Security and insecurity in a police state: Security Sector Reform in the occupied Palestinian territories and the law of unintended consequences

As a wave of protests swept through the Arab world in 2010–11, toppling regimes that had long seemed invulnerable to such popular mobilization, the relative stability of the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) largely escaped international attention. In a marked break with the unrest and massive sustained popular mobilizations of the past, no significant opposition emerged to challenge the status quo in the oPt, even though dissatisfaction with the status quo runs high in the territories. The author of this article argues that the reason for this historic quiescence is the conflicted version of the security-led mode of governance in the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) that the Oslo process has established in the oPt, backed by US and EU financial and technical assistance.

This article is the second contribution in the Center for Security Governance's new blog series that features recent research findings on security sector reform published in international relations academic journals.

This contribution summarizes research originally published here:

Mustafa, Tahani, (2015). “Damming the Palestinian Spring: Security Sector Reform and Entrenched Repression”. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding. DOI:

Organisation Type(s) Types