The Privatization of the Checkpoints and the Late Occupation/ Eilat MaozOct 2009
In the case, where the checkpoints are privatized, privatization is a less obvious step than it may at first seem, and the rationale behind the process is at least as ideological-managerial, if not more so, than it is purely economic. Similarly, I will attempt to raise several new questions which arise because of the existence of the new checkpoints, which can teach us once again what we thought we already knew about the occupation. My point here is that in the background of this text we keep hearing the question of what happens to a country when, in keeping with its neo-liberal ideology, it privatizes the most oppressive of its mechanisms, and what happens to the occupation when its very logic becomes united with the logic of late capitalism? What I would like to ask is whether we can still talk about the occupation in the same way – irregular, unexpected, organized in its lack of organization, characterized by its arbitrariness, or whether we are now facing a new occupation, which needs to be resisted in new ways.
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Tel-Aviv University
This study examines the institutionalization of neoliberal managerial models within coercive state apparatuses, and their possible impacts on state practices. Analyzing the case of privatization of military checkpoints in Israel, it shows how privatization can serve as a panacea for legitimacy crisis even when it does not yield economic gains. I asses economic explanations of privatization and demonstrate that privatization should be seen as part of a larger shift, which aimed to turn checkpoints into "international border crossings". Once introduced, privatization altered the practices of checkpoints and contributed to the conflation between inside/outside and military/police, revealing the instability of Israel's border regime. I contend that this process, taking place in a context of extreme rupture between territorial and legal sovereignty, can serve as a backdrop for theorizing the productive function of the border vis-à-vis the changing territorial state.