Security responses increasingly involve the delegation of security roles from state actors, such as the police and the military, to a plurality of public and private institutions. This article focuses on the emergence of a modular governance logic in security provision, in which urban security is diffused into differing modules – security actors, performances, technologies and practices – which can be enlisted, deployed, instructed, entwined, detached and withdrawn at will. This article identifies three features of urban modular security provision: the heterogeneity of its public and private components, the development of reserved capacities, and the differential multifacetedness of its performances and practices. These are explored through the case study of East Jerusalem, in which a modular security provision emerged where previously undefined and ad-hoc security arrangements became cohesive, normalized and codified through practice and law. In tracing the flows of security authorities, personnel and knowledge produced within a modular security assemblage, this article proposes that the modular assembly of security actors complements policing institutions by providing other informal disciplinary, punitive and statecrafting powers, in a manner which obfuscates controversial state policies and unequally distributes rights and resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-456
Number of pages19
JournalSecurity Dialogue
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

    Research areas

  • Israel/Palestine, Jerusalem, modular security, securitization, security governance, security privatization

ID: 40432772