IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The political economy of Israel's 'social justice' protests: a class and generational analysis

Listed author(s):
  • Zeev Rosenhek
  • Michael Shalev
Registered author(s):

    In the summer of 2011, similar to and partly inspired by Spain's 15M (indignados) movement, Israel experienced an unprecedented wave of socio-economic protest featuring tent encampments and mass rallies. Headlined 'the people demand social justice', the protest was surprising since distributive conflicts and social policy issues are peripheral to Israeli politics, and Israel was not in the throes of an economic crisis. These were not anti-austerity protests, but reflected the eroding life chances of young adults. Specifically, liberalisation of Israel's political economy - which contributed to a substantial rise in the living standards of the parental generation of the middle class and improved their life chances in the 1990s - is now impeding inter-generational class reproduction for their children. We document significant changes in home ownership, relative incomes, and the value of higher education and other assets that were previously the key to middle class incomes and lifestyles. The impact of neo-liberal policies is evident, for instance, in the declining scope and generosity of the public sector's role in employment and housing. At the subjective level, on the eve of the protests young adults with higher education were less optimistic about their economic prospects than other groups. Finally, even though the protests appeared to be broadly consensual and inclusive, a closer look reveals that its core supporters and activists were drawn from social and political sectors closely associated with the middle class.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Contemporary Social Science.

    Volume (Year): 9 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 31-48

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocxx:v:9:y:2014:i:1:p:31-48
    DOI: 10.1080/21582041.2013.851405
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:rsocxx:v:9:y:2014:i:1:p:31-48. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.