Translating social investment ideas in Israel: Economized social policy’s competing agendas

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International organizations play a central role in disseminating social investment ideas, which serve to legitimize forms of public spending by stressing their future contribution to human capital and economic growth. However, the transition from a neoliberal to a social investment state is conditioned on national policymakers’ will to embrace a post-neoliberal macroeconomic philosophy and governance. Although such change lies in the professional purview of economist-technocrats, there is little empirical research on their role as national translators of social investment ideas. This article examines economists’ role in the translation of social investment ideas in Israel. By embedding specific social investment ideas within entrenched economic world views – including principles of ‘responsible’ macroeconomic governance – camps of Israeli economists articulate varying and sometimes competing social investment policy agendas. Lessons from Israel suggest that economists are non-negligible actors in the translation of social investment ideas. By advancing different social investment strategies, economists may assume different roles in the policymaking and politics of social investment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-116
Number of pages20
JournalGlobal Social Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • Economists
  • Israel
  • international policy ideas
  • macroeconomic governance
  • macroeconomic thinking
  • social investment
  • translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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