EMANCIPATION VERSUS DESECURIT-IZATION: RESISTANCE AND THE ISRAELI WALL IN PALESTINE

Drawing on extensive fieldwork during the Israeli construction of the Wall in Palestine, we challenge the way in which state-centric—and implicitly hierarchical—discourses around the concept of security (a) underlie the real-world manifestations of restrictive apparatus and practises; and (b) effectively justify discriminate use of these practices along ethno-nationalistic lines. We argue that an alternative approach to security in this context is possible. We highlight how, “desecuritization”—a key tool advocated by the Copenhagen School of Critical Security Studies—may indeed bring back quotidian power negotiations to individuals and empower them, but in this and other contexts, much more is needed. We follow from the normative agenda articulated in the Aberystwyth School’s literature, toward “emancipation.” Namely, by challenging the basic assumptions central to a dominant—exclusivist— interpretation of security, it is possible to conceive of radically different alternatives to the status quo.

Visit the Journal