Protesting in the rain outside the Moqata'a, Ramallah, in January 2012

Re-reading the Myth of Fayyadism: A Critical Analysis of the Palestinian Authority’s Reform and State-building Agenda, 2008-2011

Published by the The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS), Doha, Qatar on 11th April 2012.


Fayyadism is a term coined by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman that has gained widespread usage in the media and the quasi-academic literature emanating from various high-profile English-language think tanks. The term is named after the current prime minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Dr. Salam Fayyad, formally an economist at the IMF, and is used to describe the raft of political and economic reforms that have been central to the PA’s state-building agenda. Supporters of this agenda from all sides have promoted it in orientalist terms (i.e., as a reasonable method for Palestinians to achieve their national goals), in contrast to uncivilized armed resistance and/or Islamism. This paper argues that Fayyadismdoes not, in fact, constitute a radical new approach to ending the occupation or liberating Palestinians. Rather, Palestinian agency remains contingent on the same basic dynamics as it has since the beginning of the Oslo process. If Fayyadism has had any effect at all on this arrangement of power, it has been to entrench the occupation rather than to end it.

To read the full article click here.