In today’s global era of national security, increasing number of people and, most importantly, entire populations are marked and targeted as “suspect.” While research has examined the sociolegal production of suspicion, the question of how “suspect populations” negotiate scrutiny and sociolegal control remains under-researched. This talk will present a comparison of Palestinians in a West Bank refugee camp and those in an Israeli “mixed” city to argue that how and by whom securitized control is exercised has enduring emotional and political effects on members of “suspect” groups. Based on ethnography and historical-legal analysis, the talk will show how aggressive forms of militarism push refugee Palestinians to invest in organized solidarity, while subterranean security interventions produce mutual distrust and fragmentation among urban Palestinians. These findings will be placed in dialogue with emerging interdisciplinary conversations on the security state in everyday life.
Silvia Pasquetti is assistant professor of sociology at Newcastle University in the UK and currently a member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton. She studies structures and experiences of displacement, urban militarism, surveillance, securitized humanitarianism, and the relationship between law and morality. Her work appears in such journals as Theory & Society, Ethnic & Racial Studies, Law & Society Review, and Political Power & Social Theory. Her forthcoming book (Oxford University Press) draws on her long-term ethnography among Palestinians in the West Bank and urban Israel. She is currently conducting fieldwork for a new project on border formation and refugee reception in Europe.