Advertisement

Solidarity Donors and Popular Education in the West Bank

  • Melanie MeinzerEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Middle East Today book series (MIET)

Abstract

Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestinians have been among the world’s highest per capita recipients of non-military foreign aid. While some argue that the dependence of Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on donor funds diminishes their ability to challenge the Israeli occupation, this chapter explains how aid recipients can resist depoliticization by collaborating with “solidarity” donors on popular education programs. Palestinian educational NGOs and membership-based organizations (MBOs) in the West Bank work in the informal spaces around the donor-funded official Palestinian curriculum to re-insert Palestinian historical narratives into education. Taking a network approach to understanding NGO agency (Ohanyan in International Studies Review 11(3):475–501, 2009), the chapter draws on sixteen original interviews with Palestinian educational NGOs, MBOs and their “solidarity” donors to demonstrate how these actors’ shared visions of education and development as long term, grassroots processes of sociopolitical change challenge the depoliticizing and demobilizing tendencies of the donor-driven development paradigm. The chapter contributes to new theorizing on popular education as a means of cultivating the values and knowledge that support political resistance and ensure cultural survival.

References

  1. AbouAssi, Khaldoun. 2013. “Hands in the Pockets of Mercurial Donors: NGO Response to Shifting Funding Priorities.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 42 (3): 584–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. AbouAssi, Khaldoun, and Deborah L. Trent. 2016. “NGO Accountability from an NGO Perspective: Perceptions, Strategies, and Practices.” Public Administration and Development 36 (4): 283–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andrews, Abigail. 2014. “Downward Accountability in Unequal Alliances: Explaining NGO Responses to Zapatista Demands.” World Development 54: 99–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baaz, Maria Eriksson. 2005. The Paternalism of Partnership: A Postcolonial Reading of Identity in Development Aid. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  5. Bahdi, Reem, and Mudar Kassis. 2016. “Decolonisation, Dignity and Development Aid: A Judicial Education Experience in Palestine.” Third World Quarterly 37(11): 2010–2027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Banks, Nicola, David Hulme, and Michael Edwards. 2015. “NGOs, States, and Donors Revisited: Still Too Close for Comfort?” World Development 66: 707–718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Challand, Benoît. 2008. Palestinian Civil Society: Foreign Donors and the Power to Promote and Exclude. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dana, Tariq. 2015. “The Structural Transformation of Palestinian Civil Society: Key Paradigm Shifts.” Middle East Critique 24 (2): 191–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Elbers, Wilhelmus Johannes. 2012. The Partnership Paradox: Principles and Practice in North-South NGO Relations. [Sl: sn].Google Scholar
  10. Fasheh, Munir. 1990. “Community Education: To Reclaim and Transform What Has Been Made Invisible.” Harvard Educational Review 60 (1): 19–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fasheh, Munir. 2005. “Al-jame’ah: Learning for All and from All in the Arab region.” In Emerging and Re-emerging Learning Communities: Old Wisdoms and New Initiatives from Around the World. Paris: UNESCO. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001459/145997e.pdf.
  12. Freire, Paulo. 1993. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  13. Hammami, Rema. 2000. “Palestinian NGOs Since Oslo: From NGO Politics to Social Movements?” Middle East Report 214: 16–48.Google Scholar
  14. Hanafi, Sari, and Linda Tabar. 2003. “The Intifada and the Aid Industry: The Impact of the New Liberal Agenda on the Palestinian NGOs.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 23 (1): 205–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hanafi, Sari, and Linda Tabar. 2005. The Emergence of a Palestinian Globalized Elite: Donors, International Organizations, and Local NGOs. Jerusalem: Institute of Jerusalem Studies.Google Scholar
  16. Hertel, Shareen. 2006. Unexpected Power: Conflict and Change Among Transnational Activists. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Hirschman, Albert O. 1970. Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Hobson, John M. 2007. “Is Critical Theory Always for the White West and for Western Imperialism? Beyond Westphilian Towards a Post-racist Critical IR.” Review of International Studies 33(S1): 91–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jad, Islah. 2007. “NGOs: Between Buzzwords and Social Movements.” Development in Practice 17 (4–5): 622–629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jamal, Amaney A. 2009. Barriers to Democracy: The Other Side of Social Capital in Palestine and the Arab World. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Khalidi, Raja, and Sobhi Samour. 2011. “Neoliberalism as Liberation: The Statehood Program and the Remaking of the Palestinian National Movement.” Journal of Palestine Studies 40 (2): 6–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lloyd, Lindsay. 2010. “European Approaches to Democracy Promotion.” International Journal 65 (3): 547–559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Meinzer, Melanie. 2017. “Agents of Change? Critical International Relations Theory, Foreign Aid and Political Consciousness in Palestinian Education.” PhD diss., The University of Connecticut.Google Scholar
  24. Merz, Sibille. 2012. “‘Missionaries of the New Era’: Neoliberalism and NGOs in Palestine.” Race & Class 54 (1): 50–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mitchell, George E. 2014. “Strategic Responses to Resource Dependence Among Transnational NGOs Registered in the United States.” Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 25 (1): 67–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nakhleh, Khalil. 2012. Globalized Palestine: The National Sell-Out of a Homeland. Trenton, NJ: Red Sea Press.Google Scholar
  27. Ohanyan, Anna. 2009. “Policy Wars for Peace: Network Model of NGO Behavior.” International Studies Review 11 (3): 475–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ohanyan, Anna. 2012. “Network Institutionalism and NGO Studies.” International Studies Perspectives 13 (4): 366–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Oliver, Christine. 1991. “Strategic Responses to Institutional Processes.” Academy of Management Review 16 (1): 145–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pinto-Duschinsky, Michael. 1991. “Foreign Political Aid: The German Political Foundations and Their US Counterparts.” International Affairs 67 (1): 33–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rauh, Karen. 2010. “NGOs, Foreign Donors, and Organizational Processes: Passive NGO Recipients or Strategic Actors?” McGill Sociological Review 1 (29): 29–45.Google Scholar
  32. Roy, Sara. 1999. “De-development Revisited: Palestinian Economy and Society Since Oslo.” Journal of Palestine Studies 28 (3): 64–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Scott, James C. 1990. Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts. New Haven, CT: Yale university press.Google Scholar
  34. Tabar, Linda. 2015. “People’s Power: Lessons from the First Intifada.” In Critical Readings of Development Under Colonialism: Towards a Political Economy for Liberation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Ramallah, West Bank: Bir Zeit.Google Scholar
  35. Taghdisi-Rad, Sahar. 2010. The Political Economy of Aid in Palestine: Relief from Conflict or Development Delayed? London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tartir, Alaa and Jeremy Wildeman. 2016. Mapping of Donor Funding to the Occupied Palestinian Territories 2012–2014/15. Aid Watch Palestine. https://alaatartirdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/aidwatchstudy-published.pdf.
  37. Turner, Mandy. 2015. “Peacebuilding as Counterinsurgency in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Review of International Studies 41 (1): 73–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wildeman, Jeremy, and Alaa Tartir. 2013. “Can Oslo’s Failed Aid Model Be Laid to Rest?” Al-Shabaka, September 18. https://al-shabaka.org/briefs/can-oslos-failed-aid-model-be-laid-rest/.
  39. Wildeman, Jeremy, and Alaa Tartir. 2014. “Unwilling to Change, Determined to Fail: Donor Aid in Occupied Palestine in the Aftermath of the Arab Uprisings.” Mediterranean Politics 19 (3): 431–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Studies Program, Denison UniversityGranvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations