gaza and an anthropology of government
exploration of government in Gaza has illuminated a
diverse and sometimes contradictory array of governing
practices. The ways in which these practices worked together—even as they
did not always fit together—gave shape to a mode of government, and also to
the place and people of Gaza. The relationship among government, popula-
tion, and place was not one simply of cause and e√ect, but rather operated in
multiple directions, sometimes at the same time. In addition to the national,
regional, and international forces that influenced the style of rule in Gaza, the
demands of this particular space, as a provincial market center or overcrowded
refugee destination, shaped the details of this practice. At the same time, rule
was shaped not only by the constraints of place, but also by the demands of its
participants (the governors and the governed). These demands for freedom,
for independence, for security, for order, for stability, for nation were formed
in rule and were formative of it, shifting over time and circumstance. The
e√orts to manage the complexities of governing Gaza demanded a multiplicity
of sometimes contradictory instruments and techniques.
The two major styles of rule I have explored here—the deployment of
reiterative authority and the use of tactical government—seem, and in fact
are, at odds in many ways. These practices worked together in part by not
claiming to cohere into any totality. If one of the problematics of liberal
governmentality is how to govern ‘‘spatially and constitutionally ‘at a dis-
tance’ ’’∞ —a technique that was often developed in the colonies≤—in Gaza
this problematic was inflected as how to govern without quite identifying
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