IREb2015 Politics and Society in Israel

Faculty of Social Studies
Spring 2022
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 4 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Maya Higgins, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Maya Higgins, Ph.D.
Department of International Relations and European Studies – Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Olga Cídlová, DiS.
Supplier department: Department of International Relations and European Studies – Faculty of Social Studies
Wed 10:00–11:40 P31 Posluchárna A. I. Bláhy
! IRE215 Politics and Society in Israel && ! NOW ( IRE215 Politics and Society in Israel )
Proficiency in English to an academic standard. A background in the history and politics of the Middle East is helpful but not required.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 60 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 36/60, only registered: 0/60
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The impact of Israel on regional and international politics is disproportional to its geographical size and demographic base. This interdisciplinary course introduces students to Israel's politics and explores how the study of Israel can contribute to important contemporary debates. The course further provides students with an extensive introduction to politics and society in Israel. The course presents Israel from multiple perspectives: political, social, cultural and economical while focusing on politics and society. We will carefully examine the most pending issues and challenges the Israeli society is currently facing alongside central ongoing debates in Israeli politics. Students will be exposed to interdisciplinary cutting-edge academic research on the country. The course consists of three parts. The first part establishes the historical and political background against which contemporary Israeli politics plays out. The second part of the course is dedicated to exploring state-building and Israel’s first years. The third part of the course focuses on contemporary Israeli challenges such as social cleavages (along political, religious, ethnic, and national lines) and political debates of inclusion/exclusion. Topics addressed during the course include the way Israelis perceive themselves and relate to each other, the Arab/Israeli and Israeli/Palestinian conflicts (as well as their influence on Israeli politics and society), varying groups of which the Israeli society is comprised (Arabs, Druze, Bedouins, Oriental and Ashkenazi Jews, Jews from Ethiopia, former soviet immigrants, non-Jews, etc.), national identity as a product of subcultures, Zionism and post-Zionism, religious and state: political and social implications, the Israeli Defense forces as a melting pot and their role in nation-building in Israel’s first years, social rifts, etc.
Learning outcomes
Students will graduate from this course with better acquaintance and understanding of Israeli history, society, politics, and economy and develop a comprehensive understanding of this fascinating country. Upon completion of the course, students would be able to: - Describe and understand important topics in Israeli history and understand their effect on ongoing processes in Israel. - Demonstrate an understanding of Zionist historiography and its manifestations in contemporary Israeli society; - Critically analyze the conceptual and empirical debates surrounding Zionism, the structures of the Jewish state and the relationship between democracy, religion, ethnicity and nationalism in contemporary Israel; - Describe and understand the complexity of Israeli politics and society. - Identify and describe current trends in Israeli politics and society. - Discuss the challenges Israel faces from various points of view: economic, political, social, international relations, conflicts etc. - Locate the contemporary debates surrounding Israeli politics and society within a regional and international context.
  • See the interactive syllabus.
Teaching methods
Lectures, narrated presentations
Assessment methods
Course Requirements 1. Students must read the literature assigned to each session. Additional literature is also available, and is recommended for students who would like gain a more in-depth understanding of topics mentioned in class. 2. Students are required to pass two mid-term quizzes and a final exam. *** Successful completion of the course requires the successful completion of ALL grade components. Mid-term Quizzes: Students will write two mid-term quizzes. The quizzes will mostly comprise multiple choice questions. The will take place online (ROPOT), at 10:00-10:30, in the following dates: 25.03.2022, 29.04.2022.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2021, Spring 2023.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Spring 2022, recent)
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