Talk by Steve Niva, Evergreen State College, on "Counterinsurgency and Spatial Power: Lessons of Warfare and Occupation From Palestine to Iraq".
Thursday, May 26, 3:30pm - 5:00pm
American University of Beirut, College Hall, Auditorium B1
Abstract: This talk will discuss how Israel's strategies and technologies of spatial incarceration, particularly its use of walls and checkpoints to confine the Palestinian population into spatial enclaves, were exported to Iraq by the U.S. military in 2007 as part of its new “surge” counterinsurgency strategy. The U.S. adoption of Israeli strategies of spatial incarceration reflects a broader turn towards techniques warfare that some term strategies of biopower--forms of power applied across a population over their basic life functions – in order to control and/or contain rebellious or unwanted populations. The American application of these techniques, however, differs from Israeli usage. Spatial incarceration in Iraq is characterized by positive biopower that seeks to shape the livelihood of the population so that it will accept its neo-colonial occupation. In contrast, Israel's use of spatial incarceration is characterized by negative biopower that seeks to diminish the livelihood of the population as a form of abandonment and suppression in what amounts to a more ‘classic’ colonial form of occupation.
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