This article relies on an ethnographic study of formal and informal chains of mediation triggered by administrative procedures that Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza have to follow to obtain a permit of entry into Israel. By studying the networks these interactions structure, it attempts to apprehend the spatial dimensions of the Israeli permit regime beyond national and territorial frameworks. Drawing on Henri Lefebvre’s concept of production of space, this study does not reduce spaces to the shapes of territory but apprehends them through the dynamic articulations of people’s streams of actions. This shift provides two advantages. First, it helps in scrutinizing the dissemination of power and mechanisms of domination between Israelis and Palestinians much beyond ethnonational hierarchies. Second, it shows that the spatial effects of Israeli control mechanisms manifest themselves not only through the territorial confinement of Palestinians but also through the viscous texture they impose on Palestinian spatial practices compared to fluid Israeli ones. In that perspective, the Israeli permit regime shows some similarities to bordering technologies of global and postcolonial capitalism.
Cédric Parizot; Viscous Spatialities: The Spaces of the Israeli Permit Regime of Access and Movement. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 January 2018; 117 (1): 21–42. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-4282028
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