Bulletin: Water in Israel

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New Article: Bick, The Evolution of Civic Service in Israel

Bick, Etta. “Institutional Layering, Displacement, and Policy Change: The Evolution of Civic Service in Israel.” Public Policy and Administration (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0952076715624272

 

Abstract

This study explores the process of endogenous institutional change. It utilizes the concepts policy layering and displacement to explain gradual but yet significant and cumulative institutional change that has taken place in civic national service policy in Israel. Layering was an expedient strategy of change given the highly charged politics surrounding national service and the opposition of ultra-orthodox and Israel’s Arab citizens to any form of service. While the government and administrative agencies were the primary agents of change, we will also take note of the important and contentious role of Israel’s High Court of Justice which served as a catalyst to policy change, compelling the government to end policy drift. However, it is important to note that judicial intervention may also derail gradual reform as will be shown in the Israeli case.

 

 

 

New Article: Ida & Talit, Reforms in Public Bus Services in Israel

Ida, Yoram, and Gal Talit. “Reforms in Public Bus Services in Israel.” International Journal of Social Science Studies 3.6 (2015).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.11114/ijsss.v3i6.1071

 

Abstract

This research presents the main results of tendering bus services in Israel from 2000 to 2014. The article discusses the impact of different tender characteristics on reform results in general, and in Israel, in particular. The article also examines the reform’s impact on the quality of government regulation of public bus services. Since many countries are facing issues related to bus service regulation, the issues discussed in this article, combined with the Israeli experience in this field, are likely to be relevant to other countries in which similar reforms have been implemented.

 

 

New Article: Levin et al, Shared Decision Making in Israeli Social Services

Levin, Lia, Sharon Gewirtz, and Alan Cribb. “Shared Decision Making in Israeli Social Services: Social Workers’ Perspectives on Policy Making and Implementation.” British Journal of Social Work (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw024

 

Abstract

Over the past decades, social policies in Israel have been characterised by a growing trend towards involving social service clients in decision-making processes. Drawing on interviews with seventy-seven social workers from various backgrounds employed in a range of organisations and positions, the current study sought to illuminate the contested nature of shared decision making (SDM), the practice and policy dilemmas it generates, and the readiness of the Israeli policy context to support its implementation. Findings from interviews are described as they relate to questions regarding participants’ definition of SDM, major dilemmas and challenges they identify in the process of using SDM, ways of coping with such issues and their perspectives on policies promoting SDM. Their discussion delineates some of the key lessons of the study, raises critical questions about potential contradictions between the call for SDM in social worker–client relationships and the ethos of policy maker–social worker relationships, and uses Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH) to ask, in light of participants’ accounts, how suitable the policy platform of Israeli social work is for supporting an effective and reflexive approach to SDM.

 

 

 

New Article: Almog-Bar, Policy Initiatives towards the Nonprofit Sector

Almog-Bar, Michal. “Policy Initiatives towards the Nonprofit Sector: Insights from the Israeli Case.” Nonprofit Policy Forum (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/npf-2016-0005

 

Abstract

The article aims to describe and analyze the main processes of policy initiatives towards the nonprofit sector in Israel since 2000, and their implications for the nonprofit sector and civil society. The process started with a review of policies regarding the sector, its roles and relationship with the government conducted by an ad hoc Review Committee established in February 2000. This then developed into few policy initiatives: in the Ministry of Social Welfare; by a governmental committee to review allocations to the nonprofit sector, and another project by the Prime Minister’s Office that attempted to change the relations between nonprofit organizations and the government. These initiatives are analyzed, focusing on the actors and the politics of the process, as well as subsequent changes and their impact on the government and civil society in Israel. The analysis reveals that, while the policy initiatives have created new forms and forums for dialogue and joint work between main-stream nonprofit organizations and the government, it has neither developed nor strengthened such organizations and civil society as an alternative public sphere. The insights obtained from the Israeli case of policy development towards the nonprofit sector points to a need for a more nuanced consideration of partnership policies between the government and the nonprofit sector, and their implications for nonprofit organizations and civil society.

