Center for Governance and the Economy

IDI's Center for Governance and the Economy aims to promote reforms in Israel's political system, civil service and labor market, in order to improve the functioning of these systems and increase public confidence in them.

Among other achievements, these programs have resulted in the repeal of direct elections for the Prime Minister, the establishment of Israel's National Economic Council, and the creation of the Knesset's Legislative Information Center.

The Center's flagship event is the Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society (formerly the Caesarea Economic Policy Planning Forum), which is widely recognized as Israel's most influential economic conference.

  • Default Image

    Daphna Aviram-Nitzan

    Director

    Read More

    the former head of the migration research unit at Aharon Meir Center for Banking and Economic Policy at Bar-Ilan University and the former director of the economic research division at the Manufacturers Association of Israel (MAI).

     

  • Default Image

    Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern

    Research Director

    Read More

    Professor Yedidia Z. Stern is a full professor and former dean of the law faculty of Bar-Ilan University.

  • Default Image

    Prof. Yuval Feldman

    Co-Director, Labor Market Reform Program

    Read More

    Professor Yuval Feldman is a full professor on the Faculty of Law at Bar-Ilan University and a former fellow of Institutional Corruption Lab at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.

  • Default Image

    Prof. Yotam Margalit

    Co-Director, Labor Market Reform Program

    Read More

    Professor Margalit headed a large, experimental cross-national study of the investment decisions of multinational firms, a project that he developed and carried out in collaboration with the World Bank and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

  • Default Image

    Prof. Gideon Rahat

    Director, Political Reform Program

    Read More

    Professor Rahat is a faculty member of the Political Sciences Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an International Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California, Irvine.

  • Default Image

    Prof. Eytan Sheshinski

    Senior Fellow

  • Default Image

    Dr. Ofer Kenig

  • Default Image

    Dr. Dana Blander

  • Default Image

    Dr. Chen Friedberg

    Read More

    Dr. Chen Friedberg has co-written many papers published by the Israel Democracy Institute.

  • Default Image

    Dr. Eitan Regev

    Read More

    Dr. Eitan Regev is an economist and a Research Fellow at Israel Democracy Institute. He is regarded as one of the leading experts in research of the Ultra-Orthodox economy in Israel. Dr. Regev's research encompasses a variety of fields, including labor productivity, the Haredi economy, the cost of living, food insecurity, and the Israeli health system. 

  • Default Image

    Dr. Eyal Pe'er

    Read More

    Research Fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute; senior lecturer at Bar-Ilan University Business School; expert in decision-making and behavioral economics; founder and head of the Consumers Behavioral Insights Laboratory, www.cobilab.org

  • Default Image

    Dr. Assaf Shapira

    Read More

    Assaf Shapira received a PhD in Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and at the Centre d’études européennes (Center for European Studies) at the Sciences po (Paris). His research largely focuses on political representation, political parties, the role of money in politics, and reforms in Israel's public service.

  • Default Image

    Rachel Zaken

    Research Assistant

  • Default Image

    Omer Selivansky

  • Default Image

    Avital Fridman

  • Default Image

    Yarden Kedar

  • Default Image

    Shahaf Zamir

    Read More

    Research Assistant, Political Reform Program

Israel’s system of local elections has been in place since the 1970s - but is it optimal? Prof. Gideon Rahat proposes reform to enhance the compatibility of the system to the characteristics and needs of different localities.

play

Daphna Aviram-Nitzan and her team at IDI set out 18 months ago to resolve some of the heavy bureaucratic and regulatory burden with which the business sector must contend when establishing new manufacturing plants and doing business in Israel. The result is the “Regulatory One-Stop-Shop for Investors”, which was adopted in August 2018 by the government to improve the ease of doing business in Israel.

The digital domain has developed into something of a wild west for election campaigning in recent years. While there are strict laws governing the press, radio, and television, there are almost no restrictions on online campaigning, such as on the forms of advertising permitted, the use of personal data, and advertising budgets. This lack of regulation has already been shown to potentially affect election results, and may lead to the misuse of information on residents, routinely collected by the municipality as part of its function by those in positions of power in local government. 

play

There is a glaring gap between the tremendous promise of Israel’s innovating workforce and the antiquated laws that constrain its productivity. In this video, IDI Senior Fellow Prof. Yotam Margalit proposes a series of changes to Israeli labor law, including new mechanisms for flexible working arrangements that will benefit both employers and employees.

