Accounting against the occupation: Dalia Abdulmuti A. Alazzeh, Three essays on Self-Government Accounting Practices under Settler Colonialism: A Case study from Palestine, PhD thesis, University of Essex, 2020


Abstract: This thesis consists of three self-contained essays that investigate self-government accounting practices in the salient context of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt). The first essay (Chapter 2) explores the enactment of New Public Financial Management (NPFM) as a component of the liberal peace-building discourse, disseminated by the World Bank. The study relies on the Fairclough dialectical relational approach to Critical Discourse Analysis (1992, 1999, 2010, 2012). The essay performs a semiotic analysis of the text of the World Bank’s (NPFM) strategies in the context of the peace-building efforts in the oPt. The analysis revealed the use of the genre of governance to mediate the relationship between the donor community, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority post-peace-agreement. This mediating genre specialises in ‘action at a distance’, such as initiating mechanisms for budget revenue transfers. The essay identifies value assumptions in the NPFM discourse, and exclusion of social agents (nominalisation) on several occasions, for instance, in the revenue-collection process or invoice validations. Further, extensional assumptions are ideologically vital as they reflect powerful representation. The second essay (Chapter 3) explores the budget of indigenous self-governing entities in the context of settler colonial studies. It adopts settler colonialism theory (SCT) as a theoretical framework and was initially introduced by Denoon (1979), subsequently developed by Wolfe (1994, 1999, 2001, 2006), and theoretically extended by Veracini (2010, 2012, 2018). The study highlights several strategies implemented by settler-colonisers to liquidate indigenous self-governing entities—and ultimately indigenous nations—using the budget as a weapon (e.g., the legitimisation of budgetary cuts and the suspension of the main source of indigenous self-government revenues, known as clearance revenues). It also presents an account of how settler corporate capitalism serves illegal settlements by channelling services and investing in the intelligence architecture of these settlements. This type of capitalism has also promoted settlers’ collective obsession with sovereignty, which has translated into a segregation regime that prevents indigenous self-governments from holding settler states financially accountable. The third essay (Chapter 4) examines the nature of accountability between settler state and indigenous self-government in an extreme power imbalance. The essay deploys Hopwood’s (1994, 1990) account of accountability and visibility. Three examples were presented in the essay regarding the nature of accountability between the settler state and indigenous-self government. The first example discusses the sharing revenue mechanism and the refusal of computerised system invoice. The second example presents the failure of revenue transfer from the settler state to indigenous self-government. The third example presents an untraceable deduction in health and electricity bills. All examples indicate that the settler state refuses to ‘provide an account’ to indigenous self-government, which enhances the invisibility. This has also weakened the internal accountability of indigenous self-government.

%d bloggers like this: