This paper examines the growth of per capita GDP in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (WBG) from 1950 to 2005. Data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics and the World Bank is integrated with Angus Maddison’s estimates of per capita GDP of the WBG and Israel to produce new estimates of per capita GDP for the WBG from 1950–2005 in 1990 international dollars. With these new estimates, it is possible to compare the growth in WBG from an international perspective. One finding is that from 1968 to 1999 the economic growth in WBG was the tenth highest in the world.
This historical anthropology of the rise and fall of Israel’s post-1948 sardine purse-seining development project shows what happens when marginalized groups, who are initially excluded as “backward” or “primitive”, enter modernization projects that are based on politics of skillfulness and experts’ control over the labor process. By focusing on the role that skills play in the struggle between experts and artisans over the labor process, I show how the dynamics within state-run production apparatuses can make workers and experts face dilemmas about productivity, profit, and effectiveness, leading to such projects’ implosion. This mode of analysis exposes the contradictions within projects of governance as well as in their relational intersection with the people they subjugate and exclude.
The article explores the Zionist cultural economy in interwar Palestine,
by studying the emergence of the field of consumption as an arena for
political struggles among Jews and between Jews and Arabs. The Jewish
nationalist movement employed dominant contemporary assumptions about
economic nationalism in attempts to politicize the economy of British
Palestine, including through campaigns advocating ethnonational
separatism in consumption. Unlike other “buy local” movements around the
world, these were not directed solely against imports; rather, they
were often “buy Jewish” campaigns waged against the consumption of
commodities produced by the rival ethnonational sector in Palestine.
Using a variety of archival and media sources, the article tracks the
development of Jewish separatist consumption campaigns in interwar
Palestine, uncovering a gradual amplification of their ethnonational
emphasis that paralleled the escalation of the Arab–Jewish conflict. The
cultural mechanisms used to attribute ethnic qualities to objects and
define them as either “Jewish” or “foreign” are analyzed with particular
attention to the conceptual contradictions in the definitions of a
Jewish product, which were shaped by economic conflicts and the diverse
political conceptions of Jewish identity. The study of separatist
consumption sheds new light on the “dual society” thesis, revealing the
deep grip of separatist approaches across multiple layers of the Jewish
middle class in the Yishuv.
By studying two Middle Eastern cases, Israel and Turkey, this study seeks to understand how countries with chronically high inflation achieve permanent stabilization. It is argued that each case of successful stabilization is facilitated by a combination of favourable political conditions. Having an acute crisis is a necessary though not a sufficient condition. It is argued that what politically seems to help most is the creation of ‘social and political consensus’. A wide support for stabilization is more likely if the stabilization plan distributes the costs of stabilization more equally. Skilful leaders also help build consensus and they are more important where other conditions are unfavourable. All these conditions were instrumental in the case of Israel, which is a stable and established democracy. The Turkish case demonstrates that if stabilization is initiated without a consensus, it would prove to be a political disaster for the implementing government. However, rapid positive economic results and favourable political changes may later contribute to creating political and social support for stabilization. In fact, for stabilization to be successful, consensus in the medium term is as or even more important than consensus in the short term.