International development assistance and the effects on Palestinian community mobilization
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. The development of civil societies has been a centerpiece of Western governments' democratization efforts abroad since the mid-1980s and a focus of its involvement in the Middle East and North Africa for the past decade. Civil society support is typically viewed not only as an extremely cost effective means of furthering foreign policy objectives, but also as a morally unassailable activity. In recent years, donors and international NGOs have showcased their success in implementing programs that create "vibrant" civil societies. The actual results of their work, however, are not so clear. This research contributes to a growing body of scholarship critiquing a particular subset of international assistance--civic education programming--by using the ethnographic method to explicate the immobilizing effect that such programs can have on local communities. Through textual analysis and fieldwork in Palestine, I investigate how the presence of a robust aid regime influences Palestinians' choices about how to survive economically, advance socially and, ultimately, to mobilize politically.
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