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Political culture, alternative politics and foreign policy: The case of Israel


  • Guy Ben-Porat
  • Shlomo Mizrahi


This article analyzes how sociopolitical dynamics within a state can help explaining foreign policy. We show that under certain conditions, the public can be involved in ways that extend beyond expressing opinions that act as constraints on policy makers, and also takes active initiatives that eventually shape foreign policies. The article explains how sociopolitical processes in Israeli society, which transformed the nature of citizen–politician relations from a top-down to a bottom-up orientation, gradually led to shifts in foreign policy regarding the conflict with the Palestinians. The Israeli public has adopted an approach to solving social problems by unilateral initiatives, as part of its attempts to shape foreign policy from the bottom up, due to continuous government failure to provide public services, combined with blocked influence channels. As long as Israeli politicians ignored these changes, they failed to mobilize support for policies imposed from the top down and lost their positions of power. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Guy Ben-Porat & Shlomo Mizrahi, 2005. "Political culture, alternative politics and foreign policy: The case of Israel," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 38(2), pages 177-194, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:38:y:2005:i:2:p:177-194
    DOI: 10.1007/s11077-005-3169-5

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:04:p:829-844_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Schneider, Gerald & Cederman, Lars-Erik, 1994. "The change of tide in political cooperation: a limited information model of European integration," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(04), pages 633-662, September.
    3. Putnam, Robert D., 1988. "Diplomacy and domestic politics: the logic of two-level games," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(03), pages 427-460, June.
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