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Title: The political economy of Palestinians in Israel : encounters with development and neo-liberalization
Author: Taha, Hebatalla
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 7105
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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The framework of 'economic development' has transformed the political economy of the Palestinians of 1948 (also known as Palestinian citizens of Israel). The discourse of development became increasingly assertive in the 2000s, and it has since redefined the way the Israeli government, private sector and an array of third sector organizations engage the Palestinian population. This dissertation analyzes the ways in which Palestinian citizens encounter economic transformations in Israel to provide a critique of the policy and discourse of development, its alignment with neo-liberalization, and the way it fulfils the goals of Zionism. It focuses on transformations in four sectors or spheres: (i) changes in consumption habits, seen as a path to modernity, (ii) efforts to de-segregate labor markets, (iii) 'new' industrial patterns under domestic outsourcing, and (iv) contestations among a neo-liberalizing faction of the Palestinian upper class that has embraced development. Despite the rapid transformations that have taken place, the case studies demonstrate that the technology of development continues to build on essentialist relations and separatist dynamics, and it keeps Palestinians enframed as inferior, marked as cheaper 'Arab labor.' The continued reproduction of these categories, however, is not merely a reflection of inaction; it can be seen as an expression of a particular stage of neo-liberalization. It is part of a larger attempt to de-politicize the status of Palestinian citizens in Israel, using economic methods as a way to disempower political consciousness. However, de-politicization is not necessarily successful, as the case studies reveal that Palestinian encounters with development have resulted in highly politicized encounters. Relying on ethnographic methodology, this dissertation focuses extensively on these subjective and affective encounters to analyze the 'making' of the economy, a discursive sphere and a site of political performance. The analysis represents an attempt to 're-claim' the economic sphere and politicize the analysis of development.
Supervisor: Armbrust, Walter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available