1st Edition

The European Union and Occupied Palestinian Territories State-building without a state

By Dimitris Bouris Copyright 2014
    266 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book analyses the present European Union (EU) approach to state-building, both in policy and operation. It offers a review of the literature on peace-building, EU state-building and conflict resolution, before examining in detail the EU’s role as a state-builder in the case of the Occupied Palestinian Territories following the 1993 Oslo Accords.

    Drawing on extensive fieldwork and over 140 interviews carried out in Brussels, London, Jerusalem and Ramallah with EU, Palestinian and Israeli officials as well as academics, members of NGOs and civil society, the author evaluates the present approach of state-building and offers a framework to test the effectiveness of the EU as a state-builder. Examining security sector reform, judiciary sector reform and the rule of law, the book brings the ‘voices from the field’ to the forefront and measures the contribution of the EU to state-building against a backdrop of on-going conflict and a polarised social setting.

    This book will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, EU politics, Middle Eastern politics, conflict resolution and state-building.

    Foreword Nathalie Tocci Introduction Part I: The European Union as a state-builder 1. The concept of state-building 2. The EU and state-building Part II: Building a state called ‘Palestine’ 3. The European Union’s role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 4. The EU and Security Sector Reform in the Occupied Palestinian Territories 5. The EU, Judiciary Sector Reform and the rule of law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories Conclusion: The EU and state-building in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: lessons and implications.


    Dimitris Bouris is Research Fellow at the European Neighbourhood Policy Chair, College of Europe (Natolin) and holds a PhD from the University of Warwick. His research interests include EU external relations (with a particular focus on the Middle East), conflict resolution, state-building and security sector reform.

    "Bouris’s book is an important contribution to understanding statebuilding in the oPt because of its focus on the EU, whose central role is often ignored or downplayed. Through his assessment of security sector reform and rule of law promotion, Bouris lays bare the incoherence and inconsistency in EU policy and practices, and shows how statebuilding is not a technical project, but is highly political. He usefully reminds us of how Europe has a major responsibility not only historically for the situation in Israel/Palestine, but also for the current democratic deficit witnessed in the oPt." - Mandy Turner, Director of the Kenyon Institute in Jerusalem.

    "Bouris’ book offers a coherent and detailed assessment of the EU’s role in the Palestinian state-building after the Oslo Accords. What makes the book unique is that it places the EU at the centre of the state-building project conducted in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, an endeavor that has so far been missing from the academic literature. The book is based on Bouris’ exhaustive research providing the reader with crucial empirical material linked to a clear theoretical framework. It is an important contribution, which should be read by scholars, researchers, students and policy-makers across the EU and beyond." Richard Youngs,  Senior Associate Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Professor of international relations at Warwick University.

    "Dimitris Bouris’ book offers a unique insight into the EU’s role in the Palestinian institution-building.  The book demonstrates how the different tools like security sector reform and support to the judiciary, and policies of the EU do come together in pursuing the EU's political goal of supporting a 'two-state solution' in the Middle East with Israel and the future Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security. Bouris' analysis highlights the EU's indispensable role despite the many drawbacks and pitfalls that come with a long-lasting conflict like the one in the Middle East." Christian Berger, Director for North Africa, Middle East, Arabian Peninsula, Iran and Iraq, EEAS - European External Action Service.

    "This is an important monograph that advances our knowledge on both conceptual and empirical grounds. Bouris delivers a fascinating account of the EU’s engagement with the Palestinian territories that is well informed and sharply analytical. A must-read for those who wish to understand the limitations and opportunities of the European Union’s role in the Middle East Peace Process. It is also highly recommended for scholars interested in the wider field of the European Union’s external relations and literature on conflict resolution and contested statehood." Dimitris Papadimitriou, Professor of Politics, University of Manchester.

    "The Palestinian issue would seem to be well trodden scholarly ground, but Dimitris Bouris does us a tremendous service by placing the European Union and Palestinian state-building at the center rather than at the margins of his story.  Indeed he shows the EU to be a significant actor. Bouris shows how the EU, well grounded in theory and deeply experienced in practice, sought to knit together an approach to peace making that was anchored in part in building the institutions of a Palestinian state.   But by taking us through the details of two particular areas—security sector and courts—Bouris shows the shortcomings of the EU efforts. His evaluation is balanced and fair.  While sympathetically aware of the difficult circumstances under which the efforts took place and mindful of some accomplishments, his overall judgment is both reflective and critical." Nathan Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University and Nonresident Senior Associate Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

    "The analysis is well informed, and the book is exceptionally well written. The findings have high policy-relevance as well, especially against the background of recent developments in Israeli-Palestinian relations. It is a welcome addition to the literatures on state-building, peace-building, SSR and JSR. I strongly recommend it to scholars and policymakers with interest towards state-building, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Middle East, and EU CSDP." - Oya Dursun-Özkanca, Elizabethtown College

    "The book has a rather balanced aproach towards theory and policy analysis and it is very rich in providing empirical evidence nd examples. Although the link etween state-building and liberal peace ould be further detailed in the empirical chapters, it can be argued that the book fully acomplishes its task of providing insight into the EU's state-building in the OPTs. It is, thus, a very welcom contribution to the literature on the Israeli - Palestinian conflict as well as on European Foreign Policy."- Münevver Cebeci, European Union Institute, Marmara University, Istanbul, Global Affairs

    "Although European foreign policy has been often ignored, especially in relation to the context of the Middle Eastern conflict, Bouris’ contribution may offer an alternative perspective to enable the rethinking of diverse possibilities for pursuing a just conflict resolution in Israel/Palestine." - Giulia Daniele, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies-University of Exeter