Financialising the Frontier: Harish City

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Housing and settlement played a key role in the formation of an Israeli society and its territorial project. While earlier frontier settlement relied on the rural sector and on peripheral development towns, with the liberalisation and privatisation of the local economy it was incorporated in the nationwide suburbanisation process. Eventually, with the neoliberal turn, the state sought to redirect investors, entrepreneurs, developers, and families to frontier areas by creating a real estate market and thus financialising the national territorial enterprise. This paper focuses on Harish, a rapidly developing housing project on the border with the occupied Palestinian West-Bank (the Green-Line). Presenting the geopolitical and societal interests behind its development, as well as the transformations its planning processes went through, this paper shows how the state was able to financialise its frontier and to eventually domesticate its border area. Analysing the spatial characteristics of Harish, this paper explains how the built environment functioned both as the medium and outcome of the alliance between national interests and market economy, merging financial frontiers with economic ones.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102945
Number of pages12
JournalCities: the international journal of urban policy and planning
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Frontiers
  • Housing
  • Israel/Palestine
  • Neoliberalism
  • Territoriality


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