To refer to Palestinian refugee camps as states-of-exception, appropriating the paradigm of Giorgio Agamben, is definitely tempting. Agamben argues that in times of crisis, individual rights of citizens are diminished and entire categories of people kept outside the political system.
Nevertheless, there are flaws in applying Agamben’s perspective on Palestinian camps. It acquits the camp residents from the autonomy over their own political agency. Historically, in Lebanon, camp residents experienced an almost limitless access to free political organization. But this access has not been converted into the development of representative, legitimate political structures.