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School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Sharri Plonski, PhD (SOAS/University of London)


Senior Lecturer in International Politics

Telephone: 020 7882 2850
Room Number: ArtsOne, Room 2.21A
Twitter: @SharriPlonski
Office Hours: Monday 14:30-15:30 and Thursday 15:30-16:30 (in person or online). No need to book if in person but send an email if you need to meet online.


Sharri Plonski is a senior lecturer in international politics at Queen Mary University of London. She is a product of multiple transgenerational colonialities that link the practices of conquest, empire, settlement and migration in Eastern Europe, Palestine, Canada and the UK. Her work, which is concerned with settler colonial relations, anti-colonial struggles, border dynamics and material infrastructures, is primarily anchored in the case of Palestine/Israel and its regional and global relations. She is currently working on a project that investigates the colonial and capitalist entanglements of Israel’s trade and transit infrastructures (as PI on an ESRC New Investigator Grant) and the materials that undergird Israel’s ‘normalisation’ project. She recently made a podcast about the material crimes of a ‘train to nowhere’ and realised there are better ways to tell stories than academic articles. 


On Research Leave in Term One, in Term Two I am teaching “Doing Qualitative Methods” (Pol270) [which desperately needs a new title to better describe the course – which is on knowledge cultivation, power and silences in the archive, and the kinds of methods that encourage students to think against the grain of those silences, as they learn new ways to engage in a new social imaginary; if past students want to offer ideas for new names, I’m all for it]


Research Interests:

  • Colonial/Imperial and racial capitalist Infrastructures (specifically how they shape the Middle East)
  • Liberation, carcerality and the political terrain of Palestine/Israel
  • Anti-colonial and decolonial movements in settler colonial contexts

Examples of research funding:

2019-2023: ESRC New Investigator Grant: “From Walls to Corridors: The Global Logistics of Israel's HaEmek Railway”, £296,000.

2022: IHSS IMPACT Fund: “Material Crimes Podcast Project”, £2200

2020: ECR Workshop Grant, IHSS: “Connected and Enduring Colonialisms: Exploring the Local and the Global”, £1500

2016-2017: Council for British Research in the Levant Pilot Project Grant (CBRL), “Resistance in Borderlands: the Ambiguities of De-colonisation in Israel/Palestine” £4070

2010-2014: Social Sciencies and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Award, in support of my PhD project, “Ordinary and Extraordinary Resistances: The Struggle for Land and Space by Palestinian Citizens of Israel”, $80,000

2017 – Present: Course Convener/Trainer, “Understanding Israel, Palestine and the Middle East Peace Process”, London Middle East Institute/SOAS: one-day academic trainings for UK Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO), London (courses to be delivered three times/year until 2020).

2016 – 2018: Lead Co-editor and Project Coordinator, Accord Insight 4: “Borderlands and Peacebuilding: a view from the margins”, Conciliation Resources, 2018:

2012 – 2015 : Israeli Strategic Forum Project Coordinator, Middle East Programme Team, Oxford Research Group, London/Jerusalem

2007 – 2010: Director of Resource Development (for Legal Advocacy on Palestinian Human Rights), HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, East Jerusalem



2018 Palestinian Citizens of Israel: Power, Resistance and the Struggle for Space. London: SOAS Palestine Studies Book Series, I.B. Tauris

Articles and working papers

The Mobile and Carceral Logics of Haifa Port. Politics, Online First (March, 2022):

(with Nivi Manchanda), Between Mobile Corridors and Immobilising Borders: race, fixity, and friction in Israel/Palestine. International Affairs, Volume 98, Issue 1, January 2022, Pages 183–207

Disrupting the Flow of Normalisation: Confronting the Infrastructural Terrain of Gulf-Israel Relations. Salvage 10 (October, 2021). Available at:

(with Nivi Manchanda) Intervention – A Dialogue Between the Border and the Corridor (in Times of Corona): Conversations on Method. AntipodeOnline, 28 June, 2020. Available at:

2019 (with Hawari, Y. and Weizman, E.) “Knowing Israel through Palestine: Knowledge Production as Anti-Colonial Praxis”.  Settler Colonial Studies (Special issue: “Settlers and Citizens: A Critical View of Israeli Society”), eds Y. Hawari, S. Plonski and E. Weizman

2018 “Material Footprints: The Struggle for Borders by Bedouin-Palestinians in Israel”, Antipode, 50(5).

2018 (with Walter, O.) “Conflict and Peace in the Borderlands”. In: Accord Insight 4: “Borderlands and Peacebuilding: a view from the margins”, Conciliation Resources.

2017 (with Meehan, P.) ‘Brokering the Margins: A Review of Concepts and Methods’, Working Paper for Borderlands, Brokers and Peacebuilding in Nepal and Sri Lanka

2017 (with Meehan, P.) ‘Border Lexicons’, Working Paper for Borderlands, Brokers and Peacebuilding in Nepal and Sri Lanka


Current PhD Students

Hannah Owens (“Living (in)Security in Jordan)

Florence Wolstenholme (Tracing the Development and Effect of Offshore Secrecy Jurisdictions in the UAE)

Chana Rose Rabinovitz (Cultivating a Blueprint of Anti-Zionist/Non-Zionist Transnational Movements)

I would be happy to supervise projects on:

In terms of themes: the politics of infrastructure, colonial/imperial pasts, presents and futures, racial capitalism, anti/de-colonial movements

In terms of regional focus: Palestine, the Israeli state, and the wider Middle East region

Public Engagement

Co-Director/Co-Producer, Surviving Society Presents: Material Crimes (the Podcast),  

Co-editor, Citizenship and/as Settler Colonialism: Towards Decolonial Horizons [Special Issue, Citizenship Studies]

Co-Convener, Colonial, Postcolonial, Decolonial (CPD) Working Group, BISA.

Trustee, British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES)

Co-Chair Solidarity Committee, Global Development Section/ISA

2017 – present Research Associate, London Middle East Institute, SOAS (University of London).

2016 – present Co-Editor, Accord Insight 4: “Bringing in the Margins: Peacebuilding and Transition in the Borderlands”, Conciliation Resources, London, UK

2017 – present Organising Committee, “The Border Lab”, SOAS, London

2017 – present Co-Chair, ISA Sponsored Working Group: “Unsettling’ International Relations: Knowing and Unknowing the Settler   Colonial Present”, ISA, San Francisco 

2016 – present Co-editor, “Settlers and Citizens: A Critical View of Israeli Society” [Special Issue], Settler Colonial Studies, forthcoming 2018

2016 – present Co-Coordinator, “Decolonising Knowledge Production in Settler Colonial States” Workshop and Research Laboratory, multiple locations, including: Palestine (CBRL, 2017), London (LSE, 2017), Canada (University of Toronto, 2019).

2016 – present Advisory Project Director, All 1 Collective, UK, Multiple Locations

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