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Transformed LandscapesEssays on Palestine and the Middle East in Honor of Walid Khalidi$
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Camille Mansour and Leila Fawaz

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789774162473

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774162473.001.0001

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Palestinian Elites Waiting for an Elusive Statehood

Palestinian Elites Waiting for an Elusive Statehood

(p.231) 11 Palestinian Elites Waiting for an Elusive Statehood
Transformed Landscapes

Camille Mansour

Leila Fawaz

American University in Cairo Press

Examining the elite in any society is a study of power relations and thus a study of the constituents and dynamics of the political system and its relations with the social, economic, and cultural structures of that society. The formation of a political elite does not require the existence of political democracy (that is, the political elite need not emerge through direct democratic and fair elections). Elites may also resort to the use of military or paramilitary numerical strength, control of the mass media, the manipulation of religious discourse and officials, as well as kinship and regional affiliations. Political elites are formed in tandem with the emergence of a national political field, which can be through the initiation of a national liberation struggle as well as through the creation of a nation-state. The physical dispersion of Palestinians after the 1948 nakba inevitably complicates any study of Palestinian “national” elites.

Keywords:   elite, political system, democracy, liberation struggle, affiliation

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