The Political Economy of Aid in Palestine: Relief from Conflict or Development Delayed?, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Political Economy of Aid in Palestine

Relief from Conflict or Development Delayed?, 1st Edition

By Sahar Taghdisi-Rad


256 pages

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Despite for many years receiving the highest per capita aid worldwide, the economies of the West Bank and Gaza Strip have failed to achieve any lasting developmental outcomes and suffer from major weaknesses which undermine their very survival. This book argues that the dominant, mainstream approach to the study of aid and aid effectiveness is theoretically and empirically inadequate for a comprehensive understanding and analysis of the workings of aid in developing countries, particularly those undergoing conflict. This book examines the nature of donor operations in Palestine, highlighting the political and ideological determinants of aid allocation and effectiveness, and focussing on the role of trade-related donor assistance in Palestine, more commonly known as Aid for Trade. It discusses how such trade-related assistance is only another instance of donors working ‘around’ the conflict, as opposed to taking it into account; and how aid to Palestine cannot bring about significant improvement as long as the Palestinian economy is fundamentally affected by Israeli occupation, settlements and blockade. It argues that unless restructured and more carefully targeted, aid can only act as a temporary relief mechanism. Furthermore, the book sheds light on critical areas within Palestinian territories that are in need of development and require significant and immediate attention at both national and international level.


"[T]his book adds an important, distinctive and timely contribution to the scholarly work on Palestine, its economy and the development process. It is a must-read for all actors and scholars that deal with the aid and development industry in Palestine particularly and in the conflict-affected areas generally." - Alaa Tartir, LSE; LSE Review of Books, 19th July 2012

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Aid Effectiveness Debate Disputed 3. Palestinian Economic Performance and Donor Response: A Pre-and Post--Intifada Analysis 4. (De-)development and Collapse of Palestinian Trade: 1967-present 5. Trade-Related Assistance in Palestine 6. Evaluation of the Trends in Donor Assistance to Palestine

About the Author

SaharTaghdisi-Rad is currently an economist at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.

About the Series

Routledge Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa

The Middle East continues to dominate in the news and current affairs coverage of the media both in global and regional contexts. Despite this growing and intensified interest in recent years, it is widely recognised that the region is largely underrepresented in a range of disciplines in the scholarly and academic domains. 

Routledge is proud to have launched this series since 2003 to widen in-depth analyses and understanding of the economic and political dynamics of this important region. The aim of the series is to publish both specialist and more general titles covering a wide range of issues relating to the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa region. It will feature the latest political economy studies of the Middle East defined to encompass countries from Morocco to Iran.

Submissions from prospective authors are welcomed, and should be sent in the first instance to the series editor ( The series will be open to single-authored books as well as edited volumes and textbooks.  All manuscripts will be subject to international standards of peer review.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Economic Policy
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies