Civil Society Organizations and Transition to Democracy in Palestine1

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This paper examines, through three surveys and some interview data, the dynamics of contemporary Palestinian civil society organizations (CSOs) from the angle of their role in the process of democratization. The paper analyses the emergence, nature, and structures of CSOs in Palestine, and emphasizes the role of the public in democratization. In particular it assesses both the positive and negative facets of CSOs' work from the perspective of their possible role in democratization. It is concluded that CSOs play a positive but limited role in the democratization of Palestinian society.

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