Neo-settler colonialism and the re-formation of territory: Privatization and nationalization in Israel

Haim Yacobi, Erez Tzfadia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article we critically analyse the production of Israeli territory vis a vis the ongoing transformation of land and planning policies from ones based on pure nationalism to those purporting neo-liberal logic. Unlike the existing literature − including the most recent critical body of knowledge on planning, resource management and public policy in Israel − we contend that this transformation must be understood within the framework of settler colonialism. Our main argument is that the growing dominance of neo-liberal policies, expressed in the form of new public management, privatization of space, planning and territorial management, is bound up with Israel’s settler-colonial politics. Based on our detailed study of the dynamics of the privatization of space in Israel, we conceptualize the interplay between centralistic-national territorial management and new public management, free market-driven, privatization-prone, liberal planning and land policies as neo-settler colonialism. This concept focuses on the symbiotic relationships between these two vectors, with the latter providing a new mechanism of colonial control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalMeditteranean Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • decentralization privatization
  • Israel
  • land
  • neo-liberalism
  • new public management
  • planning
  • settler-colonialism
  • territory


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