Neoliberalism as Liberation: The Statehood Program and the Remaking of the Palestinian National Movement
The Palestinian statehood-by-2011 program, framed through neoliberal institution building, redefines and diverts the Palestinian liberation struggle. Focusing on its economic aspects, and in particular the underlying neoliberal thought that goes beyond narrow economic policy applications, this essay argues that the program cannot succeed either as the midwife of independence or as a strategy for Palestinian economic development. Its weaknesses, the authors contend, derive not only from neoliberalism’s inability to deliver sustainable and equitable economic growth worldwide, but also because neoliberal “governance” under occupation, however “good,” cannot substitute for the broader struggle for national rights nor ensure the Palestinian right to development.
Raja Khalidi is a senior economist with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva, and the views expressed in this article do not represent those of the United Nations secretariat.
Sobhi Samour is a PhD candidate in economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.