Spacing Debt

Spacing Debt

Obligations, Violence, and Endurance in Ramallah, Palestine

by Christopher Harker

Published by: Duke University Press Books

204 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 10 illustrations

  • ISBN: 9781478010968
  • Published: December 2020


In Spacing Debt Christopher Harker demonstrates that financial debt is as much a spatial phenomenon as it is a temporal and social one. Harker traces the emergence of debt in Ramallah after 2008 as part of the financialization of the Palestinian economy under Israeli settler colonialism. Debt contributes to processes through which Palestinians are kept economically unstable and subordinate. He draws extensively on residents' accounts of living with the explosion of personal debt to highlight the entanglement of consumer credit with other obligatory relations among family, friends, and institutions. Harker offers a new geographical theorization of debt, showing how debt affects urban space, including the movement of bodies through the city, localized economies, and the political violence associated with occupation. Bringing cultural and urban imaginaries into conversation with monetized debt, Harker shows how debt itself becomes a slow violence embedded into the everyday lives of citizens. However, debt is also a means through which Palestinians practice endurance, creatively adapting to life under occupation.