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Transforming Citizenship through Hybrid Governance: The Impacts of Public-Private Security Assemblages


This project is an anthropological study of how citizenship is being reconfigured through hybrid forms of governance. It will research these transformations by focusing on public-private ‘security assemblages’, with particular emphasis on the role of the private security industry. Much recent scholarly debate has focused on shifting modes of governance in a context of neoliberal globalization. Specific attention has focused on how governance is increasingly achieved through networks or assemblages of state, corporate and voluntary actors. Such assemblages of state and non-state actors blur the lines between public and private, and between local, national and transnational. This research will extend this debate by investigating the implications this form of governance has for how different groups enact and experience citizenship, concentrating on public-private security assemblages as hybrid, multi-scalar governance structures. It will examine how forms of ‘differentiated citizenship’ are produced, and how political subjectivities shift, as a result of these forms of security governance.

These transformations in citizenship will be analyzed through a multi-sited, comparative analysis of security assemblages in Jerusalem (Israel), Kingston (Jamaica) and Nairobi (Kenya). The project will research the composition, operation and regulation of public-private security assemblages, with special attention to the global mobilities of security experts and expertise. In each setting, the project will study the practices and discourses that structure relations between state and non-state security providers, clients and those seen as threats. It will focus on the ‘security encounter’ between these different actors, in which new social relationships and subjectivities are produced. The project is expected to lead to the development of an anthropological theory of security governance with both theoretical and applied relevance.

Call for proposal

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Host institution

EU contribution
€ 1 484 656,00
1012WX Amsterdam

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West-Nederland Noord-Holland Groot-Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Rivke Jaffe (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Rivke Jaffe (Dr.)
Total cost
No data

Beneficiaries (1)