Between continuity and change: The EU's mechanism of differentiated value integration
. European Journal of Political Research. 2018;57 (1) :217-237.Abstract
How does the European Union integrate new values into the text of its treaties? A growing body of literature indicates that, in the past three decades, new norms and values have entered the EU's discourse, resulting in what is usually termed ‘normative power Europe’. Yet the research and knowledge to‐date about the EU's discursive assimilation of new values and norms is surprisingly poor. As any institutional change, such integration has the potential to undermine the coherence of the EU's identity and thus also its objective to ‘speak with one voice’. This article explores the EU's discursive management of the continuity‐versus‐change imperative by analysing the integration of new values into the text of its treaties. This issue is addressed based on a quantitative content analysis on the full texts of European founding treaties between the 1950s and 2009. Findings show that the distribution of the EU's values in the text is not uniform: while the language of market economy and democracy is pervasive, the values of peace, European identity, rights and social justice are mentioned less frequently and in restricted linguistic environments. To account for the differences in the integration of values into the EU's treaty discourse, the article develops the notion of a discursive mechanism of differentiated value integration (MDVI). This rationale echoes the logic of differentiation in policy implementation employed by the EU. It is claimed here that, applied in the European discursive arena, MDVI allows radically different readings of the same text. This helps the EU to maintain a coherent value identity while at the same time enabling change.
Exclusion and Cooperation in Diverse Societies: Experimental Evidence from Israel
. American Political Science Review. 2018;112 (3) :742-757.Abstract
It is well-established that in diverse societies, certain groups prefer to exclude other groups from power and often from society entirely. Yet as many societies are diversifying at an increasingly rapid pace,the need for cross-group cooperation to solve collective action problems has intensified. Do preferences for exclusion inhibit the ability of individuals to cooperate and, therefore, diminish the ability for societies to collectively provide public goods? Turning to Israel, a society with multiple overlapping and politically salient cleavages, we use a large-scale lab-in-the-field design to investigate how preferences for exclusion among the Jewish majority predict discriminatory behavior toward Palestinian Citizens of Israel. We establish that preferences for exclusion are likely symbolic attitudes, and therefore stable and dominating of other attitudes; are held especially strongly by low-status majority group members; and powerfully predict costly non-cooperation. This preferences/behavior relationship appears unaffected by mitigating factors proposed in the intergroup relations literature. The demonstrated influence of symbolic attitudes on behavior calls for further examination of the social roots of exclusionary preferences.
The Provocative Effect of Law: Majority Nationalismand Minority Discrimination
. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. 2018;15 (4) :951-986.Abstract
Western societies have experienced ethnic and religious diversification in recent decades. These demographic changes have been met by efforts to defend the local dominant culture using majority nationalism laws, intended to protect the cultural heritage of the majority. We empirically examine majority nationalism laws’ expressive effects on patterns of minority discrimination using the Israeli draft Nation Law (NL) as a case study. Drawing on two experimental surveys of a representative sample of the majority population of Israel (N = 602), our results lend weak support to the hypothesis that majority nationalism laws increase bias against minorities, and modest support to the hypothesis that such laws generate unintended spillover effects across different minority groups and from the public to the private sphere. Our main finding is that majority nationalism laws provoke a backlash reaction from those who oppose them. We define this as the provocative effect of law and discuss its relation to the expressive law theory. The results suggest that the effects of majority nationalism laws may vary systematically across ideological groups and spheres of discrimination.
Slavery and Liberty: Talmud and Political Theory in Dialogue
. Harvard Theological Review. 2018;111 :147-173.Abstract
While focusing on the concept of liberty, this article produces a dialogue between the Talmud and western political theory, and thus expands the canon of political thought. Equipped with three concepts of liberty—negative, positive, and republican—this article offers an original reading to Babylonian Talmud Giṭ 12a–13a. The talmudic passage's pivotal question—whether liberty is necessarily beneficial to a slave—enables us to reconstruct its fundamental, albeit implicit, understandings of both slavery and liberty. The talmudic approach to slavery and liberty emerges as concrete, and hence yields a thick and multi-faceted notion of liberty. Considering that a person might prefer the benefits of slavery reveals a paradox in Isaiah Berlin's negative concept of liberty. Therefore, as this article concludes, his conceptual distinction between two concepts of liberty is unsustainable and needs to be replaced by a concrete and thick notion of liberty.
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: Religiosity, Emotion Regulation and Well-Being in a Jewish and Christian Sample
. Journal of Happiness Studies. 2018.Abstract
People who are more religious tend to experience more positive affect and higher levels of life satisfaction. Current explanations for this relation include social support, meaning in life, and more positive emotional experiences. Adding cognitive reappraisal as a new mechanism, we propose that religion consistently trains people to reappraise emotional events, making the devout more effective in applying this emotion regulation practice, which cultivates more positive affect and greater life satisfaction. In two studies, involving Israeli Jewish (N = 288) and American Christian (N = 277) participants, we found that more frequent use of cognitive reappraisal mediated the relationship between religiosity and affective experiences, which in turn, were associated with greater life satisfaction. Religiosity was associated with more frequent cognitive reappraisal (in both samples) and less frequent expressive suppression (in the Christian sample). Cognitive reappraisal mediated the link between religiosity and positive affect (in both samples) as well as negative affect (in the Christian sample). We discuss implications for understanding the link between religion and emotional well-being.
