IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/rsocxx/v9y2014i1p31-48.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

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

Author

Listed:
  • Zeev Rosenhek
  • Michael Shalev

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Zeev Rosenhek & Michael Shalev, 2014. "The political economy of Israel's 'social justice' protests: a class and generational analysis," Contemporary Social Science, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 31-48, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocxx:v:9:y:2014:i:1:p:31-48
    DOI: 10.1080/21582041.2013.851405
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/21582041.2013.851405
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. 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). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/rsoc21 .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.