Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins, Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019).
Waste Siege’s unusual focus on the mundane stuff and practices of knowing and managing waste in Palestine, where other dynamics and objects tend to capture popular attention, was sparked by a moment when waste and infrastructure came into special focus. In the days following Hamas’s 2006 landslide victory in the Palestinian legislative elections, many North American and European commentators argued that Palestinians had voted for Hamas because of the movement’s commitment to providing services and infrastructures like trash collection where Fatah had failed to do so. They argued that infrastructure was a tool for popular mobilization because it was an object around which public expectations of government revolved. The argument that bad or missing infrastructures determined voting patterns was based on the assumption that waste and its infrastructures have a stable set of meanings.