News & Events

Cosmopolis Lunch Seminar with Lior Volinz: The Modular Security Toolbox: Security Privatization and Pluralization in Jerusalem and Beyond

20 June 2019 , Geography Dept. - Room F 4.66- (VUB - Pleinlaan 2, BE-1050 Brussels, Building F) from 12.00h to 13.30h


The security landscape worldwide is going through a major transformation, in which private and pluralized actors increasingly complement or replace traditional police and security actors. In this seminar I will present findings from my doctoral dissertation, which highlight how, and why, state security actors assemble different public and private actors, materialities and technologies towards a state-led security. I propose that by creating a modular security toolbox, state security actors are able to enhance their authority and capacities to pursue controversial security policies that they would be unable, or unwilling, to pursue otherwise – to overcome the legal and operational limitations of the police, the military, and the criminal justice system. Through the case of Jerusalem (Israel/Palestine), I explore why and how security pluralization and privatization takes place in the encounter of colonial urban policing with a nominal claim for a democratic rule of law. In doing so, I aim to go beyond the existing discussion on a transformed ‘market-oriented' security landscape and its implications to different citizens.  Through findings from 11 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Jerusalem, I argue that the differential allocation of rights, resources and political decision-making is not merely a by-product of security privatization and pluralization, but can instead be its desired goal.

Bio speaker

Dr. Lior Volinz is a post-doctoral researcher at the Crime and Society (CRiS) research group. His research interest includes surveillance and policing technologies, the privatization and pluralization of security provision, and the governance of security in Israel/Palestine. Lior is working as part of the SRP project 'Crime & Society: New Challenges'.

Lior holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam (2019), where he defended his dissertation titled ‘The Modular Security Toolbox – Assembling State and Citizenship in Jerusalem’ at the department of Human Geography, Urban Planning and International Development. Lior holds a Joint MA degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Ljubljana and Stockholm University (2013, cum laude). He earned his BA in Media and History from Tel Aviv University (2010). Asides from his academic and professional work, Lior is continuously engaged with several organizations and campaigns to promote the political and social rights of Palestinians and Israelis alike