Ethno-nationalism in citizenship education in Israel: an analysis of the official civics textbook

Halleli Pinson, Ayman K. Agbaria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the past few years, the civics curriculum for Israeli high-schools has become the centre of a heated political debate. Following this debate, in May 2016 a revised official textbook was introduced. This paper draws on an in-depth analysis of the revised official textbook, comparing it to the previous official textbook published in 2000. The analysis focuses on the discursive changes that took place regarding the ways in which the revised textbook conceptualises Israeli citizenship. A particular focus is placed on how the revised version of the official textbook often prioritises the ethno-national model of the nation state over and above the commitment to democratic values, including minority rights. The main argument of this paper is that these changes are a reflection of the penetration of a neo-Zionist discourse into the civics curriculum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-751
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number5-6
Early online date16 Mar 2021
StateE-pub ahead of print - 16 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Civic education
  • Israel
  • ethno-nationalism
  • neo-Zionism
  • textbook analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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