 

 

 

New Article: Niv-Solomon, An Application of Prospect Theory to the Israeli War Decision in 2006

Niv-Solomon, Anat. “When Risky Decisions Are Not Surprising: An Application of Prospect Theory to the Israeli War Decision in 2006.” Cooperation and Conflict (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0010836716640837

 

Abstract

On 12 July 2006, Hezbollah operatives crossed into Israel and attacked a military patrol, killing three soldiers and kidnapping two more. In retaliation to this incident Israel launched a military operation that resulted in 34 days of fighting between Hezbollah and Israel. The Israeli retaliation has been deemed to be severe and surprising. Furthermore, a public investigation commission established by the Israeli government implicated key decision-makers, and especially Prime Minister Olmert, as guilty of hasty and irresponsible decision-making. This article views this case through the lens of prospect theory, showing how the decision was made at the framing stage, and suggesting that this decision was not hasty but, rather, was consistent with the logic of loss-aversion.

 

 

 

New Article: Machold, ‘26/11’ and the Anti-Politics of Urban Security Governance

Machold, Rhys. “Learning from Israel? ‘26/11’ and the Anti-Politics of Urban Security Governance.” Security Dialogue (early view; online first).

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0967010616645019

 

Abstract

This article calls for a greater emphasis on issues of politics and anti-politics within critical debates about transnational security governance in the metropolis. While scholars have documented the growing popularity of policy ‘models’ and ‘best practices’ in policing and urban security planning, we know little about what makes these schemes attractive to the officials who enroll in them. I take the government of Maharashtra’s decision to ‘learn from Israel’ following the 2008 Mumbai attacks (26/11) as an invitation to re-evaluate the relationships among policymaking, politics, and depoliticization. Focusing on references to Israeli security know-how as a ‘best practice’ by Maharashtra state officials, I explore how an association with Israel was used to negotiate the conflicts and controversies that followed 26/11. The article has two aims: first, it addresses how transnational policy schemes work anti-politically within particular local contexts. Second, it locates counter-terrorism policy as a form of performative politics, which is generative of policy problems. In doing so, the article helps to reclaim the political contingency of policy responses to terroristic violence and addresses the agency of policy actors in the global South.

 

 

 

New Article: Gewirtz-Meydan et al, Social Workers’ Policy Practice in Non-Profit Organizations

Gewirtz-Meydan, Ateret, Idit Weiss-Gal, and John Gal. “Social Workers’ Policy Practice in Non-Profit Human Service Organisations in Israel.” British Journal of Social Work (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcv138
 

Abstract

The study’s aim is to expand knowledge on the level of involvement in policy-related interventions (‘policy practice’, PP) among social workers employed by non-profit human service organisations (NPHSOs) in Israel, and on the motivational and facilitating factors associated with this. The sample consisted of 106 social workers employed in NPHSOs that include social advocacy as one of their goals. Findings revealed a relatively low level of involvement in PP. Level of involvement was associated with political efficacy, political interest, activity in political and professional organisations, civic and professional skills, and organisational support for PP. The strongest predictors were PP skills and organisational support. The study’s conclusion is that an understanding of involvement in PP must take into account both the degree to which an organisational context facilitates this type of practice and the individual factors that motivate PP involvement. As such, consolidation of PP among social workers should address both facilitating and motivational issues.

 

 

 

New Article: Ben-Shahar & Warszawski, Inequality in Housing Affordability

Ben-Shahar, Danny, and Jacob Warszawski. “Inequality in Housing Affordability: Measurement and Estimation.” Urban Studies 53.6 (2016): 1178-1202.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0042098015572529

 

Abstract

This research proposes and examines a new measure for assessing the state of housing affordability inequality. We employ a large micro-level data set by which we estimate and evaluate the time-varying housing affordability inequality in Israel over the period 1992–2011. Results show that our developed housing affordability inequality Gini coefficient has considerably increased in the past decade. Moreover, controlling for changes in net income inequality and macroeconomic conditions, housing affordability inequality is found to positively correlate with average housing prices (computed in net income terms). Outcomes are robust to the alternative Atkinson inequality index. Furthermore, our method allows for an examination of segmentation in housing affordability. We find that segmentation particularly prevails across household head’s gender, family status, working status, the number of income providers in the household and household geographical residence. Research outcomes may direct policymakers in designing policies aiming to reduce inequality and segmentation in housing affordability.