From a Whisper to a Scream: The Politicization of The Ethiopian Community in Israel
. Israel Studies. 2018;23 (2) :25-50.Abstract
The article explores the political mobilization of the Ethiopian minority of Israel. Utilizing the 2015 Ethiopian protests as illustrative of larger political trends undergone by the minority, we utilize the tools of social movement theory to unpack the two-month long protest wave. Specifically, we address why the protests occurred, how they developed, and where and when they emerged, by exploring the grievances framing the protests, the collective’s
mobilizing infrastructure, and processes of local and international diffusion and emulation. The results highlight the ongoing and emerging trends and developments within the Ethiopian minority, situating the events within a larger process of politicization.
Religion and Political Protest: A Cross-Country Analysis
. Comparative Political Studies. 2018.Abstract
Religion’s effect on individual tendency to engage in political protest is influenced both by the resources available to citizens at the individual level and opportunities provided to religious groups and organizations at the country level. Combining data from last two waves of the World Values Surveys with aggregate data on religious regulation, we show that private religious beliefs reduce an individual’s protest potential while involvement in religious social networks fosters it. At the country level, we find that government regulation of religion decreases individual tendency to protest, and has an especially detrimental effect on the likelihood of religious minorities joining peaceful protest activities. These findings are in line with opportunity structure theories that stress the importance of system openness for fostering political protest.
Armies of God, Armies of Men: A Global Comparison of Secular and Religious Terror Organizations
. Terrorism and Political Violence. 2018;30 (1) :1-21.Abstract
This article compares the violent activity of secular and religious terror organizations. Utilizing data compiled by the Global Terrorism Database cross-referenced with secondary and primary sources regarding the degree of religious components embedded in organizations’ ideologies, it tests the violent patterns of activity carried out by organizations guided by predominantly secular, secular/religious, and religious ideologies, between the years 1970 and 2012. The findings confirm that a) religious ideology correlates with specific, more deadly, attack tactics and violent patterns; and b) the degree of religious components within terror organizational ideology should be tested along a spectrum: the more religious an organization is, the more attacks it tends to carry out, and the deadlier its attacks become.
Ideological Rigidity and Flexibility of Secular and Religious Terror Groups: The Case of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Hamas
. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. 2018;41 (9) :696-721.Abstract
This article explores the ideological rigidity of secular and religious terror groups. Analyzing leaflets disseminated by two Palestinian groups during the First Intifada, it examines if and how each shifted its identity and goals in response to repression, political shifts, or resource changes. The results suggest that while similar catalysts led to ideological reformation among the secular and the religious group, the extent of ideological change within the religious group was more limited. The article argues for the need to disaggregate ideological analysis further in order to identify more subtle shifts, alterations, and omissions, in the positions held by religious terror groups, moving past the exploration of if such changes exist in ideological templates and instead focusing on the extent and type of alterations the different groups allow.
Security Networks, Deep States, and the Democratic Deficit in the Middle East
. Middle East Journal. 2018;72 (3) :447-467.Abstract
This article argues that part of the reason why some Middle Eastern states remain democratically challenged is the emergence, operation, and political influence of "security networks" and "deep states"—informal actors in the area of national security. The article explains what these actors are, situates them in a broad theoretical and comparative perspective, assesses their impact on democratic development, and provides examples from Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt.
Rhetoric and doctrines of policy over- and underreactions in times of crisis
. Policy & Politics. 2018;46 (1) :47-63.Abstract
This article distinguishes between disproportionate policy response by error (bounded rationality) and disproportionate response by choice, and advances a further distinction of such choices between two disproportionate policy options, namely, rhetoric and doctrine. Probing the 'plausibility' of these terms, the article presents pertinent illustrations drawn from the military, financial and environmental domains in the US, Britain, Israel, Australia, Singapore and the European Union. These illustrations show that, during pre-crisis and in-crisis periods, both options can be purposefully designed to signal policymakers' preference and/or to deliver the disproportionate responses in pursuit of policy goals.
