June 13, 2018 admin


A conversation with the community organizer and farmer Nasser Nawaja from the Palestinian village of Susiya


Date | 25th of June, 6.30 pm

Venue | Seminarraum IE, Department of African Studies, University of Vienna, Spitalgasse 2, Court 5.1., A-1090 Vienna

Accessibility | The event takes place on the ground floor. There are accessible toilets, but no step-free access to them (2 steps).


Description | Approximately 300.000 Palestinians are living in Area C which contains – under international law illegal ­­– around 135 Israeli settlements and 100 settlement outposts. The zone makes up more than 60 percent of the West Bank and is under administrative and military control by Israel, including law enforcement, planning and construction. Everyday life has become extremely difficult for Palestinian communities in Area C who are facing an increase of demolition and eviction orders by the Israeli authorities and restriction of their movement due to closed military zones and settler violence.

Susiya is one of many villages that resist these policies of slow expulsion since years and has been successful in drawing international attention to their case.


Nasser Nawaja will talk about his experiences in organizing local and international support for his village, documenting settler violence and developing strategies of everyday resistance against the expulsion of Palestinian communities of their land.

The event is hosted by the Vienna based research cluster of the APPEAR project Rooting Development in the Palestinian Context and will be held in English and Arabic.


Moderation | Klaudia Rottenschlager

Translation | Ida Rump

April 19, 2018 admin
Hiba Tlili (left) and Research Cluster member Ines Mahmoud | © Georg Layr


Among the general attitude of pessimism and even remorse that a European audience cultivates towards the Arab Spring, Tunisia often stands out as the supposedly successful exception. The research cluster in Vienna invited activist Hiba Tlili to discuss the revolution in Tunisia seven years in and the discontents of this apparent triumph.


In her analysis, various social movements maintain an effort towards radical change in an otherwise restoratory and counter-revolutionary context. Tlili emphasized that the new Tunisian government, consisting of Nidaa Tounes and the Ennahda, have formed a political landscape that gave up on the radical demands of the revolutionary movement started in late 2010.


After a summary of the main events and political actors in the country, Tlili presented some of the key moments in recent protest and social movement history. Recurring examples were the anti-corruption movement “Manich Msamah | I don’t forgive!” and ” “Fech Nestanew | What are we waiting for?”, an anti-austerity movement against the implementation of IMF conditionalities. Both have been leading points of crystallization for youth’s desire for change and managed to push their way into a Tunisian public with innovative communication and protest tactics. Another important example was the experience of reclaiming land and establishing a cooperative in the town of Jemna as well as continuous protests, strikes and blockades against energy grabs of Western energy corporations in the South of Tunisia, such as the protests in Kamour 2017.


The event and the ensuing debate highlighted some of the core contradictions in the present political conjuncture. Despite continuing isolated, but numerous, protests and the ability of new social movements to include popular elements like football culture, a deepening of the revolution was not possible. Some of the analytical entry points offered to explain the limits of the revolutionary movements were the hesitance of the leadership of oppositional parties and unions, the class composition of the movements, and the relationship between secular or communist activists and Islam or Islamic elements of progressive movements.


Despite the ongoing celebration of Tunisian exceptionalism in Western publics, the stability of the counter-revolution is far from guaranteed and the government maintains a fear of popular mobilizations which it often meets with forms of repression familiar from the old regime.


For more information on recent developments in Tunisia, see Ines Mahmoud’s article in Jacobin Magazine.




April 18, 2018 admin


After more than 20 years of the Oslo process and its dominant development model, the multiple crises in Palestine lend urgency to the exploration of alternatives to the status quo. This special issue contributes to current debates on alternative development and ‘resistance economy’ by discussing the significance agricultural cooperatives have in the occupied Palestinian territories and linking their experiences to the food sovereignty approach.
What kind of alternative development is envisaged by agricultural cooperatives in Palestine in response to neoliberal development models of economic growth and the Israeli occupation? How can community-based agricultural cooperatives initiate processes of alternative development in Palestine?
The authors of this issue contribute to a better understanding of the multiple (development) crises in Palestine and analyse cooperatives’ experiences and strategies from academic as well as activist perspectives.


Access it here


Editor | Helmut Krieger




Helmut Krieger
Nurturing Alternative Development: Agricultural Cooperatives in Palestine


Philipp Salzmann
A Food Regime Perspective on Palestine: Neoliberalism and the Question of Land and Food Sovereignty within the Context of Occupation


Ayman Abdul Majeed
Conceptual and Methodological Approaches to Reading the Realm of Cooperatives in Occupied Palestine


Eileen Kuttab
Alternative Development: A Response to Neo-Liberal De-Development in a Gender Perspective


Nur Arafeh
“Resistance Economy”: A New Buzzword?


