Clans are critical to Palestine’s democracy. This was demonstrated in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank after the emergence of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, when a form of governance influenced by clanism emerged and a central power was established. Since then, informal institutions have weakened formal democracy due to their particular way of “doing politics” which is steeped in clanism and regionalism. Although these institutions did not cause the collapse of the classic political formal institutions, they may have contributed to the demise of any real democratic transition. This paper has two goals: The first is to identify how clanism and regionalism influence institutional settings at the macro and micro levels. The second is to assess the implications of these political issues regarding corruption and political fragmentation in a politically-divided and highly-polarized society as in Palestine.
*Abdalhadi Alijla is a PhD candidate at the Graduate School of Social and Political Science, State University of Milan, Italy.