A timely study by two well-known scholars offers a theoretically informed account of the political sociology of Israel. The analysis is set within its historical context as the authors trace Israel's development from Zionist settlement in the 1880s, through the establishment of the state in 1948, to the present day. Against this background the authors speculate on the relationship between identity and citizenship in Israeli society, and consider the differential rights, duties and privileges that are accorded different social strata. In this way they demonstrate that, despite ongoing tensions, the pressure of globalization and economic liberalization has gradually transformed Israel from a frontier society to one more oriented towards peace and private profit. This unexpected conclusion offers some encouragement for the future of this troubled region.
However, Israel's position towards the peace process is still subject to a tug-of-war between two conceptions of citizenship: liberal citizenship on the one hand, and a combination of the remnants of republican citizenship associated with the colonial settlement with an ever more religiously defined ethno-nationalist citizenship, on the other.
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(228mm x 152mm x 23mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Gershon Shafir
Gershon Shafir is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego. His publications include Land, Labor, and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1882-1914 (1989, 1996) and Immigrants and Nationalists (1995). He is the editor of The Citizenship Debates (1998). Yoav Peled is lecturer in the Department of Political Science, Tel Aviv University. His book, Class and Ethnicity in the Pale: The Political Economy of Jewish Workers' Nationalism in Late Imperial Russia, was published in 1989 and he edited Ethnic Challenges to the Modern Nation-State (2000). Both authors have co-edited The New Israel: Peacemaking and Liberalization (2000).