Hiba Al-Jibeihi
“Protecting Our Lands and Supporting Our Farmers” (Interview with Philipp Salzmann)



April 1, 2018 admin

[Deutsch unten]


Seven years have passed since the Tunisian revolution. The dictatorship of Ben Ali has successfully been overthrown, the socio-economic demands of the revolution however remain unfulfilled. In the West often portrayed as a “successful revolution” – in contrast to the unfolding wars in Syria, Yemen, and Libya – Tunisians today see their revolution betrayed. The post-revolutionary government coalition consisting of islamist party Ennahda and neoliberal, counterrevolutionary Nidaa Tounes continues to follow the instructions of the Bretton Woods institutions. The economic governance is still characterized by austerity, privatizations of natural resources and public institutions, while the unemployment rate remains at the same level as it was before 2011 and the economic inequities the people rose up against are maintained.
What has changed since 2011 on a political level? How has the left transformed in the past years? Which roles do the main forces of the revolution such as the Tunisian general labour union UGTT play today? Which new forms of protest have developed in the past seven years? Which changes in feminist movements have happened after 2011? What are future perspectives?

These questions will be dealt with by Hiba Tlili, a young activist from Tunis who has been part of the Popular Front, the student union UGET and other social movements.


Moderation | Ines Mahmoud


The event is hosted by the Vienna based research cluster of the APPEAR project “Rooting Development in the Palestinian Context ” and will be held in English.


Date | 06.04.2018, 6.30pm
Venue | “Seminarraum IE”
Department of African Studies
University of Vienna
Spitalgasse 2, Court 5.1.
A-1090 Vienna, Austria


You can find this event also on Facebook.






Tunesien im Umbruch

Sieben Jahre sind seit der Tunesischen Revolution vergangen. Die Diktatur von Ben Ali wurde erfolgreich gestürzt, die sozio-ökonomischen Forderungen der Revolution jedoch bleiben weiterhin unerfüllt. Im Westen vorwiegend illustriert als eine „erfolgreiche Revolution” – im Gegensatz zu den fortschreitenden Kriegen in Syrien, Jemen und Libyen – fühlen sich Tunesier_innen jedoch ihrer Revolution betrogen. Die post-revolutionäre Regierungskoalition bestehend aus der islamistischen Partei Ennahda und der neoliberalen, konterrevolutionären Nidaa Tounes folgt weiterhin den Diktionen der Bretton-Woods-Institutione n. Die wirtschaftliche Gouvernance ist nach wie vor gekennzeichnet durch Austeritätsmaßnahmen, Privatisierungen von natürlichen Ressourcen und öffentliche Institutionen, während die Arbeitslosenquote von 2011 unverändert bleibt und die ökonomischen Ungleichheiten, gegen die die Bevölkerung revoltierte, aufrechterhalten bleiben.

Was hat sich seit 2011 auf politischer Ebene geändert? Wie hat sich die Linke in den vergangenen Jahren reorganisiert? Welche Rolle spielen heute die Hauptakteur_innen der Revolution wie etwa der Gewerkschaftdachverband UGTT? Welche neuen Formen des Protestes haben sich in den letzten sieben Jahren entwickelt? Welche Veränderungen hat es in feministischen Bewegungen nach 2011 gegeben? Welche Zukunftsperspektiven zeichnen sich ab?

Diese Fragen werden von Hiba Tlili, einer jungen Aktivistin aus Tunis, die in der „Front Populaire”, der linken Studentenunion UGET und verschiedenen sozialen Bewegungen aktiv war diskutiert.


Moderation | Ines Mahmoud


Die Veranstaltung wird durch den Wiener Forschungscluster des APPEAR Projekts “Rooting Development in the Palestinian Context” veranstaltet und findet auf Englisch statt.


Zeit | 06.04.2018, 18:30 Uhr
Ort | Seminarraum IE
Institut für Afrikawissenschaften
Universitätscampus AAKH
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 5
A-1090 Wien, Österreich


Sie finden unsere Veranstaltungen nun auch auf Facebook!




April 1, 2018 admin

Once more, our project is going against the grain. While people are fleeing Facebook’s appropriation of their data in numbers, we are swimming upstream and decided to join. If you are still holding out, follow us to stay updated on our events.

February 24, 2018 admin

We warmly recommend the upcoming VIDC event “Lebanon – on the brink of War”.


Time and location
Monday, 12 March 2018, 19:00 – 21:00
Central Library Vienna – Am Gürtel, Urban-Loritz-Platz 2a, 1070 Vienna



Ghida Anani
founder of the feminist NGO Abaad, Beirut


Nikolas Kosmatopoulos 
American University Beirut


Helmut Krieger
Department of Development Studies at the University of Vienna/VIDC

Welcome: Magda Seewald, VIDC

Languages: English and German with simultaneous interpretation


Registration: seewald@vidc.org


While the war in Syria has disappeared from the headlines in Western media, its effects in Lebanon are omnipresent. With more than 1.5 million refugees from Syria and a major social, political and economic crisis, Lebanon has long been part of the conflict and war zones in the Arab world. In the face of this flight, social and social struggles in the country are exacerbated. They form part of what a comprehensive crisis in Lebanon means.At the political level, Saudi Arabia’s pressure on Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the end of last year was so great that he had to resign. Although Hariri is now back in office, this episode illustrates how unstable the political system in the country still is. Linked to this is the direct military involvement of the Lebanese Hezbollah in the war in Syria as an ally of the regime and its political weight in Lebanon. This has led to increased speculation in Israeli media over the recent months of an upcoming war Israel’s against Lebanon.At the same time, in the course of recent years, a diverse social movement in Lebanon has impressively demonstrated that political, social and economic crisis developments are not simply accepted. In view of these developments, what can mean social and political engagement in Lebanon under today’s conditions? How can the different lines of conflict be interpreted from a feminist perspective? In what ways are future military escalations inevitable?


