Forging Self-Determination from Below: Non-State Public Goods Networks and Contests of Sovereignty in Israel/Palestine

Graduate Research Grants
Grant Year

Public goods provision sits at the nexus of issues of state legitimacy, state capacity, and democratic governance. In contexts of conflict over self-determination, the provision of public goods can become a locus of contestation in which the state and the unrecognized people group compete for legitimacy. This project aims to build and test a theory of public goods provision in conflicts over sovereignty and self-determination, positing that the supply (by governments) and the demand (by citizens) for public goods will be shaped by conflict dynamics; governments will provide public goods selectively to strengthen ingroup ties, while unrecognized groups will exhibit decreased demand for state public goods, because accepting state-provided services legitimizes the state’s territorial control. The project plans to test this argument using geospatial mapping, network analysis, and interviews in the Jerusalem municipality, a territorially contested space with observed neighborhood-level variation in the supply of and demand for public goods.


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