 

 

 

New Article: Donaghy, Canada, the Middle East, and the Suez Crisis, 1950–1956

Donaghy, Greg. “The Politics of Accommodation: Canada, the Middle East, and the Suez Crisis, 1950–1956.” International Journal (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020702016643261

 

Abstract

This paper re-examines Canada’s response to the Suez Crisis within the context of its overall approach to the Middle East in the early 1950s. It reminds contemporary readers that most Canadian policymakers, including Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent and his Secretary of State for External Affairs, Lester B. Pearson, viewed the distant and unfamiliar region with reserve, as one better left to the Great Powers to sort out. That view only changed in 1956, when the Suez Crisis, Anglo-American discord, and the possibility of nuclear war threatened Canadian strategic interests, transforming Canada into a small regional stakeholder.

 

 

 

New Article: Steinberg, EU Foreign Policy and the Role of NGOs

Steinberg, Gerald M. “EU Foreign Policy and the Role of NGOs: The Arab-Israeli Conflict as a Case Study.” European Foreign Affairs Review 21.2 (2016): 251–68.

 

URL: http://www.kluwerlawonline.com/abstract.php?id=EERR2016016

 

Abstract

The European Union’s structural weakness in foreign policy making, and the emphasis on soft power in promoting norms, contribute significantly to its close cooperation with civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).The EU provides core funding to hundreds of NGOs and receives legitimacy, information, and analysis from them. In return, this interdependence allows NGOs to expand their impact in many areas, including foreign policy.

This study analyses the relationship between NGOs and EU decision-making in the foreign policy realm, particularly in the context of the Arab-Israel conflict. By examining EU documents on key issues, such as Jerusalem, settlements, Israeli-Arab citizens, and guidelines for cooperation with Israeli institutions, the article highlights the direct impact of selected NGOs. We argue that the close and mutual NGO-EU dependency has significant political and theoretical ramifications.

 

 

 

Lecture: Weiss, Social and Economic Policy in Israel (Berkeley, April 7, 2016)

Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies

Thursday, April 7
PUBLIC LECTURE
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC POLICY IN ISRAEL 
Avi Weiss
Executive Director of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel
Time & Location To Be Announced
Please RSVP Here
Co-sponsored by the Department of Economics 

New Article: Haber, Social Regulation in Utilities in Israel

Haber, Hanan. “Rise of the Regulatory Welfare State? Social Regulation in Utilities in Israel.” Social Policy & Administration (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/spol.12194

 

Abstract

This article explores the relation between economic liberalization, regulation and welfare. It asks how the state regulates, delays or prevents service disconnection due to debt and arrears, and what this kind of policy implies regarding the use of regulation as a form of social policy. This is done through a comparative study of the electricity and water sectors in Israel after liberalization. It finds that after initial economic reform, both sectors saw a growth in regulation intended to compensate for the social effects of reform, in what may be termed the ‘regulatory welfare state’. However, this form of social protection has been residual and incoherent. The article argues that trying to separate economic reform from its social consequences is unrealistic and may lead to adverse social and economic results. Second, findings raise concerns regarding the potential of the regulatory welfare state to deliver effective and fair social policy.

 

 

 

Report: Cohen & Mimran, A Reexamination of Israel’s Home Demolition Policy (Hebrew)

Cohen, Amichai, and Tal Mimran. Cost without Benefit: A Reexamination of Israel’s Home Demolition Policy, Policy Studies 112. Jerusalem: Israel Democracy Institute, 2015 (in Hebrew).

URL: http://www.idi.org.il/cost_with_no_benefit/

 

Abstract

Under a policy that was in force from 1967 until 2005, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) demolished the homes of the perpetrators of terrorist acts and various security offenses, as well as their accomplices. In 2005, a commission of experts, headed by Maj. Gen. Ehud Shani, expressed its doubts as to the policy’s legality and efficacy and recommended that it be abandoned. Notwithstanding, the home demolition policy was revived three years later, in 2008.

