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The event, co-organised with the Democratic Education Network, will feature four scholars and one student in discussion about the issues raised by Dr Toufic Haddad's recently published book Palestine Ltd.

Dr Toufic Haddad will highlight the main arguments from the book. In this book, Dr Haddad explores how neoliberal frameworks have shaped and informed the common understandings of international, Israeli and Palestinian interactions throughout the Oslo peace process. Drawing upon more than 20 years of policy literature, field-based interviews and recently declassified or leaked documents, he details how these frameworks have led to struggles over influencing Palestinian political and economic behaviour, and attempts to mould the class character of Palestinian society and its leadership. A dystopian vision of Palestine emerges as the by-product of this complex asymmetrical interaction, where nationalism, neo-colonialism and ‘disaster capitalism’ both intersect and diverge.

As Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine, writes in the blurb of the book, this is: ‘A crisply written, painstakingly researched study that puts Palestine in a much-needed global economic context, laying out the harrowing consequences of market fundamentalism and disaster capitalism in particular. Amid growing worldwide rejection of neoliberalism, this terrific and timely book will be a key resource for anyone fighting for justice in the region.’

About the speakers

Dr Toufic Haddad holds a PhD from SOAS, University of London. He is co-author of Between the Lines: Israel, the Palestinians and the US War on Terror (2007) and previously worked as a journalist, editor and researcher in Jerusalem, including for different UN bodies.

Dr Atef Alshaer is a Lecturer in Arabic Studies at the University of Westminster. He first came to London after completing his Bachelor degree in English Language and Literature at the University of Birzeit in Palestine. He then went on to obtain a masters and PhD from the faculty of Languages and Cultures at SOAS, University of London and has taught there until 2014. Alshaer has written several research papers and monographs, including his book, Poetry and Politics in the Modern Arab World and an edited volume, Love and Poetry in the Middle East; and Language and National Identity in Palestine: Representations of Power and Resistance in Gaza. This is in addition to his co-authored book (with Dina Matar and Lina Khatib), The Hezbollah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication.

Dr Maria Holt is a Reader in the Department of Politics and International Relations. She has her PhD from University of York on the effects of violent conflict on Shi'i women and Palestinian refugee women in Lebanon. She has researched on various aspects of gender, violence, displacement and West Asia. In addition to various articles and chapters, she is the author of Women and Conflict in the Middle East: Palestinian Refugees and the Response to Violence.

Dr Sahar Rad is a political economist focusing on the Middle East and North Africa. She currently teaches at the School of Finance at SOAS, and previously taught at King's College London and the University of Westminster. She is the author of The Political Economy of Aid in Palestine: Relief from Conflict or Development Delayed? (Routledge, 2011, 2015) and the editor of Trade Policies, Employment and Poverty in Arab Economies (Routledge, 2012). Her areas of research and work include conflict and economic development, the political economy of aid and global development architecture, labour markets, and international trade and investment. She has also worked as a senior economist for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the International Labour Office, and the African Development Bank.

Lamyaa Hanchaoui is a final year undergraduate student reading International Relations BA. She is currently the Co-President of the Friends of Palestine Society at the University of Westminster which brings awareness of the Human Rights situation in the region. She has traveled to the Occupied Palestinian Territories twice, the second time specifically as a Youth Leader to create twinning links between young people and women in Palestine and Britain. Lamyaa also merges creative arts, including spoken word performance and visual painting, on public platforms to raise awareness on humanitarian issues and conflict in the contemporary world.

Chair and Organiser: Professor Dibyesh Anand, Head of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster (Twitter @DPIRWestminster)

This event is open to all students and staff at the University of Westminster, as well as members of the public. RSVP to [email protected]


This event is based on the Centre for the Study of Democracy's Post-colonial politics, development and emerging powers research theme. In addition to other issues, this investigates how religion, history, territoriality, political economy, militarisation, democratisation and resistance have contributed to a volatile politics that disconnects states and people. The explicit focus is on engagement with communities and impacting upon public debates around these contentious subjects. Palestine is one of the focus areas.