The Zolberg Institute in Migration and Mobility and the Sociology Department Present:
Religion, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Israel Workshop Horit Peled & Yoav Peled
The Religionization of Israeli Society
An examination of the growing saliency of religious personalities, religious themes, and the religious outlook in Jewish Israeli society, in order to test the argument that Israeli society is undergoing a process of religionization, as well as the counter-argument, that secular-religious relations among Jews in Israel went into crisis in the 1980s and that the society had actually secularized, in one way or another, during the 1990s. We seek to explain the causes and significance of these two processes and the seeming contradiction between them, as well as the variance in the trajectory of religionization as between different historical periods.
Citizenship and Ethno-Democracy
Ethnic democracies can be sustainable if the two conflicting constitutional principles defining them as such — ethno-nationalism and liberal democracy — are successfully mediated by a third principle, whatever that may be. This argument is substantiated through the examination of three cases: one where ethnic democracy, while formally written into the constitution, never really took hold (Poland), one that was stable for fifty years and then collapsed in a relatively short time (N Ireland), and a third that was stable for 35 years and is now eroding (Israel). In each case I show how the lack, or deterioration of the mediating third principle is responsible for the difficulties experienced by ethnic democracy.