PhD Defense Gabriel Schwake: The Privatisation of a National Project

On 8 September, Mr. Gabriel Schwake defends his PhD thesis 'The Privatisation of a National Project: The settlements along the Trans-Israel Highway since 1977'.

The settlements along the Trans-Israel Highway illustrate the privatisation of the national settlement enterprise. To understand this process, this dissertation focuses on the settlement production mechanism, which consists of the reciprocal interests of the government and various private groups to develop and domesticate the border area between the State of Israel and the occupied West-Bank - the Green-Line. Centring on the spatial privileges the state granted to diverse spatial agents, this dissertation examines the manner in which different favoured groups were given the power to colonise, plan, develop and market space as a means to enhance the state’s power over it. Investigating the gradual transformation of this production mechanism, this dissertation explores the increasing privatisation of the local economy and culture, as well as how this was manifested in the built environment. Examining the modifications in the architectural and urban products this mechanism produced, this dissertation analyses the materialisation of the privatised national settlement project and how it transformed together with the changing political and economic interests.