The demolition of homes is an extreme measure. The arguments against it include that it is a disproportional infringement of private property rights, constitutes collective punishment, and that there are no evident gains that can justify its use. Nevertheless, over the years, decision-makers in the IDF insisted that the deterrent effect outweighs other considerations and justifies the infringement of rights. The Supreme Court of Israel, almost without exception, has given its full backing to that position. The underlying assumption about the deterrent effect of home demolition is based on the intensity of the sanction against the terrorist and his family as well as the rapidity with which it is implemented.

This study is a three-part examination of how the IDF reached the conclusion that home demolition is an effective policy and employed it for so many years without ever conducting an empirical study. We also consider what caused the decision-makers to revive the policy only three years after it was decided to abandon it.

 

 

 

New Article: Fast, School Violence Policies in Israel

Fast, Idit. “Understanding Educational Policy Formation. The Case of School Violence Policies in Israel.” Sociology of Education (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038040715615923
 
Abstract

This study explores mechanisms underlying processes of educational policy formation. Previous studies have given much attention to processes of diffusion when accounting for educational policy formation. Less account has been given to the day-to-day institutional dynamics through which educational policies develop and change. Building on extensive governmental archival data, complemented with interviews and media analysis, I study the development and transformation of school violence policies in Israel. I argue that diffusion of global policy ideas and practices provides the menu of possible policies, while within-country struggles over legitimacy in the policy domain serve as a mechanism shaping which items on the menu becomes actual policy. Specifically, in the Israeli case, the interest in and action toward school violence were influenced by a global trend, but the actions of Psychological-Counseling Services (PCS) who struggled to assert their legitimacy as the authority on school violence in the Israeli Ministry of Education (MOE) shaped the adoption, rejection, and institutionalization of the specific school violence policy ideas and practices.

 

 

 

New Article: Lewis and Grant, Expanding the Anesthesiology Workforce in Israel

Lewis, Michael C., and Gilbert J. Grant. “Marketing or Strategy? Defining the Best Approach to Expand the Anesthesiology Workforce in Israel.” Israel Journal of Health Policy Research (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/110.1186/s13584-015-0041-8

 

Abstract

There is a chronic shortage of anesthesiologists in Israel. The study by Cohen et al. suggests that a marketing campaign may be one method of addressing this shortage. This commentary argues for a more comprehensive strategy based on the US experience. This would not only involve marketing as suggested by Cohen et al. but would also involve a fundamental change in the Israel anesthesia care model, as well as providing substantial financial incentives to young physicians. We believe that a combination of these approaches will help to alleviate the shortage of anesthesia providers in Israel. Creating a new class of physician extenders, namely, anesthesiologist assistants, would also provide an employment pathway for the skilled medical technicians trained by the Israel Defense Forces, and other non-physicians with an interest in anesthesiology.

 

 

New Article: Schoenbaum et al, Policy Issues Related to Educating the Future Israeli Medical Workforce

Schoenbaum, Stephen C., Peter Crome, Raymond H. Curry, Elliot S. Gershon, Shimon M. Glick, David R. Katz, Ora Paltiel, and Jo Shapiro. “Policy Issues Related to Educating the Future Israeli Medical Workforce: An International Perspective.” Israel Journal of Health Policy Research (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/110.1186/s13584-015-0030-y

 

Abstract

A 2014 external review of medical schools in Israel identified several issues of importance to the nation’s health. This paper focuses on three inter-related policy-relevant topics: planning the physician and healthcare workforce to meet the needs of Israel’s population in the 21st century; enhancing the coordination and efficiency of medical education across the continuum of education and training; and the financing of medical education. All three involve both education and health care delivery.

The physician workforce is aging and will need to be replenished. Several physician specialties have been in short supply, and some are being addressed through incentive programs. Israel’s needs for primary care clinicians are increasing due to growth and aging of the population and to the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions at all ages. Attention to the structure and content of both undergraduate and graduate medical education and to aligning incentives will be required to address current and projected workforce shortage areas. Effective workforce planning depends upon data that can inform the development of appropriate policies and on recognition of the time lag between developing such policies and seeing the results of their implementation.

