Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Palestinian Refugees: Mythology, Identity, and the Search for Peace

Robert Bowker
Palestinian Refugees: Mythology, Identity, and the Search for Peace
ISBN: 978-1-58826-202-8
2003/267 pages/LC: 2003046719
"Few works on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have focused on the refugees themselves. This well-researched study is a welcome addition to the canon.... Highly recommended."—Choice


Encompassing history, politics, and political culture, Robert Bowker explores the impact of Palestinian refugee mythologies on the potential settlement of the conflict with Israel.

Bowker examines the nature of Palestinian refugee mythologies and their social and political underpinnings. He also discusses how these mythologies—and the manipulation of them—are key elements in the complex relationship between the refugees and United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

A fair and balanced treatment of a complex subject, Palestinian Refugees grapples with fundamental issues of Palestinian identity in the search for peace, as well as core questions about the role and identity of international organizations in the Middle East.


Robert Bowker is Australian ambassador to Egypt. Dr. Bowker is author of Beyond Peace: The Search for Security in the Middle East.


  • Introduction.
  • Political Mythologies in the Palestinian Context.
  • Political Culture.
  • Refugees.
  • Refugee Memories and Mythologies.
  • UNRWA's Place in Refugee Mythologies.
  • Mythologies and the Palestinian Leadership in the Oslo Period.
  • Refugee Political Mythologies in Action: The 1997 UNRWA Crisis.
  • Mythologies, Identity, and the Future.

A related title: The Palestinians: In Search of a Just Peace by Cheryl A. Rubenberg.