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Inconsistent interventionism in Palestine: objectives, narratives, and domestic policy-making

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In recent years, the liberal state-building agenda, in which foreign policy objectives such as democratization, state-building, and national security are regarded as mutually reinforcing elements of a broader peace-building strategy, has come under criticism for its internal contradictions, its epistemology, and its unintended consequences on the ground. In the case of Palestine, these three objectives of Western foreign policies have never gone hand in hand. Rather, the history of state-building and democratization in Palestine reads like a drama in three acts: a period of authoritarian state-building, followed by democratization during a period of state demolition, and finally the current phase of competing undemocratic institution-building in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This contribution examines whether those policy objectives have indeed been incompatible in Palestine and how Palestine's major donors have dealt with perceived trade-offs. The subsequent analysis explores to what extent external and internal actors' policy shifts have shaped and partially undermined the project of democratic state-building in Palestine.
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Keywords: EU; Israel; Palestine; US; democratization; security; state-building

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of International Relations,University of St Andrews, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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