The preclinical and clinical phases of Israeli undergraduate medical education (medical school), the mandatory rotating internship (stáge), and graduate medical education (residency) are conducted as separate “silos” and not well coordinated. The content of basic science education should be relevant to clinical medicine and research. It should stimulate inquiry, scholarship, and lifelong learning. Clinical exposures should begin early and be as hands-on as possible. Medical students and residents should acquire specific competencies. With an increasing shift of medical care from hospitals to ambulatory settings, development of ambulatory teachers and learning environments is increasingly important. Objectives such as these will require development of new policies.

Undergraduate medical education (UME) in Israel is financed primarily through universities, and they receive funds through VATAT, an education-related entity. The integration of basic science and clinical education, development of earlier, more hands-on clinical experiences, and increased ambulatory and community-based medical education will demand new funding and operating partnerships between the universities and the health care delivery system. Additional financing policies will be needed to ensure the appropriate infrastructure and support for both educators and learners.

If Israel develops collaborations between various government agencies such as the Ministries of Education, Health, and Finance, the universities, hospitals, and the sick funds (HMOs), it should be able to address successfully the challenges of the 21st century for the health professions and meet its population’s needs.

 

 

Book Launch: Ranta, Political Decision Making and Non-Decisions: The Case of Israel and the Occupied Territories

SOAS Centre for Jewish Studies

EVENING LECTURE PRGORAMME

Book Launch: “Political Decision Making and Non-Decisions: The Case of Israel and the Occupied Territories.”

BY
Dr. Ronald Ranta (Kingston University)

November 11 November 2015 – 5.30pm
Brunei Gallery, Room B104, SOAS, University of London, Russell Square, WC1H 0XG.

What is Israel’s long term plan with regard to the Occupied Territories? Did Israel ever have a clear plan? Examining Israel’s historic relationship with and political decision-making process towards the Occupied Territories, it becomes evident that successive Israeli governments lacked a coherent long term policy. Instead, successive governments implemented a number of ad-hoc and at times conflicting approaches. This lack of a clear approach had a detrimental effect not only on Israeli politics and society, but also on the Middle East in general, and on the Palestinian people in particular. Crucially to understanding the current Israeli-Palestinian crisis, the lack of a coherent long term policy is still a central feature of Israeli politics today.

Bio: Ronald Ranta is a lecturer in politics and international relations at Kingston University London.

All Welcome

This event is free and there is no need to book

Convenor: Dr. Yonatan Sagiv (js108@soas.ac.uk)

New Article: Voltolini,Non-State Actors and Framing Processes in EU Foreign Policy

Voltolini, Benedetta. “Non-State Actors and Framing Processes in EU Foreign Policy: The Case of EU–Israel Relations.” Journal of European Public Policy (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2015.1085429

 

Abstract

This article investigates the role of non-state actors (NSAs) in European Union (EU) foreign policy, focusing on how they contribute to the emergence and codification of new frames that underpin EU external policies. It argues that changes in EU foreign policy are the result of interactions among a frame entrepreneur, often played by an NSA, and policy-makers in situations of cognitive uncertainty and when a policy window opens. The empirical evidence is based on the case of EU–Israel relations: a non-governmental orgaization (NGO) called MATTIN Group acted as frame entrepreneur and contributed to the emergence and codification of a new frame of understanding of EU–Israel relations, redefining them on the basis of a legal paradigm. This clarifies the territorial scope of bilateral agreements and ensures that the bilateral relations are constructed and implemented in accordance with EU legal framework and its commitments under international law.

 

 

New Article: Paikowsky et al, Trends in Space Activities in 2014: The Significance of the Space Activities of Governments

Paikowsky, Deganit, Gil Baram, and Isaac Ben-Israel. “Trends in Space Activities in 2014 The Significance of the Space Activities of Governments.” Acta Astronautica (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2015.10.007

 

Abstract

This article addresses the principal events of 2014 in the field of space activities, and extrapolates from them the primary trends that can be identified in governmental space activities. In 2014, global space activities centered on two vectors. The first was geopolitical, and the second relates to the matrix between increasing commercial space activities and traditional governmental space activities. In light of these two vectors, the article outlines and analyzes trends of space exploration, human spaceflights, industry and technology, cooperation versus self-reliance, and space security and sustainability. It also reviews the space activities of the leading space-faring nations.