Through the Lens of Israel
Explorations in State and Society
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Essays on the formation of Israeli state and society during the twentieth century.
Through the Lens of Israel illuminates Israeli history through the use of the author's unique state-in-society approach, and, at the same time, refines, develops, and expands that approach. The book provides a window for the formation of Israeli state and society during the twentieth century, while using the Israeli experience to ask how social scientists can better investigate and understand other societies as well. Three central themes of Israeli history are at the core of the analysis—state formation, society formation, and the mutually constitutive roles of state and society. By analyzing how Israel's state and society continually reconstruct one another, Migdal addresses larger questions with resonance far beyond Israel: How do particular societies and states end up with their distinctive character? How are the rules that shape everyday behavior determined? Who gains from these rules and who loses? And how and when do these rules and patterns of privilege change?
Joel S. Migdal is Robert F. Philip Professor of International Studies at the University of Washington. His most recent work includes State Power and Social Forces: Domination and Transformation in the Third World (coedited with Atul Kohli and Vivienne Shue).
"This is one of the most original and important books on Israel in years—a rare work of first-class scholarship that is so well written it can be read with profit by the educated reader, students, and scholars. " — Myron J. Aronoff, author of Power and Ritual in the Israel Labor Party: A Study in Political Anthropology
"Fascinating, readable, and highly original. Combines a mastery of the Israeli case with far-reaching theoretical insights. " — Eva Bellin, Harvard University