Wars, Internal Conflicts, and Political Order

A Jewish Democracy in the Middle East

By Gad Barzilai

Subjects: Israel Studies
Series: SUNY series in Israeli Studies
Paperback : 9780791429440, 301 pages, July 1996
Hardcover : 9780791429433, 301 pages, July 1996

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Table of contents



Part One: A Conceptual Framework

1. Democracies in Wars and Severe National-Security Crises: Theoretical and Comparative Aspects

Part Two: A Developing Democracy During the First Stages of Nation-Building

2. The Suez Campaign: Ideological Rift, Preemptive War, and a Dominant Party

3. The Six-Day War: Political Crisis and War of Consensus

Part Three: Polyarchy During Territorial Status Quo

4. Dissent and Consensus in the War of Attrition

5. The Power Illusion Smashed and National Security Affairs (Partly) Democratized

6. War of Initiative and Political Polarization

7. Israeli Society and Politics during the Gulf War

8. The Inter-Communal Conflict of the Intifada and the Israeli Regime (1987–93)

Part Four: Book Findings in Comparative and Theoretical Perspective: From a Wartime Society to a Civilian Society

9. The Long-Term Effects of Wars and the Emergency Situation

10. Final Conclusions: Establishing a Civilian Society



Subject Index

Name Index

The first comprehensive analysis of the effect the prolonged Arab-Israeli conflict has had on state and society in Israel.


This is the first comprehensive research study to analyze and explain the influence the prolonged Arab-Israeli conflict has had on Israel. It focuses on the manner in which all of the Israeli-Arab wars since 1949, including the Intifada and the Gulf War, have affected state and society in Israel. In addition, it examines the influences of other, more limited Israeli military operations. These subjects are investigated within a broad theoretical framework based on a critical analysis of the literature. The author suggests an analytic qualitative model for understanding wars and internal political order and makes significant corrections to paradigms that deal with political order and wars, from the Marxist paradigm to the liberal paradigm.

Gad Barzilai is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Tel Aviv University and has been a visiting professor in the Department of Political Science at Yale University. His previous books are The Impact of Inter-communal Conflict: The Intifada and Israeli Public Opinion (with Giora Goldberg and Efraim Inbar); A Democracy in Wartime: Conflict and Consensus in Israel; The Gulf Crisis and Its Global Aftermath (with Aharon Klieman and Gil Shidlo); and The Israeli Supreme Court and the Israeli Public (with Ephraim Yuchtman-Yaar and Zeev Segal).


"This book advances significantly our understanding of the way in which democracies operate in protracted security crises by focusing on the Israeli case (1948¬–1993) while comparing this case to others. It is a must for all those interested in Israeli and Mid-Eastern politics. Barzilai's highly diverse background in law and politics, international relations and comparative government, his close familiarity with the modern history of a number of different countries, and his unique ability to combine theoretical insights and close empirical inquiry make this volume uniquely important. " — Ilan Peleg, Lafayette College, President of Association for Israel Studies

"The work is original and well written and is captivating reading. After the author offers his theoretical framework in the first chapter one is absolutely caught up in the tales he tells about how consensus and dissent gradually developed in each of several periods of national tension, and how they, in turn, affected the political climate of the day. The author uses many, many new sources, which should excite scholars in this area. There are a substantial number of interviews that are cited in this work, and much original archival and documentary material that is new. The work will be regarded as important. " — Gregory S. Mahler, University of Mississippi