Investing in Human Security for a Future Palestinian State: In Larger Freedom and Participatory State Building

This paper aims to address the special case of human security in the absence of sovereign state, while citizens persist under prolonged occupation, and where the international community has an active role. In such case, the human security paradigm is a worth-following approach for its merits in focusing on the security of individuals, their protection, and empowerment. This paper will investigate this, through providing a review for the recently published UNDP’s Palestinian Human Development Report-PHDR 2009/2010. Therefore, believing that the state-building process in the occupied Palestinian territory need to be re-considered, the PHDR 09/10 captures and explains this predicament by utilizing the concept of human security from the perspectives of achieving freedom from want, freedom from fear, and freedom to live in dignity (In Larger Freedom). Hence, while noticing the ravages of prolonged occupation and failings of conventional development techniques, the report supports a pragmatic approach that focuses on participatory state building as critical to the promotion of political and social cohesion and overall human security in Palestine. This ‘new’ approach calls for a set of priorities that include achieving territorial contiguity, economic integration, social cohesion, sovereignty and political reconciliation. To do so, donors have to adopt a Do No Harm principles and ensure de-linking aid to the political process; a Commission for Effective Governance to be established; and the indigenous principles and reconciliation mechanisms as ‘Sumud’ and ‘National Sulha’ to be reformulated and reactivated to be pursued. Finally, this review raises few questions on the plausibility of such pragmatic approach, and argues for a more genuine and radical/idealistic proposals toward protecting human security and establishing the Palestinian independent state.

Paper presented at “EADI Summer School 2010 Security and the State Today”, Hosted by the Institute of Development Studies and Sussex University, 10-11 June 2010. Click here for additional information.

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