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Center research initiative to focus on “Democracy in Israel: Past, Present and Future”

Coming in 2021, the Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies will launch a series of virtual public lectures and a closed research colloquium exploring "Democracy in Israel: Past, Present, and Future." The first in the series of public lectures will be given Jan. 12 by eminent Israeli political scientist Shlomo Avineri.

December 8, 2020 — The UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies is launching a series of public lectures and a research colloquium devoted to exploring "Democracy in Israel: Past, Present, and Future." This project will involve some of the most important scholars and thinkers on democracy in Israel. The keynote lectures will be given, online, by three prominent Israeli public intellectuals, while the research colloquium will consist of an invited group of a dozen scholars working in a range of disciplines – history, law, political science, sociology and philosophy – who will present and discuss papers on the topic of democracy in Israel. These papers will later be published in an edited volume.
 
"The Nazarian Center is undertaking this new initiative at a time when democracy, especially liberal democracy, is under attack in many countries," said Professor Dov Waxman, director of the Y&S Nazarian Center and The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Israel Studies at UCLA. "Israel is not immune from this global trend, and Israeli democracy also has its own specific challenges, such as reconciling its Jewish identity with its democratic character. This initiative will explore the history of democracy in Israel, the current challenges it faces, and its future prospects. It couldn't be more timely, or more necessary."
 
The first public lecture will be given on Jan. 12 by eminent Israeli political scientist Shlomo Avineri, who once directed Israel’s Foreign Ministry. His lecture, titled "Israeli Democracy: Historical Origins and Future Perspectives," will explore how Israeli democracy was able to withstand extremely difficult challenges, external and internal, by drawing on pre-state Zionist and Jewish institutional traditions. Dr. Avineri is professor emeritus of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a recipient of the Israel Prize, the country's highest civilian decoration. Subsequent public lectures will be given on March 2 by renowned sociologist Eva Illouz on "Resentment and Populist Politics: The Case of Israel," and on May 27 by former Israeli cabinet minister Yael Tamir on "Identity Politics in Israel and the USA." Dr. Illouz holds the Rose Isaac Chair in Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a senior research fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Dr. Tamir is president of Shenkar College in Israel and past deputy speaker of the Knesset.
 
“Democracy in Israel: Past, Present and Future” is co-sponsored by the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Chair in Jewish History. Registration details for the public lectures are available at:  https://ucla.in/2JhASpm

 

DISCLAIMER: The views or opinions of our guest speakers and the content of their presentations do not necessarily reflect the views of the UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Hosting speakers does not constitute an endorsement of the speaker's views or opinions.