Fall/Winter Timetable

POL377H1F L0101

Topics in Comparative Politics I

Becoming Israel: War, Peace, and the Politics of Israel's Identity


This course will focus on Israel's balancing act between two competing objectives, one seeking to fulfill the Zionist vision and entrench "Jewishness" within the state and the other seeking to establish democratic institutions and procedures. Since independence, Israel's official ideology, Zionism, has been shaping the state's economic, political, demographic, and security policies, designed to advance the interests of the Jewish population in Israel. The Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel fall outside the sociological boundaries of the Jewish nation and present a challenge to nation-building. At the same time, Israel's commitment to democratic principles and procedures entails guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of Palestinian Arab citizens. In this course, students will explore the most salient manifestations of the tensions between Israel's commitment to democracy and Zionism, familiarize themselves with the debates about Israel's political regime, institutions, and society, and develop their positions on these divisive debates.

Prerequisite: 1.0 credit in POL/ JPA/ JPF/ JPI/ JPR/ JPS/ JRA courses