Israel Politics and Society
Credits: 4 ECTS
This class both introduces students to the politics of Israel and explores the ways in which the study of Israel can contribute to important contemporary debates. The first half of the class maps the contours of Israeli domestic politics: the conflicts within Israeli society, the functioning of Israel’s political institutions, the identity of its key political actors, and the features of its public policy. The second half of the class explicitly places Israel in comparative perspective. Israel’s experiences can illuminate many ongoing debates in other democracies, such as those about how religion and politics should relate and territorial conflicts. Although this course is not about the Arab-Israeli or Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, their influence on Israeli politics and society will be addressed.
This course will combine frontal lectures with several presentations by the students, aimed at encouraging them to juxtapose the theoretical underpinnings of the readings to the institutional and policy reality of contemporary Israel. The evaluation of the course will consist on a mid-term take home exam (40% of the grade) and a final discussion paper (to be coordinated with the instructor, 50% of the grade). Class presentations and participation will amount to 10% of the grade.