CFP: States of Exception, Surveillance and Population Management:
The Case of Israel/Palestine
jancius at ohio.edu
Thu Mar 6 11:16:47 EST 2008
CALL FOR PAPERS
States of Exception, Surveillance and Population Management:
The Case of Israel/Palestine
Social science research and legal studies of surveillance in Western
countries have been on the increase in the last couple of decades, in
particular after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. There is, however, a dearth
of comparative, empirical research that includes the Middle East. The
purpose of this call for papers is to examine surveillance practices in
Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories as a conflict zone. The case
study provides an appropriate venue for examining surveillance and its
associated technologies at several levels: (1) social sorting of population
through discursive practices involving people counting and census
construction; (2) spatial control, urban warfare, and territorial
sovereignty; (3) geographic mobility; (4) use of technology in its various
forms to manage people and violence in conflict situations; (5) discourses
of state securitization, biopolitics, and states of exception that are
deployed as means of surveillance; (6) role of the
military-industrial-surveillance complex in promoting surveillance; (7)
extent to which existing privacy and other related laws protect against
intrusiveness by the state, private sector, and third-parties in the
collection and dissemination of personal information; and (8) how the
practice of social sorting in Israel/Palestine has influenced and in turn
been influenced by global considerations related to the discourse on
security and terrorism.
Focus of the Proposed Workshop
The proposed workshop will have three main foci: one, to situate
studies of surveillance and population management in the context of
theorizing about security and states of exception; second, to analyze the
assemblages of surveillance techniques ranging from traditional forms of
face-to-face contact to the use of various types of technologies in the
gathering of personal information; finally, through a political economy
perspective, to analyze state securitisation and the relationship between
the military-industrial complex and the production of surveillance
technologies. While twenty possible topics which address these foci are
listed below, potential participants are encouraged to suggest for possible
considerations other topics that fit within the overall framework of the
1. Theorizing states of exception and suspension of the law in conflict
zones. Examples should include Israel/Palestine and other regions.
2. Use of maps and censuses as discursive surveillance tools in the
construction of citizenship, identity boundaries, and borders.
3. The logic of biopolitics in Israel/Palestine as a case study or in
comparison with other regions.
4. Colonialism and states of exception in the analysis of population
management and surveillance in British colonial Palestine.
5. Face-to-face surveillance (role of informants and collaborators in
pre- and post-1948 Israel/Palestine).
6. Surveillance as a prelude to Palestinian refugee exodus in 1948.
7. The checkpoint experience from the points of view of (a) the
Palestinians and (b) Israeli soldiers.
8. The passport and the ID as markers of citizenship criteria.
9. Urban design, urban warfare and technologies of control.
10. The Israeli military-industrial-surveillance complex (a political
11. Israel and other states of exception: surveillance in the
securitisation of the state (role of military, police, and other security
12. Surveillance by the private sector (internet service providers, retail
enterprises, commercial databases, etc.).
13. Use of CCTV (as for example in Jerusalem, on Road 6, or other public
places in Israel and the OPT).
14. Profiling of individuals at crossing points.
15. The Wall a means of surveillance/security and a tool of land/border and
16. The technological fix to counter surveillance and privacy protection: A
17. Citizen knowledge and awareness of surveillance/privacy laws and their
impact on human rights, freedom of information, etc.
18. The extent to which Israeli policies of social sorting have influenced
and been influenced by other conflict zones.
19. Analysis of social sorting and its impact on issues of social justice
and human security.
20. Modes of resistance to surveillance techniques.
Workshop Sponsors and Venue
The workshop is part of The New Transparency: Surveillance and
Social Sorting project that is funded by the Social Science and Humanities
Research Council through its Major Collaborative Research Initiative. The
project involves an array of international scholars working in surveillance
studies. For more information click on
The workshop will be held either at Queen's University in
Kingston, Ontario or somewhere in the Middle East, depending on where the
majority of participants are likely to come from. Cost is a consideration
here. At this stage, the workshop is scheduled to be held from 8-9 December
2008 at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.
Those who are interested in submitting a proposal to participate
in the workshop, should send their enquiries and a 500-word abstract to Elia
Zureik (zureike at queensu.ca), Yasmeen Abu-Laban
(yasmeen.abu-laban at ualberta.ca) , or David Lyon (lyond at queensu.ca) by April
1, 2008. Participants are encouraged to seek funding from their
institutions. Some funds may be available for economy travel and local
accommodation for those who indicate that their institutions or funding
councils have turned down their request for funding.
More information about the URBANTH-L