10392 Social Movements and Political Protest in Israel 1

Credits: 6 advanced credits in Political Science

Prerequisites: 36 credits, including Social Movements and Political Protest, and Democracies and Dictatorships: Comparative Politics,2 or State and Society: The Sociology of Politics. Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library.

The course is based on readers (in Hebrew and English) edited by Tamar Hermann.

In the first decades of the existence of the state, political parties and the political establishment characterized Israeli politics. This particularly suited the consolidation stage of the various governmental systems, especially in light of the strong sense of external threat which encouraged political conformity. It also suited the prevalent conception in the world at the time that maintained that the public was indifferent and politically ignorant and therefore its political involvement should be curtailed. In recent decades a significant change, both conceptual and practical, has taken place in this area: the public’s involvement in the political process has increased significantly. This change – which had considerable implications on politicians’ accountability and on issues on the public agenda in Israel – is the focus of the course.

Topics: The political and cultural background to the development of extra-parliamentary activity in Israel; Manifestations of socio-economic protest and the grounds for its occurrence; Organized extra-parliamentary activities of various nationalist-religious right-wing factions; Manifestations of political participation by the left-wing and the peace camp; Expressions of protest in the Haredi (ultra-orthodox) sector; Political and extra-parliamentary activity of the Arab population in Israel; Extra-parliamentary activities of women in Israel; Public participation in activities related to ecology and nuclear materials.

1Students may write a seminar paper in this course, although it is not required.

There is some overlap in the content of this and other courses. For details, see Overlapping Courses.

2or Democracies and Dictatorships: Ideas, Contexts, Regimes (10660, 3 cr.) which is no longer offered.