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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Fall 2008

GOV 365N • Israel:Society and Politics

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39525 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
MEZ B0.306
Pedahzur, A

Course Description

In recent years, the State of Israel has experienced a series of severe political crises which have left their mark on the ability of the Israeli government to continue to function efficiently. There are a number of salient reasons for this: the lack of a constitution, the absence of a democratic tradition among the adult population and the lack of an ethical and normative consensus regarding the state's character. Temporary factors may be added to these, including the lack of agreement about control of the West Bank and the un-professionalism of some of the current policy makers. The course will investigate these issues with emphasis on the behavior of principal actors in Israeli politics. We will discuss the reciprocal relations between the three main governmental authorities in Israel and their influence on the electoral system as well as the public's involvement in politics. We will then analyze the main political divisions in Israel and inter-party politics, the formation of governmental coalitions and how these are maintained, and implementation of public policy. The way these topics are integrated and formulate modern Israeli politics will be discussed, and the representative character and stability of Israeli democracy will be evaluated.

Grading Policy

Class Participation - 15% Midterm exam  35% Final Exam  50%


Arian, Asher. 2005 (2nd edition). Politics in Israel: The Second Republic. Washington D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1-47. Galnoor, Itzhak. 1993. "The Israeli Political System: A Profile." In Keith Kyle and Joel Peters (Eds.) Whither Israel? The Domestic Challenges. London: The Royal Institute of International Affairs, 87-102. Kimmerling, Baruch. 1993. State Building, State Autonomy and the Identity of Society: The Case of the Israeli State, Journal of Historical Sociology 6(4), 396-429.


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