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Title: The structural transformation of Palestinian civil society: key paradigm shifts
Authors: Dana, Tariq 
Keywords: Civil society - Palestine;Political participation - Palestine;Non-governmental organizations - Palestine;Palestine - Politics and government;Palestine - Social conditions;Neoliberalism - Palestine
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Middle East Critique
Abstract: This article examines the systemic process of structural transformation that engulfed multiple levels, structures and functions of Palestinian civil society in the early 1990s, whereby a large segment of the pre-Oslo mass-based movements were transformed into discrete groups of foreign-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs). More specifically, the article explores three interrelated factors that influenced the general trajectory of civil society’s structural transformation and shows how these factors are fundamental to understanding the transformation of Palestinian civil society and what went wrong in the process. These factors are: (1) ideological neoliberal globalization; (2) political, especially the Oslo process; and (3) financial, especially the conditionality of international donors. Moreover, the article comparatively identifies four opposing dimensions: the organizational agenda, relations with the grassroots, the status of politics and the production of knowledge. Collectively, they lie at the core of the structural transformation and reveal contradictory functions and roles between past and present civil society versions.
DOI: 10.1080/19436149.2015.1017968
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