New Article: Cohen, The On‐Going Civil Service Reform in Israel

Cohen, Nissim. “Forgoing New Public Management and Adopting Post‐New Public Management Principles: The On‐Going Civil Service Reform in Israel.” Public Administration and Development 36.1 (2016): 20-34.

Since the 1980s, New Public Management (NPM) and post‐NPM reforms have dominated attempts to improve public administration. The literature suggests several reasons for the latter approach. However, these explanations seem to be less relevant to the ongoing civil service reforms in Israel. The Israeli experience is an example where NPM reforms did not occur, but post‐NPM reforms were adopted enthusiastically decades later. Our findings demonstrate how under the structural conditions of both non‐governability and bureaucratic centralization, post‐NPM reforms may provide an attractive layering strategy, offering the option of changing certain features of the system without requiring a drastic, comprehensive overhaul of it. Once Israeli decision makers decided that there was a real public demand for reform, and long‐term learning and diffusion processes convinced them that change was needed, the characteristics of the post‐NPM approach made it much easier politically for them to adopt.




New Book: Navot, The Constitution of Israel: A Contextual Analysis

Navot, Suzie. The Constitution of Israel: A Contextual Analysis. Oxford: Hart, 2014.




This book presents the main features of the Israeli constitutional system and a topical discussion of Israel’s basic laws. It focuses on constitutional history and the peculiar decision to frame a constitution ‘by stages’. Following its British heritage and the lack of a formal constitution, Israel’s democracy grew for more than four decades on the principle of parliamentary supremacy. Introducing a constitutional model and the concept of judicial review of laws, the ‘constitutional revolution’ of the 1990s started a new era in Israel’s constitutional history. The book’s main themes include: constitutional principles; the legislature and the electoral system; the executive; the protection of fundamental rights and the crucial role of the Supreme Court in Israel’s constitutional discourse. It further presents Israel’s unique aspects as a Jewish and democratic state, and its ongoing search for the right balance between human rights and national security. Finally, the book offers a critical discussion of the development of Israel’s constitution and local projects aimed at enacting a single and comprehensive text.

Click here for a full Table of Contents (PDF).