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Foreign aid and stability in the Middle East

GoTriple's project summary

The overall objective of the proposed research training is to restart Beata Paragi’s career after her maternity leave and advance its development by gaining work experiences and enhancing the diversity of her skills and competences at Fafo AIS, an independent research institute in Norway. The training will strengthen the ‘researcher’ part of her academic identity building on her teaching experiences. It will help the fellow reach professional maturity as a researcher enhancing the transfer of knowledge between a research organisation operating in the field of social sciences and the fellow who has worked as an assistant professor at a Hungarian university.Objectives will be achieved by means of empirical research on recent events taking place in the Middle East. The research project embraces the issue how relations between the Middle East and the West (with particular emphasis on the EU) have been changing in a broad sense and more narrowly in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The project contends that an important component of these relations has been the trade-off between the foreign support channelled in the form of aid to governments in the Middle East and benefits (regional stability, regime stabilities) ensured for such support. The research aims (1) to track the recent changes of Western (EU, to lesser extent US) aid policies in the MENA countries involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how they are applied in an attempt to control regional developments; (2) to understand local perceptions on aid-related foreign interventions and on political elites and/or regimes (3) to understand how Western aid policies have contributed to the Arab Spring and how the focus of Western aid has been changing; to evaluate the function and overall ‘price’ of foreign aid – social costs and externalities included – from the perspective of the donors and from that of the recipients.

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