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De-development Revisited: Palestinian Economy and Society Since Oslo

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Development studies divide countries in developed countries and under-developed countries. Nevertheless, the case of Palestine is better understood through the notion of de-development that Roy develops to describe the set of policies put in place by Israel thanks to and in the aftermath of the Oslo agreement. A de-developed economy is according to Roy an economy deprived of its capacity for production, for rational structural transformation and meaningful reform, making it incapable of even distorted development. Palestine as a de-developed economy faces a set of policies imposed by Israel precluding indigenous economic and institutional change; a reorientation of the economy through practices of integration and externalization imposed by Israel, with the attraction of unskilled or semiskilled labour to Israel; the triggering of a process leading to the deinstitutionalisation, restricting the development of Palestinian institutions and undermining the coordination between the formal and informal governmental sectors. The paper also analyses the Palestinian economy pre-Oslo and the featured that changed with the signing of the Oslo agreement, shining light on the progressive turn of the economy to autarchy and enclavisation, pushed by the Israeli policies and the Israeli control over major sectors and resources for development. A focus on the industrial and agricultural development of Palestine is also insisted upon, with both sectors producing more and more just for the local Palestinian market and having thinner and thinner extra-domestic links.  

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Journal of Palestine Studies