Previous chapters have described the central developments in Israeli society since the 1980s. In spite of the numerous conflicts, divisions, and tensions, both internaly and externally, Israeli society succeeds in keeping its democratic regime (at least formally), in making impressive economic and technological achievements, and in developing a rich cultural environment. Such success may seem an inherent paradox in Israeli society. Indeed, social scientists often argue that Israeli society, politics, and culture present us with an exceptional case as compared to other democratic regimes around the world and should, therefore, be analyzed using different methods. Without getting into the scientific debate, there is no doubt that there are some core characteristics that signify the “Israeli character” (and Israeli social and political culture) and allow Israeli society to overcome so many difficulties. In this chapter we try to trace these characteristics, suggesting that Israelis and Israeli society are noted for their entrepreneurship and independent initiatives, which together compose the vitality that makes Israeli society so dynamic and interesting. In some cases this entrepreneurship and these independent initiatives have led to failure but in most cases they have brought about changes in policy and institutions. The “Israeli character” or habitus is expressed in all fields of life. In this chapter we will demonstrate how this entrepreneurship has enabled Israeli society to overcome deep divisions, fragmentation, and political inefficiency, leading to the evolution of new politics.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2008.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (all)