"While Israeli national politics get most of the coverage, it is the local level that in many cases has the greatest impact on Israeli lives." Read Yohanan Plesner's op-ed on the upcoming municipal elections and why electoral reform is required, both on the local and national level.

In a democracy, parliaments are supposed to not only pass laws but also engage in oversight; that is, to ensure that legislation is implemented and identify deficiencies in the government’s work.

Recent years have seen the emergence of dozens of corruption scandals involving local government in Israel. Subsequently there have been calls to set mayoral term limits to prevent graft and corruption. Dr. Ofer Kenig and Shahaf Zamir's dispel the idea that there is a connection between the length of a mayors term and levels of corruption.

Guaranteeing an independent Supreme Court. Integrating the Ultra-Orthodox into the IDF. Boosting participation of Arab women in the workforce. Improving the ease of doing business in Israel. These are some of the challenges facing IDI’s new cadre of program and center directors.

In an interview Prof. Yuval Feldman, discusses his new book "The Law of Good People" and sheds light on the connection between good people and corruption.

A Special Analysis by the Israel Democracy Institute on which MKs make the most use of the parliamentary tools available to them.

 Yedidia Stern, speaks to hosts Dahlia Scheindlin and Gilad Halpern about the fundamental nature of Israeli society – and how it is changing. He expresses his fears about disturbing the balance of a Jewish and democratic state, as the nation-state law threatens to do. He believes that Israel must be a Jewish state, but without a legal anchor for equality, society is in trouble. He reflects on how religious life is being dominated by the ultra-orthodox; and diaspora Jews, especially Americans, should have a say in public life but not too much.

Behavioral ethics, a growing area within psychology and management literature, demonstrates that an individual’s unethical behavior is demonstrated through self-deception.

The number of vacation days in Israel is among the lowest in the world. Research by Prof. Yotam Margalit presents a new model which will ensure a minimum of 18 vacation days for each worker.

Israel suffers from a shortage of skilled workers in manufacturing industries and hi-tech and an overflow of the service sector; priorities in the allocation of public resources for the training of human capital must be changed to better fit the needs of the economy.

play

The Democracy Pavilion, a unique multi-media experience, in full 360 degree technology, showcasing the values embedded in Israel’s Declaration of Independence, is open to the public.

The absolute exclusion of women from ultra-Orthodox parties keeps their specific interests from being addressed effectively in the public sphere.

play

The nation state law is the "identity law" of the state, and this will have a revolutionary significance, since democracy is not mentioned in it.

IDI President calls on the leaders of the coalition factions to stop politicizing the civil service

Statesmanship or lack thereof has been in the background of a long list of scandals and incidents that have rocked Israeli politics in recent years

play

In recent years we have seen one Prime Minister, several ministers and numerous mayors charged and convicted on corruption. But most people enter politics for idealistic reasons and with good intentions. So what went wrong? 

play

As calls for a "majoritarian democracy" gain strength in Israel, IDI's President warns of the dangers associated with a tyranny of the majority, and makes the case for a richer interpretation of democracy, grounded in the principles of liberty, equality and the separation of powers.

Despite making regulatory improvements, the past decade saw Israel continue its slip down the World Bank's annual ease of doing business rankings. But this descent can still be reversed.

"In order to change this trend, we must increase the use of technological tools and behavioral economics."

play

There are ways to transform this powerful committee into one that combines politics with professionalism, instead of being one more arena for the settling of political scores.

Regulation, transparency and enforcement capabilities are crucial steps for lobbying to work.  

A summary of where the law stands regarding alleged wrong doing by the premier, as well as timely suggestions for reform, are in order.

When legislators exhibit such disdain for the country’s legislative body, is it any wonder the average citizen does too?

A set of reforms must be implemented so that Knesset members' supervisory ability over the government will be enhanced.

The Knesset is one of the smallest parliaments in the world, in terms of legislators per capita. As a result, the effectiveness of the Israeli parliament is diminished, especially regarding the important task of overseeing the executive.

For Israel's economy to grow, significant investment in building a strong and effective infrastructure for occupational training and reemployment is critical.

“Pray for the welfare of the government. For if it were not for fear of it, one man would swallow his fellow alive (Avot 3:3).”

