This article sheds new light on the political history of legal-constitutional developments in Palestine in the fourteen years following the Oslo Accord. It examines the relationship between the unfolding social, political, and economic context in which they arose, on the one hand, and PA law-making and legal praxis, on the other. Focusing on the evolution of the Palestinian Basic Law and constitutional regime, the author argues that the “Palestinian constitutional process” was a major “battlefield” for the actors of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Thus, changes in the actors' political strategies at various junctures were mirrored in legal-constitutional forms, specifically in the political structure of the PA. In that sense, the constitutional order can be understood as a sort of “metaphoric representation” of Palestinian politics, reflecting, among other things, the colonial nature of the Palestinian context that the Oslo process only rearticulated. This perspective is also essential for understanding the evolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict after Oslo.
A Constitution for a Nonstate: The False Hopes of Palestinian Constitutionalism, 1988–2007
Emilio Dabed is a lawyer and Ph.D. in political science who specializes in constitutional matters and whose research focuses on the constitutional process in Palestine. He is currently teaching in the Human Rights Program at Al-Quds University/Bard College Jerusalem and Abu Dis. His research aims to shed light on the role of juridical phenomena in sociological and anthropological questions.
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Emilio Dabed; A Constitution for a Nonstate: The False Hopes of Palestinian Constitutionalism, 1988–2007. Journal of Palestine Studies 1 February 2014; 43 (2): 42–58. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jps.2014.43.2.42
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