Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Arts and Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
This paper analyzes the economic, health, and psychological impacts of conflict and the effectiveness of United Nations agencies and organizations in addressing these issues. I use the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a case study, representing intractable conflicts due to disagreements regarding land, religion, politics, and ethnicity. Focusing on the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), I argue that the effectiveness of WHO and UNRWA programs depends on the economic wellbeing, conflict status, and the level of funding at the time. However, the largest factor impacting the economy, health, and psyche of the Palestinians is Palestine’s status as an “occupied territory” which comes with various restrictions and difficulties. Meanwhile, the most important factor impacting the economy, health, and psyche of Israel is its geographic position of being surrounded by unstable Arab nations with governments hostile towards the only Jewish nation.
The theoretical perspectives that I employ in my research include liberalism, neoliberal institutionalism, and constructivism. Constructivism is the most effective theoretical perspective through which to examine my research due to its construction of health and self-determination as human rights. Prior to my analysis, I present a brief history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Israel/Palestine in the UN system, as well as background information on WHO and UNRWA. I use the quantitative method of statistical analysis and qualitative methods of content analysis and archival research. I examine health statistics, economic indicators, conflict statistics, and World Health Assembly agendas. This paper attempts to present both the Israeli and Palestinian narratives regarding the conflict and its effects on the various populations involved.
Siegal, Ilana, "The Economic, Health, and Psychological Effects of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" (2017). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 1015.
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