The role of bureaucrats in designing policy outcomes: The case of the 2002 General Security Service (GSS) Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the 1980s, and mainly since the 1990s, studies in politics and law have adopted an economic attitude to explaining judicial behaviour. In contrast, this paper follows the individualistic approach by focusing on the role of individuals in bureaucracies in designing policy outcomes, using political entrepreneurship and new institutionalism as its theoretical framework. In describing a specific institutional change in Israel - the passage of the General Security Service Law in 2002 - I maintain that this institutional change is an equilibrium that resulted from the actions of empowered military bureaucrats acting as political entrepreneurs who sought to maximise their own political assets in the light of certain structural and cultural conditions, both local and international. The institutional arena was characterised by the inability of the government to function effectively (non-governability), enhanced judicialisation, the dominance of security issues in Israel, and the development of a unique shared mental model of alternative political culture. However, it was still open to changes based on new liberal attitudes about human rights. Thus, politicians influence and are influenced by a wide range of institutional norms and practices in a complex process of changes in institutional design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-77
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Law in Context
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2015.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of bureaucrats in designing policy outcomes: The case of the 2002 General Security Service (GSS) Law'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this