New Article: Fierke, Memories of the Holocaust/al Nakba and a Global Ethic of Care

Fierke, K. M. “Who is My Neighbour? Memories of the Holocaust/al Nakba and a Global Ethic of Care.” European Journal of International Relations 20.3 (2014): 787-809.





The main question raised by the notion of a global ethic of care is one of how care is to be extended into ever larger spaces. Is it possible to go beyond conventions that attempt to limit harm to extending care, even to those who pose a potential threat of harm? The article begins with an analysis of one prominent, but potentially problematic, argument by Avishai Margalit about why the notion of a specifically global ethic of care is difficult in practice. Like the feminist arguments for a global ethic of care, Margait highlights the importance of the particular or specific other, but also highlights the problem that care for the specific other – and identification of that other – is exclusionary. While his discussion of the potential for a global memory, based on the Holocaust, should provide a way out of the problem, the case of Israel/Palestine reveals a paradox in so far as the memory of the Holocaust has tended to block out the memory of Al Nakba (the catastrophe), the more particularized memory of Palestinians. The second section moves to an exploration of memory, identity and care as they relate to Israel/Palestine. Having revealed the paradox, the third section explores the feminist argument about an ethic of care in more depth, asking to what extent it provides a way out of the paradox.