chapter  2
38 Pages

The Palestinian Territories

Compared with other Arab states in the Middle East, the Palestinian experience with functional democracy (through local unions, universities and syndicates elections) goes back to the mid 1970s. Conversely, their experience with national (Presidential and Parliamentary) and local level democracy has not only been very recent and short-lived, but also a facade because it was very centralised, lacked any real political opposition around which consensus can be built, did not hold leaders suf¿ciently accountable to the public, was plagued with corruption and mismanagement, and it missed a vibrant civil society at a level deeper than the elite stratum that was mostly created in a top-down fashion via the help of external actors.