You are here

Donor Assistance, Rent-Seeking and Elite Formation

Primary tabs


The process of elite formation in Palestine has went through multiple phases, each in different periods of time. In each context and time period, a different group of society could be considered elites. Which was once based on family and clan, the advent of the PLO and the Intifada, resistance and struggle towards liberation became the basis for the formation of elites. International aid did not help in further entrenching the old elites, as was the case in Lebanon, but it strengthened an elite that first appeared during the first Intifada. In the 1970s under direct Israeli rule a new middle class emerged that was locally and highly educated. Political parties formed the basis for their upwards mobility, thus many organizations were formed such as trade unions, women's committees among others. They had two effects: They provided an alternative provision of services to that of the Israeli occupation, and they mobilized the grass roots movements under the banner of the national movement. With time, Palestinian civil society was weakened by constant Israeli crackdown, and the left suffered fragmentation after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Within this context many organizations took a more narrow and professional focus, but they remained the focal point of former activists and leftists. NGOs today in Palestine were shaped by this context. However, the increase of a role played by western aid also played a role in making NGOs crucial to the development process. A new type of elite began to emerge in Palestine, and overturned the old elite activists. 

Final Review Date: 
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Publication Year: 
Routledge Curzon
London|New York:
Book Title: 
State Formation in Palestine: Viability and Governance During a Social Transformation