Machold, Rhys. “Learning from Israel? ‘26/11’ and the Anti-Politics of Urban Security Governance.” Security Dialogue (early view; online first).
This article calls for a greater emphasis on issues of politics and anti-politics within critical debates about transnational security governance in the metropolis. While scholars have documented the growing popularity of policy ‘models’ and ‘best practices’ in policing and urban security planning, we know little about what makes these schemes attractive to the officials who enroll in them. I take the government of Maharashtra’s decision to ‘learn from Israel’ following the 2008 Mumbai attacks (26/11) as an invitation to re-evaluate the relationships among policymaking, politics, and depoliticization. Focusing on references to Israeli security know-how as a ‘best practice’ by Maharashtra state officials, I explore how an association with Israel was used to negotiate the conflicts and controversies that followed 26/11. The article has two aims: first, it addresses how transnational policy schemes work anti-politically within particular local contexts. Second, it locates counter-terrorism policy as a form of performative politics, which is generative of policy problems. In doing so, the article helps to reclaim the political contingency of policy responses to terroristic violence and addresses the agency of policy actors in the global South.