Department of Politics and International Studies & Centre for Comparative Political Thought

Civic Infrastructures of Torture

Professor Hagar Kotef is the Principal Investigator of the project on ‘Civic Infrastructures of Torture’ funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The project is based on exclusive access this research team has been granted to the archive of PCATI, which documents torture practices implemented by Israeli security agencies. The archive includes depositions provided by Palestinian victims of torture, alongside tens of thousands of documents, from medical records to official responses to correspondence with government offices. This material was previously stored in a trailer in the Jerusalem mountains. As part of this project, the team has already digitized this archive and rendered all documents searchable.

Together with Dr Shai Gotler (postdoc), and Dr Merav Amir (QUB), Professor Kotef leads the research element of this project to explore:

  1. The history and development of interrogation methods in Israel
  2. Torture as a political technology, and,
  3. The civic infrastructure—mostly bureaucratic units and medical infrastructures—that sustains the prolonged and systematic use of torture.

Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash.