New Article: Elkayam-Levy, Human Rights Challenge of Prisoners’ and Detainees’ Hunger Strikes at the Domestic Level

Elkayam-Levy, Cochav. “Facing the Human Rights Challenge of Prisoners’ and Detainees’ Hunger Strikes at the Domestic Level: Guidance for Policy-Makers, Government Officials, and Legal Advisors in the Management of Hunger Strikes”. Harvard International Law Journal Online 57 (2015): 49pp.

 

URL: http://www.harvardilj.org/wp-content/uploads/Prisoners-Hunger-Strikes_FINAL.pdf/

 
Extract

This Article is written in response to this problem. Undoubtedly, Israel’s challenges in dealing with hunger strikes are not unique; hunger strikes constitute a worldwide phenomenon that has affected many Western countries.10 Prisoners’ hunger strikes have become increasingly common and their attendant ethical, legal and medical issues have been an issue of heated debate.

The phenomenon of hunger strikes has opened the debate on prisoners’ rights and state actions, yielding extensive scholarship and significant response from the international community, namely international human rights institutions and organizations, governments, and courts. However, analysis and advocacy around the rights of prisoners on hunger strikes are found chiefly in the medical literature, and to some extent centered on the unique situation of the detainees held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay. Of the literature published in legal publications,many address the medical aspects or the role of physicians,often focusing on and advocating for a response consistent with the medical and ethical rules provided by the World Medical Association.

 

 

 

New Book: Voltolini, Lobbying in EU Foreign Policy-Making: The Case of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Voltolini, Benedetta. Lobbying in EU Foreign Policy-Making: The Case of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Routledge/UACES Contemporary European Studies. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2016.

 

voltolini

 

This book examines lobbying in EU foreign policy-making and the activities of non-state actors (NSAs), focusing on EU foreign policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It sheds light on the interactions between the EU and NSAs as well as the ways in which NSAs attempt to shape EU foreign policies. By analysing issues that have not yet received systematic attention in the literature, this book offers new insights into lobbying in EU foreign policy, EU relations surrounding the conflict and the EU’s broader role in the peace process.

The book will be of key interest to scholars and students of political science, international relations, EU politics, EU foreign policy-making, Middle East studies and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: ‘Embedded’ lobbying in EU foreign policy
  • 1 Exploring lobbying in EU foreign policy-making
  • 2 The EU and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict: An overview of declarations, policies and actors
  • 3: Who’s who? Mapping non-state actors in EU policies towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • 4: Trade relations between the EU and Israel: Lobbying on the territorial scope of the EU–Israel Association Agreement
  • 5 The Goldstone Report: To endorse or not to endorse it?
  • 6 Framing the EU–Israel Agreement on pharmaceutical products: Cheaper medicines, territorial scope or policy coherence?
  • 7 Using the national level to lobby the EU
  • 8 Conclusions

 

Benedetta Voltolini is Lecturer in International Relations at the Department of Political Science, Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

 

 

New Article: Cohen, Israel’s Political Culture and the Public Policy Process

Cohen, Nissim. “Solving Problems Informally: The Influence of Israel’s Political Culture on the Public Policy Process.” In Public Administration and Policy in the Middle East (ed. Alexander R. Dawoody; New York: Springer, 2015), 231-45.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-1553-8_13

 

Abstract

This chapter describes and explains the informal influence of Israeli political culture on the public policy process. I will demonstrate how informal elements are rooted in Israeli society and are an integral part of its public policy and administration. Specifically, the chapter explains the impact of a particular type of political culture, called “alternative politics” in the Israeli literature, on public policy and institutional settings. Alternative politics is based on a “do-it-yourself” approach adopted by citizens to address their dissatisfaction with governmental services. When such a mode of political culture is diffused to all sectors and levels of society, all players, including bureaucrats and politicians, are guided by short-term considerations and apply unilateral strategies that bypass formal rules either through illegal activity or by marginalizing formal rules. Hence, the notion of alternative politics is not confined only to the Israeli experience, as elements of this issue emerge as part of the dialogue about political culture in Arab countries, as well as in other societies around the world.

Dissertation: Doron, The Impact of Social Housing on the Empowerment of the Poor in Israel

Doron, Guy. Is Empowerment of Disadvantaged Populations Achievable through Housing Policies? A Study of the Impact of Social Housing on the Empowerment of the Poor in Israel, PhD Thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2015.

 
URL: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.647167

 

Abstract
This research project investigates whether the empowerment of Israel’s population — and in particular those who suffer multiple disadvantages — is achievable through housing policies and whether successive Israeli administrations have helped or hindered this process. The research focuses on communities in publicly-subsidised areas during social housing programmes. The housing programmes analysed in this research were: The Demolish and Rebuild Programme, which represents a top-down process, implemented with little residents’ involvement. Neighbourhood Renewal, which was a programme that formally offered partnership, giving residents partial share in decision-making. Finally, Right to Buy represented a resident-led partnership, in which residents felt empowered to overcome their own disadvantaged conditions by taking a leading role in transforming housing policy. The database complementing this research was compiled, in part, from 91 in-depth interviews with residents, policy makers and officials representing these three programmes. It is a unique aspect of this research, as it draws on perspectives about participation from those who have not necessarily had an opportunity to express an opinion before, and communicates a variety of views regarding the projects and residents’ participation in them. This study focuses on how it actually affects people and can even create behavioural change among those who are normally considered dependent. Another exceptional and distinctive factor provided by this research is its analysis of empowerment in the social and political context of Israel. By analysing the Israeli case, this research will contribute both to international knowledge and academic scholarship, highlight the conditions of an individual state and generate an original and provocative narrative. The issue of participation and empowerment in a society so riven with political, social, religious and ethnic tensions is particularly important. Learning from the Israeli experience has the potential to promote understanding of empowerment under pressure. Empowerment related to social housing policy is distinctive in Israel because housing is synonymous with security. Housing is more than a cultural issue, since in Israel owning a property is a matter of security. Another key feature is the focal role of central government which determines almost every aspect in the shaping of social and housing policy. Also critical is the influence of national politics on local decision-making. In Israel the political agenda is based upon bilateralism and the demographic dispersal of population across the state’s formal and informal borders. Empowerment is a complex term. This research, however, explores examined and evidenced empowerment using just two main features: examination of residents’ participation; and evaluation of public policy towards resident participation. This research offers a unique view on empowerment within social housing policies that are subject to multiple pressures, and offers interpretations that could be usefully applied to issues of empowerment in other pressure scenarios.

 

 

 

New Article: Freilich, Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Policy

Freilich, Charles David. “Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Policy: How Effective?” Terrorism and Political Violence (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09546553.2015.1044602

 

Abstract

The percentage of Israelis killed by terrorism is higher than in any other democracy. The article analyzes the threats Israel has faced, the impact terrorism has had on Israel, and the counter-terrorism policies Israel has adopted. Terrorism has had a decisive effect on Israeli elections and national security decisions, but not the economy. Israeli counter-terrorism has often been conducted without a coherent overall policy, has failed to reflect and conflicted with broader objectives, and has greatly undermined Israel’s international standing. Conversely, it has enabled Israel to live in relative security and thrive, and provided its leaders with the latitude to pursue various policies, including peace, should they wish to do so.

New Article: Freilich; National Security Decision-Making in a Leaky Political Fishbowl

Freilich, Charles (Chuck) D. “Israel: National Security Decision-Making in a Leaky Political Fishbowl.” Comparative Strategy 34.2 (2015): 117-32.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01495933.2015.1017341

 

Abstract

The article is a first attempt to systematically assess the impact of leaks on Israeli decision-making. Five major cases were studied on three levels: whether leaks affected the process, policies adopted, and outcomes. Leaks had a strong impact in two cases, but not on the policies adopted, or outcomes, in any of the cases analyzed. As a tentative conclusion, most leaks are about Israel’s broad strategic thinking and the politics thereof, rather than hard information. The primary impact is on process, important in itself, not substance.

 

New Article: Zeitzoff et al, Social Media and the Iranian–Israeli Confrontation

Zeitzoff, Thomas, John Kelly, and Gilad Lotan. “Using Social Media to Measure Foreign Policy Dynamics. An Empirical Analysis of the Iranian–Israeli Confrontation (2012–13).” Journal of Peace Research 52.3 (2015): 368-83.

 

URL: http://jpr.sagepub.com/content/52/3/368.abstract

 

Abstract

Does social media reflect meaningful political competition over foreign policy? If so, what relationships can it reveal, and what are the limitations of its usage as data for scholars? These questions are of interest to both scholars and policymakers alike, as social media, and the data derived from it, play an increasingly important role in politics. The current study uses social media data to examine how foreign policy discussions about Israel–Iran are structured across different languages (English, Farsi, and Arabic) – a particularly contentious foreign policy issue. We use follower relationships on Twitter to build a map of the different networks of foreign policy discussions around Iran and Israel, along with data from the Iranian and Arabic blogosphere. Using social network analysis, we show that some foreign policy networks (English and Farsi Twitter networks) accurately reflect policy positions and salient cleavages (online behavior maps onto offline behavior). Others (Hebrew Twitter network) do not. We also show that there are significant differences in salience across languages (Farsi and Arabic). Our analysis accomplishes two things. First, we show how scholars can use social media data and network analysis to make meaningful inferences about foreign policy issues. Second, and perhaps more importantly, we also outline pitfalls and incorrect inferences that may result if scholars are not careful in their application.

New Article: Vigoda-Gadot, Cohen, and Zalmanovitch, Does the Privatizing of Policy Formation Threaten Democracy?

Vigoda-Gadot, Eran, Haim Cohen & Yair Zalmanovitch. “Does the Privatizing of Policy Formation Threaten Democracy? Arguments from the Israeli Experience.” Policy Studies (ahead of print).

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01442872.2014.946482

 

Abstract

Since the 1970s, the literature on privatization has tried to find the right balance between the public interest and the neoliberal spirit of modern economies. This paper examines the implications of one such process – the privatizing of policy formation. Using examples from Israel, we maintain that allowing private interests to formulate public policy is unique among other types of privatization strategies. We seek to identify the challenges and risks that such an approach to formulating public policy poses. We conclude that the privatizing of far-reaching policies should be done with caution and within parameters outlined by law in order to prevent the potential damage that such privatization efforts might have on democratic governments.

New Article: Avigur-Eshel, Ideological Foundations of Neoliberalism’s Political Stability: An Israeli Case Study

Avigur-Eshel, Amit. “The Ideological Foundations of Neoliberalism’s Political Stability: An Israeli Case Study.” Journal of Political Ideologies 19.2 (2014): 164-86.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13569317.2014.909261

 

Abstract

The importance of ideological beliefs held by the masses for the political stability of neoliberalism has yet to receive adequate attention. This research aims to begin to fill this gap by arguing that the ability of the neoliberal order to endure politically is assisted by key segments of the population either accepting its ideological bases or being unable to contest them. Political and socio-political research on neoliberalism tends to examine how it has become the leading framework for economic policymaking. Less attention has been given to the post rise-to-power period and even then the ideological factor is virtually absent. Directed by a Gramscian approach, this research uses the Israeli ‘social protest’ of 2011 as a case study. It probes into the ideological perceptions of the middle class through a qualitative content analysis of text-items they published during the protest on two news websites and on one blogging website. Findings indicate that significant segments of the Israeli middle class expressed ideological acceptance of neoliberalism either by explicitly supporting it or by demanding marginal reforms. Another finding is that within the middle class there is a group that lacks any relevant ideological framework regarding economic issues.

New Article: Cohen, National Budget Transparency and the Israeli Health Care Policy

Cohen, Nissim. “The Power of Expertise? Politician–Bureaucrat Interactions, National Budget Transparency and the Israeli Health Care Policy.” Policy Studies 34.5-6 (2013): 638-54.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01442872.2013.804174

 

Abstract

How do ministry of Finance (MOF) bureaucrats preserve their dominance in the national budget process? As we all know, MOF bureaucrats are important in politics and policy, we know much less about exactly how they play their role. Political analysis of the interaction between politicians and bureaucrats in the Israeli healthcare policy arena reveals asymmetry of information in favour of the bureaucrats at the MOF. Among others, this asymmetry is also due to a lack of transparency in the national budgeting process. While presenting the balance of power between the players in the Israeli health policy arena, we point to the MOF bureaucrats as the most dominant players – though their power is not absolute as it always seems. Quite a few indications point at ‘non-democratic’ strategies made by these bureaucrats in their interactions with the other players. The empirical findings show that alongside bureaucrats’ expertise, strategies based on concealment, manipulation in presentation of information, lack of transparency and ‘Buying’ politicians (bribe for budgets) establish the dominance of MOF’s bureaucrats in the policy arena. Under the structural conditions of centralisation, the other players tend to find alternative solutions for promoting the public policies they seek.