Condemnation of the illegal israeli settlements the

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condemnation of the illegal Israeli settlements, the EU continues to cultivate its relationships with Israel instead of holding it accountable to its violations of international law (Youngs & Michou, 2011; Tartir, 2014). These political ramifications became clearer in the post-2007 PA state-building project phase as they transformed into authoritarian trends, denial of democracy, and human rights violations under the banner of rule of law. The intended and unintended consequences of the donor-driven SSR solidified the presidential undemocratic system, empowered the security establishment and nourished their dominance, and bypassed and marginalized any meaningful oversight mechanisms and democracy-guarding institutions (Brown, 2010; Ahmad, Ezbidi, Rabbani, & Dana, 2016). Despite the proclaimed technical successes of EUPOL COPPS, including training and equipping thousands of security personnel and creating a better functioning legal system and more professional police forces, the criticism remains stark. EUPOL COPPS is under criticism for failing to improve civil oversight and accountability. Its focus on a conventional train-and-equip approach created more skillful security forces, but failed to generate an institutional capacity to design, plan, and conduct training locally (Bouris, 2012; Bouris & Reigeluth, 2012; Kristoff, 2012). And fundamentally, the work of EUPOL COPPS, and the overall SSR support, paved the way for moving toward authoritarianism (Rose, 2008; Sayigh, 2011; Youngs & Michou, 2011; Tartir, 2015). Yet, this critical literature remains largely driven by a top-down “institutional ethnography” approach, where the institutions and their evolution are analyzed, but not the consequences of the institutional evolution on the everyday experiences of ordinary people, who are their intended end-beneficiaries. A broader setting implies putting the
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13 voices from below into the core of the research inquiry, and this engagement is what is missing in the existing accounts in the literature. In addition, previous studies have pointed out that the pure technical focus of the mission occludes important political aspects of the EU intervention. İş leyen (2017), for instance, shows how seemingly benign demand-driven technical support actually conceals power asymmetry in which the EU problematizes, disciplines, and normalizes the Palestinian capacities for policing its populations. Others point out that through the prioritization of the technical assistance the EU neglects important political aspects of SSR such as effective democratic governance (Sayigh, 2009; Bouris, 2012, 2014; Mustafa, 2015; Tartir, 2017a; Tartir 2017b). Mustafa (2015) for instance argues that “EUPOL COPPS mission has failed, as the separation of the teaching of technical skills from the political reality and the overall security system has created a police force that is highly skilled yet easily co-opted by political leaders” (p. 225).
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  • Spring '19
  • Madam Masila
  • European Union, Palestinian Territories, Palestinian National Authority, Palestinian Authority, EUPOL COPPS

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