International Workshop on Citizens, Politics and the Political Profession

The Israel Democracy Institute | 4 Pinsker Street, Jerusalem

On December 17-19, 2008, IDI hosted leading academics from Israel and abroad, for an international workshop on Anti-Politics: Citizens, Politics and the Political Profession. The workshop focused on negative attitudes towards politics, political institutions, and politicians – a phenomenon that has afflicted many modern democracies. Throughout the conference, we attempted to confirm and quantify these trends, analyze their causes, and discuss the possible effect they may have on the significance and effectiveness of the representative-democracy model. Another question we discussed is the effect public sentiment has had on civil society, whom many Israelis – both groups and individuals – now turn to, as a result of their negative feelings towards the state.

In 2012, IDI published a collection of articles written by the participants in this workshop entitled, By the People, For the People, Without the People? The Emergence of (Anti)Political Sentiment in Israel and in Western Democracies. For information about this book, click here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

09:30 am-10:00 am
Opening Remarks

  • Dr. Arye Carmon
  • Prof. Tamar Hermann

10:00 am-12:00 pm
Session 1

  • Prof. Wolfgang Merkel: Embedded and Defective Democracies
  • Prof. Yaron Ezrahi: Myth and Reality in Contemporary Democracies
  • Prof. Yael Yishai: Escape from Politics: The Case of Israel

Session 2

  • Prof. Pierangelo Isernia: Is Europe the Solution to Our Problem or Is Europe the Problem? Threat Perception, Globalization and European Integration
  • Prof. Naomi Chazan: Civil Society, the State and Political Engagement in Israel: Politics, Anti-Politics and Non-Politics
  • Dr. Dani Filc: Popular Sovereignty, the Neo-Liberal Turn and the Crisis of Representation in Israel

View transcript here

4:00 pm-6:00 pm
Session 3

  • Prof. Yossi Shain: Who Controls Morality and Ethics and for What Purpose? The Struggle for Public Trust in Democracies
  • Dr. Yehuda Ben Meir: The Crisis of Confidence in the Establishment in Israeli Society: Extent, Causes and Ramifications
  • Prof. Benjamin Gidron: The Israeli Third Sector: Patterns of Activity and Growth 1980-2007

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Session 4

  • Prof. David Ohana: The Politics of Political Despair
  • Mr. John Lloyd: The Triple Crisis of the Media – and of Politics
  • Mr. Daniel Ben-Simon

View transcript here (part 1)

View transcript here (part 2)

Session 5

  • Prof. Gerry Stoker: Anti-Politics in Britain:Dimensions,Causes and Responses
  • Prof. Riva Kastoryano: Citizenship, Civil Society and Transnational Participation – The  Case Study of Muslim Migrants in Europe
  • Dr. Kalman Neuman: Anti-Anti-Politics, New Politics, or No Politics: The Dilemma of the Religious Right in Israel

View transcript here

Session 6

  • Prof. Astrid von Busekist: Deliberative Democracy and Language Equity: Citizenship, Mobility and Language
  • Prof. Asher Arian: Make Us a King… Like All The Nations:Trust and Leadership
  • Dr. Ishai Menuchin: Slippery Moral Slopes and "Simple" Solutions for Social Responsibility

View transcript here

Friday, December 19, 2008

Session 7
The Israeli Democracy – An Overview

M.K. Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, Chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee

View transcript here

Prof. Tamar Hermann

"Israel's Warring Tribes" by John Lloyd