Bureaucrats' processing of organizational reputation signals
. Journal of Behavioral Public Administration . 2018.Abstract
Notwithstanding the significance of a positive bureaucratic reputation, the average bureau functions amidst deep-rooted public hostility. Bureaucracy bashing presumably weakens public sector employees' commitment to their bureaus, which is known to undermine public sector performance. Motivated by these concerns, this paper investigates whether exogenous signals regarding a bureau's reputation affect the organizational attachment - identification and commitment - of its employees, and the variation in employee responses. Employing an experiment at an Israeli welfare bureaucracy, we show that the organizational attachment of employees who feel central and influential within the bureau is unshaken, and even reinforced, in response to negative reputation signals. Conversely, employees who feel marginal and powerless are receptive to both negative and positive reputation signals. The implications of these findings are that public organizations can buffer their employees from the detrimental effects of negative reputation signals, yet by so doing they may shut out justified scrutiny and demands for change.
Enhancing democracy via bureaucracy: Senior managers' social identities and motivation for policy change
. Governance. 2018;31 (2) :359-380.Abstract
This article challenges the depiction of bureaucracy as a hurdle to democratic responsiveness. It proposes that senior civil servants' (SCSs) dual position as professionals and citizens may enhance government permeability to salient public agendas. Building on social identity theory, we argue that salient public agendas may arouse SCSs' social identification with in‐groups and thereby elicit their motivation for policy change within their task domain. Employing a mixed‐methods design, we analyze SCSs' social identification with the participants of the large‐scale social protests that took place in Israel during the summer of 2011, and their motivation for policy change in response to the protest agenda. We find that SCSs' social identification with the protesters enhanced their motivation for policy change. In addition, SCSs' perception of a conflict between responsiveness to the protest agenda and their organizational or professional identities shaped their preferences for policy solutions more than their motivation for policy change.
The Consequences of Strategic News Coverage for Democracy: A Meta-Analysis
. Communication Research. 2018.Abstract
One of the most dominant ways of covering politics in the media is by focusing on politicians’ strategies for gaining public support and their positions at the polls. The conventional wisdom is that this tendency—usually referred to as strategic, horse race, or game coverage—has negative consequences for democracy because it increases political alienation. Others argue, however, that the public’s attraction to strategic coverage improves knowledge about issues and encourages civic engagement. This study examines the consequences of strategic coverage by performing a meta-analysis of published and unpublished studies. Based on 54 findings from 32 studies and 38,658 respondents, I show that across studies and contexts, strategic coverage increases political cynicism (d = 0.32), reduces substance-based political knowledge (d = −0.31), and discourages positive evaluations regarding the news items (d = −0.22). However, there is no evidence that this coverage erodes participation. These findings correspond with scholars’ previous concerns.
On social rhythm: A renewed assessment of Van Gennep’s Rites of Passage
. Journal of Classical Sociology. 2018.Abstract
Contrary to most readers who have emphasized the notions of passage or liminality, I demonstrate in this study that Van Gennep’s Rites de passage is articulated around the four notions of sequences, margins, passages, and schema. Subsequently, the main claim of this article is to propose the idea of social kinesis—or social rhythm—as the crux of Van Gennep’s theory. Such a fresh reappraisal of Van Gennep is also an opportunity to show how Pierre Bourdieu sought for social laws and regularities in a rather deterministic fashion, and completely overlooked Van Gennep’s idea of motion. More importantly, this article is an invitation to reconsider Van Gennep’s epistemological approach as a bridge between the social and the life sciences. Indeed, Van Gennep’s so-called méthode des séquences emerges from a dialogue between the social sciences and biology on the one hand, and with cosmology on the other. Indeed, I illuminate how Van Gennep investigated the enigmas of social life and dynamics within the framework of his understanding of metabolism and regenerative processes.
International Frame Building in Mediated Public Diplomacy
. בתוך Doing news framing analysis 2: Empirical and theoretical perspectives Doing news framing analysis 2: Empirical and theoretical perspectives New York: Routledge ; 2018. 'עמ. 249-273.Abstract
This chapter focuses on strategic frame building by political actors in the international arena. We reflect on studies in mediated public diplomacy, defined as the attempt to influence the presentation of a country in foreign media, and argue that it is a suitable theoretical concept when attempting to describe the strategic efforts carried out by national actors in order to achieve political and communicative objectives in the international arena. We argue that value and political proximity between countries play a key role in the ability of national actors to promote their preferred frames in the foreign media. Proximity, however, is characterized by a relative and conditional nature, which is discussed in the chapter in detail. Finally, we argue that rhetorical framing strategies, as well as the concepts of weak versus strong frames, can be used in order to build a theory that will comprehensively explore the ways in which national actors can succeed in their strategic frame building efforts.
Electoral Systems in Context: Israel
. בתוך Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems Oxford: Oxford University Press ; 2018. 'עמ. 581-600.
Mind the Gap
. בתוך Routledge Handbook of Primary Elections Routledge Handbook of Primary Elections London: Routledge ; 2018. 'עמ. 323-334.
Political Parties and Parliamentary Politics
. בתוך Understanding Israel: Political, Societal and Security Challenges Understanding Israel: Political, Societal and Security Challenges London: Routledge ; 2018. 'עמ. 62-80.