This thesis applies securitisation theory to the Israeli-Palestinian case with a particular focus
on the potential for desecuritisation processes arising from Israeli-Palestinian
cooperation/coexistence efforts in peace education and water management. It aims to apply
securitisation theory in general and the under-employed concept of desecuritisation in
particular, to explore the limits and prospects as a theoretical framework.
Concepts, arguments and assumptions associated with the securitisation theory of the
Copenhagen School are considered. In this regard, the thesis makes a contribution to Security
Studies through its application of securitisation theory and sheds light on a complex conflict
situation. Based on an analytical framework that integrates the concept of desecuritisation
with the concepts of peace-building and peace-making, the thesis pays attention to
desecuritisation moves involving Israeli and Palestinian civil societies through peace
education and water management. The thesis contributes to debates over the problems and
prospects of reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, so making a significant
empirical and theoretical contribution in the development of the concept of desecuritisation as
a framework for analysing conflict resolution.
The thesis develops an analytical framework that combines political level peace-making with
civil society actors' peace-building efforts. These are seen as potential processes of
desecuritisation; indeed, for desecuritisation to occur. The thesis argues that a combination of
moves at both the political and societal levels is required. By contrast to securitisation
processes which are mainly initiated by political andlor military elites with the moral consent
of society (or 'audience' in Copenhagen School terms), processes of desecuritisation,
especially in cases of protracted conflicts, go beyond the level of elites to involve society in
cultural and structural peace-building programmes. Israeli-Palestinian peace education and
water management cases are employed to illustrate this argument.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.