Between commandments and laws: Religiosity, political ideology, and legal obedience in Israel

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This paper presents three surveys designed to examine the effect of religiosity and political ideology on legal disobedience among Israeli citizens. In addition to samples of the general Jewish population (N = 1,728), the surveys included samples of three groups characterized by a combination of religiosity and right-wing political orientation: Yeshiva (religious seminary) students (N = 464), ultra-orthodox Jews (N = 217), and settlers in the occupied territories (N = 361). The results show that acceptance of the rule of law is weaker among ultra-orthodox and right-wing respondents. Furthermore, compared to the general population of Jews, Yeshiva students and ultra-orthodox Jews expressed lower levels of commitment to legal obedience. Comparison of attitudes before and after the occurrence of controversial legal and political events indicated that such events have a generalized effect on legal obedience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-209
Number of pages25
JournalCrime, Law and Social Change
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was supported by the Research Foundation of the Israeli Ministry for Science, Culture and Sport. We would like to thank Ami Pedhazur for his help in administrating the questionnaires to Yeshiva students.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • General Social Sciences
  • Law


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