Duke, Shaul A. (2017) The Stratifying Trade Union: The Case of Ethnic and Gender Inequality in Palestine, 1920-1948
Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke. ISBN: 978-3-319-65099-9
Abstract▼ This book examines a basic assumption behind most of the critical,
progressive thinking of our times: that trade unions are necessarily tools for solidarity and are integral to a more equal and just society. Shaul A. Duke
assesses the trade union's potential to promote equality in ethnically and racially diverse societies by offering an in-depth look into how unions operate;
how power flows between union levels; where inequality originates; and the role of union members in union dynamics. By analyzing the trade union's effects on
working-class inequality in Palestine during 1920-1948, this book shifts the conventional emphasis on worker-employer relations to that of worker-worker relations.
It offers a conceptualization of how strong union members directed union policy from below in order to eliminate competition, often by excluding marginalized groups.
The comparison of the union experiences of Palestinian-Arabs, Jewish-Yemeni immigrants, and Jewish women offers a fresh look into the labor history of Palestine and
its social stratification.
Duke, Shaul A. (Forthcoming) "The Dynamics of Imposed Transparency and Its Role in Deep Social Conflicts", in Trust and Transparency in an Age of Surveillance
edited by P. Laidler and L. A. Viola. London: Routledge.
Abstract▼ The term transparency lives a double life. On the one hand it has the clean-cut
image – of a universal standard of proper forms of operation in a free society – that seems to be accepted by most; yet on the other hand it has a rougher image of a power
move that tries to expose its target to scrutiny and undermine some of its actions. My task in this paper is to differentiate between the two and to analyse the dynamics of
the much less studied ‘imposed transparency’ strand, which comes into play in cases in which a pre-existing social conflict is present, which in turn dictates a low-level
of trust between the relevant parties to begin with. In such situation, when the parties do not trust each other, transparency is almost always forced by one party on the
other (via surveillance) and almost never willingly adopted by either party. Among other things I am interested in: the reasons why individuals/organizations turn to imposed
transparency as a political strategy, the ways imposed transparency is carried out and the identity of those who tend to use it, the ways the targets of imposed transparency
react to it, the degree these targets tend to accept imposed transparency or resist and evade it, the dynamics that mutual attempts of imposed transparency create, the role that
power asymmetries and social domination have in such attempts, and the effectiveness of forcing transparency in order to achieve one’s goal.
Duke, Shaul A. (2019) "Database-Driven Empowering Surveillance: Definition and Assessment of Effectiveness", Surveillance & Society
17(3/4): 499-516, doi:
Abstract▼ This article offers a definition and explores the dynamics of database-driven
empowering surveillance. That is, it focuses on surveillance from below that is directed at powerful institutions or groups for the benefit of the marginalized, using a
database as its main facilitator. By examining six Israeli NGOs working for the protection of Palestinian human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, I am able
to break down the database-driven empowering surveillance process of amassing and disseminating information, to identify its mechanism of action, and to highlight its
limiting and enabling factors. This scrutiny in turn helps shed light on the capacity of NGOs to effectively monitor powerful institutions: to surveil from below in spaces
with pervasive top-down surveillance; to surveil in territories under the control of the surveillance subjects; to impact policy on polarized issues; and to enforce human
rights. Empowering surveillance emerges from this article as a process that requires those carrying it out to maintain a delicate balance between using a forceful mechanism
against those monitored, and being highly dependent on third parties with coercive power – often from the same organizations being monitored – to exact the desired deterring
Duke, Shaul A. (2018) "Classical Sociology Meets Technology: Doing Independent Large-Scope Research", Current Sociology
66(7): 977-994, doi:
Abstract▼ During his short-lived but highly productive career, C. Wright Mills put
forth a vision for how sociology should be done. Two central directives can be gleaned from this vision: to tackle macro social theory issues by doing large-scope
research; to achieve scholastic independence by doing non-administrative research. One might ask if Mills is sending scholars on a mission impossible. Analysing these
two concepts in terms of both their merits and applicability, the present article indeed identifies a conflict between them, highlighted by what emerges as Mills' own
failure to realize this vision. After deeming these directives worthy goals, the article seeks to determine whether technological advances in the social sciences have
the potential to allow both directives to be fulfilled at once. What is shown is that while the technology is ripe to enable autonomous big studies, its implementation
by institutional and individual agents severely impedes the vision's realization.
Duke, Shaul A. (2016) "Repressive-Responsiveness and Its Applicability to Ethnic Majoritarian Rule: A Historical Case Study",
Abstract▼ Contemporary sociology seems to have extreme reservations about the
significance of vote-motivated responsiveness – ordinary people’s reputed influence on policy in democratic settings – both in general and especially when it comes to the
masses’ role in endorsing policies with repressive outcomes. Those texts that do acknowledge the masses’ role in policymaking deal almost exclusively with the struggle of
the lower-classes for emancipation/equalization, and rarely delve into broad social groups’ contribution to repressive policies. The repressive-responsiveness hypothesis
suggested here is used to reexamine the case of internal Jewish ethnic politics in Mandatory Palestine. I argue that ethnic politics of this period can only be thoroughly
understood once responsiveness to the majoritarian Ashkenazi workers’ interests is incorporated, thus suggesting that the use of democratic procedures was central to
Mizrahi marginalization in that period.
papers under review / in preparation
The Social Cost of Rapid Development of AI in the Healthcare Diagnosis Sector.
Nuanced Risk in Surveillance Technologies’ Applications: A Comparative Look.
Accountability in the Writing of C. Wright Mills: The Omission of Non-Elites' Role in the Creation and Perpetuation of Detrimental Policy.