SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

Reconfiguring Security Landscapes: Evidence from the Occupied Palestinian Territories

IMG - Palestine
Dr Tahani Mustafa (LSE)

Date: 22 October 2019Time: 5:30 PM

Finishes: 22 October 2019Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT)

Type of Event: Lecture


This presentation evidences how programmes of internationally sponsored Security Sector Reform (SSR) alters security landscapes and transforms societal and political power apparatuses in its applied contexts, to the extent that, rather than creating a homogenous central state security apparatus, it instead often exacerbates socio-political divisions. These divisions then manifest themselves into the form of alternative articulations of security configurations which violently compete against one another for resources and legitimacy.  The case of the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) provides for an apt case study as the state-building project there has become synonymous with SSR and where the implementation of liberal rule is predicated on the reform of the security sector. SSR in the oPt has failed to achieve stability for the Palestinian people. It has instead catalyzed the further polarization of Palestinian politics and the division of the oPt into two separate political entities, one of which has been denied international recognition. SSR has created a paradox on the ground in the oPt, whereby the Palestinian Authority and to a certain extent the de facto government of Hamas are in control of a territory, but not a territorial entity resembling a state in the Weberian sense. Both polities are products of SSR's flawed processes of securitization, at the opposite ends of the security spectrum, which have produced and perpetuated the production of a plurality of lesser hegemonies and their oligopolies of violence in both the West Bank and Gaza.


Dr. Tahani Mustafa is presently an ESRC postdoctoral fellow at the London School of Economics’ (LSE) department of International Relations, where she is expanding her research on security governance in the region. She holds over seven years of experience working within the fields of development and security governance in the Middle East, conducting field research, academic research fellowships and lectureships.  Based between the UK, Israel/ Palestine and Jordan,  Dr. Mustafa has also spent the last several years consulting for various international, regional and local governmental and private entities working within regional socio-economic development and security assistance programs. 

Dr. Mustafa obtained her PhD in Politics and International Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

Chair: Adam Hanieh (SOAS)

Organiser: SOAS Middle East Institute and the Centre for Palestine Studies, SOAS

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