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Land of Paradoxes

Interest Politics in Israel

Yael Yishai

Publication Year: 1991

This book examines the structure of Israeli interest groups, their strategies, their effectiveness, and their relations with state organizations and political parties. It addresses such important questions as the following. What are the links between political parties and interest groups? What are the attitudes of senior state officials toward interest groups? Why do interest groups influence public policy and to what extent? Are some groups more influential than others? Is Israel moving toward a post-materialist era?

Published by: State University of New York Press

Series: SUNY series in Israeli Studies

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. iii-iv


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pp. vii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

List of Tables

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pp. xi-xii

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pp. xiii-xvi

This book is about interest politics in Israel, an old-new country imbued with political paradoxes: It is ruled by potent political parties and an intrusive state machinery; it is inhabited by a vociferous population reflecting a tremendous cultural and demographic variety. The book surveys economic organizations, professional associations, and trade unions. ...

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INTRODUCTION : Israeli Interest Group Politics in a Theoretical Perspective

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pp. 1-30

The Hebrew word for "group" kvutza, means a few people; it also connotes the first form of cooperative settlement established in Palestine in the early days of the Zionist endeavor. The founders of Oegania, the first kvutza, chose this word for their commune because they wished to maintain a small, cohesive, and intimate social unit...

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CHAPTER ONE - The Israeli Polity: Party, State, and Society

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pp. 31-60

The high partisanship of the Israeli polity left its imprint on the country's interest group system. Within the framework of a formal democracy political parties offered a comprehensive umbrella that covered all aspects of society and introduced a strong elitist flavor into associational life. ...

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CHAPTER TWO - The Universe of Interest Groups

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pp. 61-97

Interest groups in Israel have been part and parcel of the national effort. The whole structure of the yishuv--the prestate Jewish community in Palestine--was based on voluntary arrangements; but organized interest groups were evident from the early days of Zionist settlement. ...

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CHAPTER THREE - Interest Groups and Political Parties: Patrons, Partners, or Rivals?

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pp. 99-135

Classical liberal democratic theory draws a clear distinction between political parties and interest groups (Almond and Powell 1966). Parties aggregate a wide variety of interests; they control the government and through it the state machinery. Interest groups are seen only as promoting narrowly defined causes. ...

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CHAPTER FOUR - State and Groups: Defending the Public Interest

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pp. 137-173

The attitude of the state toward interest groups has been influenced in Israel both by the political culture, derived from past heritage and experience, and by the political dilemmas of contemporary democracy. The complexity of circumstances has produced a combination of extreme tolerance of associational freedom with deep suspicion of grassroots political behavior. ...

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CHAPTER FIVE - The Organization of Interest Groups: The Institutional Framework

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pp. 175-210

Interest groups are organizations, and the way in which each an organization formulates its structure and mobilizes its resources affects the way its interests are represented before the government--and hence the manner in which its influence is secured. One widely held school of thought believes that organization is power and that it is a key to political clout (Michels 1958). ...

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CHAPTER SIX - Interest Groups and State: Opportunities for Influence

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pp. 211-245

If parties are no longer targets for group action, or even if they are, but to a much lesser extent than in the past, then groups will necessarily seek other avenues to decision makers. They will, in fact, concentrate directly on the "state," which consists of three levels: at the base is the bureaucracy, the officials whose influence on decision making was said to be unsurpassed; in the middle are the legislators...

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CHAPTER SEVEN - Strategies of Influence: Bargaining, Coordination, or Integration

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pp. 247-279

In November 1988, a huge rally was held in Tel Aviv to demand that the government make election reform its top priority. The organizers, members of the Public Committee for a Constitution, declared that if the demonstration did not bear immediate fruit, public pressure would be increased. 1...

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CHAPTER EIGHT - Interest Groups in the Policy Process

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pp. 281-310

Interest groups not only attempt to influence public policy; the targets of their activity may also aid in identifying sources of power. Guided by the principle of efficiency and availability, interest groups will tend to choose those targets likely to yield the highest results. The first part of this chapter will thus focus on the choices made by Israeli interest groups. ...

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CHAPTER NINE - Determining Outcomes: Who Gets What and Why?

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pp. 311-331

The final test of interest groups is their ability to exert influence on decision making and to persuade those responsible for allocating resources and imparting values to respond to their needs, be they sectional-material or promotional-ideological. This chapter will attempt to evaluate the extent of success and the determinants of "influence" exercised by interest groups in the political process. ...

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CHAPTER TEN - Israeli Interest Groups Between Party and State

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pp. 333-366

The case of interest politics in Israel affords a dual opportunity to examine both a complex political reality and the validity of a theory. Reality requires a model to explain the unique characteristics that on the surface provide a sound basis for three possible configurations of interest politics. When this reality is matched with the theory, however, serious deviations are evident. ...


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pp. 367-378


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pp. 379-390


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pp. 391-410


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pp. 411-414

E-ISBN-13: 9781438424644
E-ISBN-10: 1438424647
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791407257
Print-ISBN-10: 079140725X

Page Count: 414
Publication Year: 1991

Series Title: SUNY series in Israeli Studies