Economics and politics - comment and analysis
7. October 2013 I Raja Khalidi I Countries and Regions

What Economic Future for Palestine? Part I

Arab Economic Spring Notebooks: This series of reports on different Arab countries will highlight the latest economic development challenges and policy responses revealed by the mass uprisings that have gripped the region and the world since 2011. The “Arab Spring” in its broader democratic and revolutionary sense may yet be diverted by sectarianism, populism, petrodollars and geo-political external intervention. Bu…


Arab Economic Spring Notebooks: This series of reports on different Arab countries will highlight the latest economic development challenges and policy responses revealed by the mass uprisings that have gripped the region and the world since 2011. The “Arab Spring” in its broader democratic and revolutionary sense may yet be diverted by sectarianism, populism, petrodollars and geo-political external intervention. But popular contestation of underlying social and economic failures in the region, the Arab “Economic Spring”, have yet to be fully comprehended, much less addressed in policy reformulation. These reports aim to better inform the concerned public and re-examine conventional wisdom regarding the region and the upheaval it is experiencing.

What economic future for Palestine?

… Quite naturally, we allowed ourselves to be seduced by the effects of the prosperity of the centres… our whole future lay in extreme growth, in exploiting the markets of the centres.

Raúl Prebisch –  The Inaugural Raúl Prebisch Lecture, UNCTAD, Geneva, 1982

Part I: The Arab-Jewish / Israeli-Palestinian“dual economy” fallacy

When Don Raúl Prebisch reflected with some impatience thirty-odd years ago on the meager outcomes until then of global economic development, the study of which he had pioneered three decades earlier, he was also looking forward. The core truth…
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