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Conference Alternatives to Neoliberal Development in the occupied Palestinian territory – Critical perspectives

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Funded by the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation

The state of socio-economic development in the occupied Palestinian territory has deteriorated significantly in the post Oslo-Accords period. Much analysis and debate has been focused on the nature and extent of this deterioration. However, little has tackled the persistent need for envisaging ways forward, defining new strategies for dealing with socio-economic development in Palestine and mapping alternatives to donor driven aid paradigms and neoliberal approaches to development. In light of this, it is essential to begin the process of imagining a ‘beyond’ and envisaging new visions of developments, that move away from the debilitating effects of neoliberalism in Palestine, and the disenfranchisement caused by aid into new types of interventions, collaborations, relationships between local and international actors. Accordingly, the purpose of our conference is two-fold: (1) to initiate a critical public dialogue about the rationale behind policy formulation. From that perspective, the objective is to a create debate and generate consensus around pressing areas with an eye towards advancing possibilities for change. (2) to explore the ways that these alternatives may be achieved in practice, through the participation of different actors from the international to the national and local levels.

Dates              | 23/24 September 2014

Venue             | Said Khoury Development Studies Hall – Birzeit University

Location        | Birzeit, Occupied Palestine

Organizers     | Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Regional office Palestine (RLS) and

the Center for Development Studies/Birzeit University.

  Conference Program  
Tuesday 23th September 2014  
09:00 -09:30 Arrival & Registration
09:30 – 10:15    Opening Remarks Samia Huleileh – Vice President for Community Outreach / Birzeit University   Katja Hermann – Director of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Regional office Palestine (RLS) Laura Khoury- Director of the Centre for Development Studies Birzeit University Linda Tabar – Lead researcher, Centre for Development Studies / Birzeit University
10:15–11:00   Session one: Keynote Address Alfredo Saad Filho Alternatives to neo-liberalism: Global experiences and lessons learned  
11:00 –11:40   Discussion  
11:40: – 12:00 Coffee break  
12:00 – 14:00   Session two: Understanding development under colonialism Fadle Naqib – Development as struggle: confronting the reality of power in Palestine Nithya Nagarajan – Development under colonialism George Kurzum – The West Bank Joint industrial zones: colonial networks and relations    Discussion  
14:00-15:00 Lunch
15:00-17:00 Session three: Screening of the film (Donor Opium) and discussion The film is directed and produced by Mariam Shahin and George Azar 
Wednesday 24th September 2014  
09.00 – 09.30 Arrival & Registration  
9:30 –12: 00 Session Four: Aid within the context of neoliberalism and colonialism – an alternative perspective Linda Tabar: Humanitarianism and Pacification of Anti-Colonial Agency: Towards an Alternative – Rebuilding Solidarity Leila Farsakh: Donor democracy promotion and the de-Democratisation of Palestine Omar Jabary Salamanca: When settler colonialism becomes ‘development’: ‘fabric of life’ roads and the spatialities of development in the Palestinian West Bank  Iyad Riyahi and Nahed Samarah – Crisis in the making: credit policies and indebtedness in the oPt.    Discussion  
12:00:– 13:00 Lunch
13:00 – 15:30 Session Five: Countering and contesting neoliberalism Tariq Dana – A Resistance Economy: What are its components and can it provide an alternative.   Raja Khalidi- The North-North Connection – links between north of the West Bank and 1948 areas. Samia Al-Botmeh –  Role of (Boycott, divestment and sanctions) BDS in contesting colonialism and neo-liberalism Jamal Juma-  role of popular resistance in the context of development (commentary)  Discussion  
15:30:– 15:45  Coffee break
15.45 –17:00 Conclusion and recommendations session  
  Notes:   The conference is in Arabic with English translation.   The conference hosts an alternative market in the foyer of its hall. Small producers of various goods and commodities are participating in this market.

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Editorial Board - CDS Birzeit, Palestine

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