|Title||Ritualised securitisation: The European Union’s failed response to Hamas’s success|
Why and how do political leaders and bureaucrats miss opportunities or make mistakes? This article explores the pressures to conform and to perform that direct securitising decisions and practices. It begins with the assertion that the European Union missed an opportunity to engage with Hamas after the movement’s participation and success in transparent and democratically legitimated elections, and instead promoted a politics of increased securitisation. The securitisation of Hamas worked against the European Union’s own stated aims of state-building and democratisation, and increased the resistance image of Hamas. This article investigates the rituals that shaped this decision, arguing that punitive and conforming dynamics implicated the knowing of the event. Performance studies and anthropology observe how rituals let participants know how to behave in a given situation, and they performatively constitute a social reality through the appearance of normalcy or harmony. Hamas was reproduced as threat through the European Union’s compulsion to repeat a policy of conditionality, which was performative of Hamas’s ability to respond diplomatically to its own securitisation. First, at a discursive level, rituals simplify or reduce the complexity of an event by allowing participants to respond to new issues through existing regimes of intelligibility. Second, at a practice level, rituals impose an imperative to perform within the workplace, which limits the possibility for dissent or for challenging hierarchy within the institution. This investigation relies on elite interviews with senior Hamas representatives conducted in Gaza, and interviews with European Union representatives who were involved in monitoring the elections and enacting a response to Hamas’s success.
|Journal||European Journal of International Relations|
|Journal citation||25 (1), pp. 156-178|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1177/1354066118763506|
|Published online||21 Mar 2018|
|Published in print||01 Mar 2019|