For more info visit here.


February 14, 2018 admin


„Krise, Revolte und Krieg in der arabischen Welt“ titelt ein neues Buch als Ergebnis langjähriger Auseinandersetzung mit der Region und den Ereignissen, welche bereits im Kolonialismus tief verwurzelt sind, aber ihren Ausgang im anhaltenden Israel-Palästina Konflikt haben. Es finden sich Beiträge von Wissenschaftler/innen und Aktivist/innen, die sich gemeinsam der Herausforderung stellen, sowohl eine differenzierte Analyse des sogenannten arabischen Frühlings und seiner politischen und gesellschaftlichen Folgen zu geben, als auch überregionale ökonomische und soziale Verflechtungen aufzuzeigen. Die Kritik an „westlichen Narrativen“ darf ebenso nicht fehlen. In dieser Radiosendung sprechen die irakische Schriftstellerin und Aktivistin Haifa Zangana über den Kampf der Frauen gegen Ungerechtigkeit und die Politologin Rabab El-Mahdi erklärt warum die ägyptische Revolution Teil einer globalen Transformation ist. “Rooting Development”-Projektkoordinator und Sozialwissenschaftler Helmut Krieger, Mitherausgeber des oben genannten Buches, analysiert eurozentrische, aber auch alternative Konzepte von Entwicklung in der Region.


Gestaltung und Moderation: Maiada Hadaia (Verantwortlich für den Sendungsinhalt)



Dr.in Rabab El-Mahdi, Politologin, Associate Prof. American University Cairo

Haifa Zangana, Schriftstellerin und Aktivistin

Dr. Helmut Krieger, Sozialwissenschaftler, wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Institut für Internationale Entwicklung, Universität Wien und Konsulent bei VIDC (Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation)


Sendetermin: Freitag 16.02.18, 20:00-21:00 Uhr


Live hören: ORF Ö1 Campus (im Player rechts)
Nachhören: Podcast


Welt im Ohr ist eine Sendereihe der OeAD-Abteilung für Bildung und Forschung für internationale Entwicklungszusammenarbeit.


Gerne möchten wir Sie zudem darauf aufmerksam machen, dass die letzte Radiosendung mit dem Titel „Partnerschaftlich und auf Augenhöhe!?“ im Rahmen der Medienkooperation mit ORF Ö1 Campus nun nachträglich auf der KEF-Webseite hörbar ist.


December 21, 2017 admin

The Center for Development Studies, Birzeit University, held a Palestinian developmental debate and dialogue session in Bethlehem.

© Center For Development Studies

Ten representatives of grassroots organizations in Aldheshah, Azzah and Aidah camps attended the meeting. The discussion tried to provide a critical and alternative reading for the developmental experience in the refugee camps. Additionally, seven of the project’s MA trainees attended the session.

The discussion started with the following question: What does “development” mean in the refugee camps? How can we, as Palestinians, perceive “development” in the refugee camps that are located in Palestine?

The lively debate revolved around the following issues: some expressed their rejection of the concept of  “development” in the refugee camps entirely because of the fact that the term itself violates the sense of the “temporary situation” the refugee camps must reflect.

Ensuing questions were: is it reasonable to seek return after all of the construction? What is the kind of development that a refugee camp needs? These issues looked dangerous to the activists the participants have met. For them, it is complex; On the one hand, refugees are not “beggars”, on the other hand they are only asking for their essential rights since they lost everything during the Nakba.

The Palestinian government now constructs streets, builds health clinics and providing different services. In the camps, this is not the role of the government, rather it’s the role of the UNRWA, and all the means of development have to be only related to it.

Moving from tents to concrete houses has affected the lives of the refugees negatively; the refugees had refused the idea of development before since they are aiming to go back to their original villages and cities, and also because development must be connected to a political project. The youth believe that there is a political project in the refugee camps: a project that achieves the right to return.

© Center for Development Studies

From another perspective; the process of development in the refugee camps, for them, has to do with the way the government sees and deals with the camps. There is a tendency to render the camps into yet another slum in the world. So the mechanisms of developments are meant to improve the lives of the refugees in order to fight these slums. But, do refugees want the development of their exile, or to return?

As for the foreign aid policies and the donors’ agendas, the activists reflected that they are aware of all the parties that have agendas, and they are aware enough to shut down any donation with a political agenda that opposes theirs.

In an attempt to answer the evident question of ‘what to do?’, the activists believe that it is the organizations’ role to fight against the process of changing the consciousness of the refugees.

They concluded that the process of development in the refugee camps has to do with the right to return, otherwise it is not “development”.