Mis-Stating Palestine: A critical analysis of Fayyadism and the Palestinian Authority’s agenda 2007-11
Leech, Philip John Michael
Date: 1 October 2012
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies
Abstract: Mis-Stating Palestine This thesis presents a diagnostic of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) post-2007 political and economic agenda from bottom-up seeking to analyse the impact on Palestinian society. It focuses on the two key questions: (a) How did Palestinians in the West Bank experience the political and economic ...
Abstract: Mis-Stating Palestine This thesis presents a diagnostic of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) post-2007 political and economic agenda from bottom-up seeking to analyse the impact on Palestinian society. It focuses on the two key questions: (a) How did Palestinians in the West Bank experience the political and economic effects of the PA’s agenda during the period 2007-2011? (b) what were the consequences of the PA’s agenda (2007-11) for the way in which power is manifest and distributed within the West Bank? In addressing these questions, in the first instance this thesis makes a clear distinction between the impact of the PA’s post-2007 agenda in a material sense and the rhetorical narrative that accompanied it. Second, it presents the results of the research that was undertaken in a cross-section of Palestinian society, which used the different conditions within the West Bank as a result of geographical fragmentation as a key variable. (This included research in four different sites in the Nablus region; the city centre, Balata refugee camp and two villages in areas ‘B’ and ‘C’.) It was found that, while there was some evidence of popular consent towards the PA’s agenda, this is tied more closely to the PA returning in its role as a provider of basic services than to genuine belief in the legitimacy of the PA’s agenda. Third, it analyses the impact of these agenda on the power dynamics in the contemporary West Bank and concludes that, when judged against a meaningful standard of progress – such as concrete evidence of increasing Palestinian control over their own political and economic activity – the PA’s agenda has been deleterious. In particular, the impact of the post-2007 agenda has replicated many of the flaws that were present during the Oslo period (1993-99), though it has also extended some of those defects further and added new elements to the list of Palestinian concerns. The core contribution of this thesis is to challenge the prevalence of top-down external analyses and to lay the groundwork for further bottom-up analyses of the Palestinian political and economic agency in the future.
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