Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-2017

Capstone Advisor

Miriam Elman

Honors Reader

Sandra Lane

Capstone Major

International Relations

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

International Relations


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.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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