Middle East Studies

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The Palestinian Regime

A "Partial Democracy

Author Text to Follow

Foreword by Naseer Aruri, Chancellor Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

In examining the new political order that emerged in the West Bank and Gaza after the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in 1994, this book demonstrates that two political systems exist in the West Bank and Gaza Strip: one which is active, undemocratic and dominant; and one which is passive, democratic and overshadowed by the first. As’ad Ghanem demonstrates how Yasser Arafat has created an authoritian regime and how he controls this through the concentration of power, intimidation and bribery, after having shoved aside the forces that had shaped the emerging political order that had come into being before the establishment of the PNA. This order, which incorporated politcal pluralism, struggle, protest on behalf of change, and voluntary organizations that were the first sign of the appearance of a Palestinian civil society, functions as a weak shadow of Arafat’s centralized regime.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-902210-69-8
Paperback Price: £19.95 / $19.95
Release Date: October 2001
Page Extent / Format: 280 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


Foreword by Naseer Aruri

1. Introduction: Political Development and the Transition to Democracy

2. The Palestinian National Movement: A Historical Overview

The Palestinians Awaken to a Crushing Defeat
From Dispersion to Taking the Initiative
The PLO: From Maximalism to Compromise
The Oslo Accords and the Establishment of the Palestinian National Authority

3. Democracy and Centralism in the Palestinian National Movement, 1967–1993

Arafat's Control of PLO Institutions, 1968–1993
Pluralism, Civil Society, and the Construction of Institutions among the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, 1967–1993

4. The Formal Structure of Powers in the Palestinian National Authority
The Legislative Council
The Executive Authority
The Judicial Authority

5. The First Palestinian General Elections
The Legitimacy of the Elections
The Election System
The Election Campaign
The Election Results

6. The Centralization of Power and Political Conduct in the PNA

Centralization of Power
Surveillance (Intimidation)
Buying Quiet (Bribery)

7. Conclusion: Contradictions within Palestinian Democracy
Palestinian "Partial Democracy" before the Establishment of the PNA
"Partial Democracy" in the PNA

Conclusions for the Future


1. The Palestinian Authority's Political Program, May 28, 1994
2. Basic Law: The Palestinian National Authority
3. Standing Orders for the Palestinian Legislative Council
4. Draft Law, Independence of the Judiciary


A valuable contribution to the debate.
Middle East Journal

Ghanem’s thesis is persuasive and coherently presented.
Middle Eastern Studies

A very useful examination of the factors shaping Palestinian political development.
Journal of Palestine Studies

An excellent, scholarly volume a first-rate study of the problems of democratization and the requirements for its success.

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