The occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) are a major recipient of global aid flows, ostensibly aimed at improving development outcomes for the Palestinian population. This article presents a critical analysis of the ways that development is being conceived and practiced by major actors in the oPt. By analyzing different conceptions of power, the article examines how dominant approaches to development hide the ongoing reality of Israeli settler colonialism by dehistoricizing Zionism and its project; incorporating the structures of Israeli occupation into official Palestinian development strategy; and promoting an economic perspective that views development as an objective and disinterested process operating above (and outside) power relations. After considering some of the ramifications of current approaches to development, the article concludes with brief remarks on how this critique can help to reframe and articulate an alternative strategy.
Development as Struggle: Confronting the Reality of Power in Palestine
Adam Hanieh is a senior lecturer in development studies at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. His most recent books include Lineages of Revolt: Issues of Contemporary Capitalism in the Middle East (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2013) and Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).
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Adam Hanieh; Development as Struggle: Confronting the Reality of Power in Palestine. Journal of Palestine Studies 1 August 2016; 45 (4): 32–47. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jps.2016.45.4.32
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