Thorough surveillance

The genesis of Israeli policies of population management, surveillance and political control towards the Palestinian minority

By Ahmad Sa'di

Thorough surveillance


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9111-1
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £19.99
  • Published Date: January 2016
  • BIC Category: International Relations, International relations, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General, Society & social sciences / Political control & freedoms, Society & social sciences / International relations


Widely regarded as expert in techniques of surveillance and political control, Israel has been successful in controlling a native population for a long time. Despite tremendous challenges, it has maintained a tight grip over a large Palestinian population in the territories it occupied in the 1967 war. Moreover, it has effectively contained the Palestinian minority inside its 1948 borders. Although members of the latter group were granted Israeli citizenship, various policies have blocked them from challenging the state's Jewish identity. Israel's continued administration of a large Palestinian population into the twenty-first century represents a serious challenge for scholars and theorists of colonial forms of political control.

Relying on hitherto unpublished archival material, this book traces the genesis of Israeli policies and tactics of population management, surveillance and political control towards the Palestinians. It identifies the principal architects of these strategies, discusses their approaches, summarises their discussions and traces the implementations of these policies and their impact on the everyday lives of Palestinians.


'Sa'di achieves what few others have; a long-term view of a multi-faceted surveillance assemblage as it touches ordinary people going about their everyday lives.'
David Lyon, Queen's University

'This ambitious and careful study will appeal to anyone interested in the history and theory of colonial control.'
Timothy Mitchell, Columbia University

'Based on unassailable evidence of documents, names, places and dates, Sa'di calls us on all to bear witness to the making of a sophisticated system of colonial surveillance in its formation in the 1940s through to its present active mode today - state orchestrated, and deliberately designed.'
Ann Laura Stoler, The New School for Social Research

"Ahmed Sa'di's excellent treatise commences with a reminder that Israel has extended the existence of colonialism far beyond its alleged demise."
(Ramona Wadi, Middle East Monitor, 2014)


1. The formation of a discourse
2. Policies
3. Legal framework, institutions and approaches to power
4. Divide et impera
5. Subdivisions
6. The power of mind over mind: pedagogics of surveillance
7. Political rights under a military rule
Concluding remarks


Ahmad H. Sa'di is Senior Lecturer in Political Sociology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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