Date of Award


Degree Type



Urban Studies

First Advisor

Rosentraub, Mark

Subject Headings

Local government -- Palestine, Arab-Israeli conflict, Palestine -- Politics and government, Palestine, Administrative system, Local governance, Occupation


The forces that shape administrative structures include the goals and objectives of minority and majority groups, modern management principles, and a legacy or history in which domestic political factions have gradually accepted rules and roles for mutual tolerance and inclusion. However, this process can be muted or redefined in societies where centuries of occupation and dispersion "short-circuit" maturation processes and introduce non-indigenous systems externally imposed without any level of popular acceptance or active citizenship participation. In these environments, as new states emerge, their task of building local government institutions requires a clear understanding of indigenous systems and institutions. What must also be understood are systems and institutions resulting from (1) externally imposed systems, (2) ideas from returning expatriates who seek to implement systems from the countries in which they lived, learned, and (3) modern management science and accepted principles of civil service. Unifying and untangling these threads to create administrative structures for internal governance explains the difficulty emerging new states can face as they seek to implement stable and modern governments in "contested spaces." This theoretical framework or perspective guides this dissertation and its effort to proscribe appropriate local government institutions for Palestine. Palestine - in the modern era - emerges from centuries of externally imposed governance systems used by the Ottoman Empire, the British government, Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. In addition, many of Palestine's leaders came to maturity as part of a Diaspora in Western and Islamic countries. As a result, it will be argued that the usual dichotomy between politics and administration has never been applicable at any point in Palestine's recent history. Administrative systems have never been a product of Palestinian politics but emerged to serve the interests of foreign governments. The Palestinian people have been subjected to top-down admi