2) ART’s life and death function, 3) biocapitalism’s underlying property –and labour regimes and 4) the (re)productive role of women and their bodies. Using ARTs as a looking glass to understand how Zionism transformed from a European ideology into a practice in Palestine/Israel, has exposed the intimate ways through which reproductive technologies and practices have co-produced a settler colonial state, nationalised bodies, racialised populations and ‘pioneering’ bio-markets, ánd vice versa. I concluded that Zionism’s demographic arithmetic directed at manufacturing a Jewish majority at the expense of Palestinian life, has enabled the development of an innovative reproductive-embryonic industry, in which women and their bodies play a crucial role, both as reproducers of the settler nation and as (unrecognised) producers of biovalue. Although the sphere of biological and social reproduction constitutes a powerful perspective to understand Zionist policies of demographic control, elimination and biocapital accumulation, it is also a fertile starting point to explore, imagine and construct anticolonial political horizons.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
promoter
UGent
organization
year
type
dissertation
publication status
published
subject
keyword
assisted reproductive technologies, zionism, biocapitalism, settler colonialism, women (re) productivity, biopolitics, necropolitics, demography
pages
XIV, 305 pages
publisher
Ghent University. Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
place of publication
Ghent, Belgium
defense location
Gent : Het Pand (zaal rector Blancquaert)
defense date
2017-03-02 16:00
ISBN
9789461975003
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
D1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
8512632
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-8512632
date created
2017-03-06 10:39:30
date last changed
2017-03-07 08:07:34
@phdthesis{8512632,
  abstract     = {This dissertation aims to unravel Israel{\textquoteright}s pronatalist fertility regime as co-produced by ongoing histories of Zionist settler colonialism and biocapitalism. Rather than adhering to dominant culturalist viewpoints on (assisted) reproduction in Israel, which focus on the particularity of fertility in Jewish culture, law and religion, State of the //ART// of the State advances a gendered political economy perspective. This transdisciplinary perspective looks into the sociomaterialities of ART in Israel/Palestine at the intrasecting logic of biocapital accumulation and demographic elimination, by bringing to the fore its mutually constituting power hierarchies of class, race, gender, biology, sociality, life and death.
Taking reproductive technologies and practices such as IVF, Pergonal, egg donation and transnational surrogacy as case studies that have been studied through qualitative fieldwork in Israel/Palestine, I have unpacked the gendered political economy approach by consistently looking into four key themes: 1) settler colonial demographies, 2) ART{\textquoteright}s life and death function, 3) biocapitalism{\textquoteright}s underlying property --and labour regimes and 4) the (re)productive role of women and their bodies. Using ARTs as a looking glass to understand how Zionism transformed from a European ideology into a practice in Palestine/Israel, has exposed the intimate ways through which reproductive technologies and practices have co-produced a settler colonial state, nationalised bodies, racialised populations and {\textquoteleft}pioneering{\textquoteright} bio-markets, {\'a}nd vice versa.
I concluded that Zionism{\textquoteright}s demographic arithmetic directed at manufacturing a Jewish majority at the expense of Palestinian life, has enabled the development of an innovative reproductive-embryonic industry, in which women and their bodies play a crucial role, both as reproducers of the settler nation and as (unrecognised) producers of biovalue. Although the sphere of biological and social reproduction constitutes a powerful perspective to understand Zionist policies of demographic control, elimination and biocapital accumulation, it is also a fertile starting point to explore, imagine and construct anticolonial political horizons.},
  author       = {Vertommen, Sigrid},
  isbn         = {9789461975003},
  keyword      = {assisted reproductive technologies,zionism,biocapitalism,settler colonialism,women (re) productivity,biopolitics,necropolitics,demography},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {XIV, 305},
  publisher    = {Ghent University. Faculty of Political and Social Sciences},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  title        = {State of the //ART// of the State : a political economy of assisted reproduction in Palestine/Israel},
  year         = {2017},
}

Chicago
Vertommen, Sigrid. 2017. “State of the //ART// of the State : a Political Economy of Assisted Reproduction in Palestine/Israel”. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Political and Social Sciences.
APA
Vertommen, S. (2017). State of the //ART// of the State : a political economy of assisted reproduction in Palestine/Israel. Ghent University. Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Ghent, Belgium.
Vancouver
1.
Vertommen S. State of the //ART// of the State : a political economy of assisted reproduction in Palestine/Israel. [Ghent, Belgium]: Ghent University. Faculty of Political and Social Sciences; 2017.
MLA
Vertommen, Sigrid. “State of the //ART// of the State : a Political Economy of Assisted Reproduction in Palestine/Israel.” 2017 : n. pag. Print.