Population dilemmas in the Middle East: essays in political demography and economy

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This study first offers a general outline of Palestinian population growth between 1948 and 1987, and then focuses on the town of Nablus in the early 1950s for a detailed analysis of the economic forces that instigated Palestinian migration to Jordan and the Gulf. The author shows how the recession that struck the Arab oil economics in the early 1980s, by slowing down the migratory movement, shut off the valve that had afforded the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza relief from economic pressures. When during those same years the Israeli government instigated a policy of reducing investments in these territories, the Palestinians found themselves in a no-win situation, with their economic plight forming one of the main factors for the eruption of the Intifada in December 1987. Finally, following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in July 1990, most of the 300 000 or so Palestinians who had been working there left (or were forced to leave) and made their way to Jordan. The author analyses how Jordan, in coping with the pressures, adopted an antinationalist policy despite powerful; political and social forces working against such a programme. Egypt, because of the high rates of natural increases of its population, was confronted sooner than most other Middle Eastern societies with the realities of demographic constraints. Still it was only in the mid-1960s that Nasser adopted a family planning policy, and only 20 yr later did a policy take shape that resolutely sought to reduce fertility rates. The policy produced remarkable results, with a significant decline in the rates of natural incresae being generated without recourse to stick-and-carrot measures.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherFrank Cass
ISBN (Print)0714647063, 0714642444
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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