Everything you wanted to know about the Labor Party primaries but didn't know who to ask.

To tackle the crisis of democracy we must restore the public's faith in its governing institutions.

Donald Trump’s surprise win seems to illustrate the awesome power of the Internet-savvy individual in politics.

The impressive increase of women's representation in the Knesset has not translated into similar strides in other political spheres and senior executive positions.

As the Knesset, Israel’s legislature, marks its birthday, IDI takes the opportunity to consider two aspects about it: its members’ social composition and its relative size.

Harnessing the power of readily available technological tools to promote political engagement and revitalize intra-party democratic practices is essential for strengthening party institutions and restoring the public’s faith in government.

The Knesset’s top priority for 2017 should be to restore the Israeli public’s belief in its political institutions.

As of November 22, 2016, Benjamin Netanyahu will have occupied the Prime Minister’s Office for 2,793 days in a row, thereby surpassing David Ben-Gurion for the longest continuous tenure as premier in Israeli history. 

IDI President Yohanan Plesner argues that electoral reform will not suffice to fix the short-term-ism that is destroying Israel's capacity for long-term planning and policy execution; reform of the internal processes of the parties themselves is required. This op-ed first appeared in the Jerusalem Report.

Liberal democracy is in crisis everywhere. We in Israel have our share of problems. Our democracy is far from perfect, and it is under massive pressures — both external and internal. But all in all, if we look at the world around us, Israel is doing rather well. This article was originally published by the Atlanta Jewish Times.

The volatile Israeli party system, together with several recent political developments, lately brought the idea of holding open leadership primaries to Israel. However, when considering the adoption of open primaries, one must also take into account their potential challenges and dangers.

In this op-ed, which first appeared on the Times of Israel, IDI's Ofer Kenig argues that it is time to cautiously expand the right of absentee voting to more Israelis.

The start-up nation owes it success to the democratic system of government established by its founders. Israel’s liberal democracy not only unleashes the creative talents of individual Israelis, it fosters a business environment favorable for the establishment of companies with disruptive potential on a global scale. However, Israel’s continued success should not be taken for granted. Indeed, there are a number of signs that Israeli governance may be weakening.

The number of women in Knesset has increased dramatically to five times what it was 25 years ago. The share of women in the Israeli Knesset is now almost 27%, making it higher than in the U.S. Senate (20%) or the House of Representatives (19.4%). 

On Monday, February 1, 2016, the long and complex process in which the two major American parties choose their candidates for president began in Iowa. One of those two candidates will be the 45th President of the United States. What exactly are the presidential primaries? What makes them so long and complicated? What is their timetable and who, for now, are the main candidates? 

  • Hebrew
  • Open to the public
  • Live
default

The Eli Hurvitz Conference focuses on long-term strategic issues of importance to the government and the state. The conference is based on research and professional discussions, and integrates a wide range of experts, government officials and businessmen.

  • Participation by invitation only
  • Hebrew
  • English Simultaneous Translation

After 70 years, how are we implementing the principles of the Declaration of Independence, and what will we be proud of when we celebrate our 100th anniversary?

  • Open to the public
  • Hebrew

The Status of the Declaration of Independence: Vision, Law or Constitution? Marking the transition from the Assembly of Representatives to the Knesset, February 1949

  • Open to the public
  • Hebrew

What is the most suitable way to select candidates for the Knesset? What are the pros and cons of the various methods, from the leader's method to open primaries? What are the opportunities and risks involved in adopting an open primaries model?

  • Participation by invitation only

Do political appointments in the civil service improve governance or obstruct gatekeepers' oversight abilities? This special discussion is being convened by the Israel Democracy Institute and Center for Citizen Empowerment.

  • Live
  • Participation by invitation only

This year the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) will bestow the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award MK Roy Folkman (Kulanu) and MK Karin Elharar (Yesh Atid)

  • Hebrew
  • Participation by invitation only

Work collaboratively in an intimate setting and among senior thought leaders on ways to strengthen the socioeconomic strategy of the state of Israel.

  • Participation by invitation only

An Israel Democracy Institute event in collaboration with the Hebrew paper Makor Rishon

  • Hebrew
  • Open to the public

A second meeting of the caucus for strengthening the stature of the Knesset led by MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid). Discussion focused on private-member legislation, which is brought before the Knesset at a higher rate than among most Western countries.