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September 1997
216 pages  

6 x 9
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Policy Making in Israel
Routines for Simple Problems and Coping with the Complex
Sharkansky, Ira
Policy Making in Israel analyzes how the Israeli government has coped with an array of problems in its brief history--from war and terrorism attacks, to economic unrest and heavy immigration.

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Ira Sharkansky is professor of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
“Ira Sharkansky, a political scientist who is well known on at least two continents for his books on the process of policy-making, offers a formula for deconstructing issues into their most basic components. . . . This book is an insightful as it is entertaining. It serves as an ideal introduction to Israel's central policy debates and, most important, to the fiery rhetoric which typically accompanies these clashes.”—International Journal of Middle East Studies

“Policy Making in Israel can be appreciated at various levels. It can be read for its informative value on most aspects of Israeli policy, for its analytic treatment of key policy issues and for the spatial implications of policy-making tactics identified. . . . Its global perspective deserves a comparative review of its own.”—Canadian Journal of Political Science

“This book is written in the style of an essay and is easily accessible to lay readers, including undergraduate students and others not familiar with either Israel or the field of policy analysis. . . . Excellent book.”—Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies

“Lively, well written, and well structured, the book is a pleasure to read and a stimulating and thought provoking work by a veteran scholar of the Israeli polity. . . . It is a comprehensive analysis of policy making in Israel. At the same time, its concepts are applicable far beyond: to every country with stubborn, long-standing conflicts.”—Middle East Journal

“A well-written and extremely interesting work that illuminates the manner in which Israeli politicians and bureaucrats conduct policy making. Sharkansky provides a breadth of historical and contemporary information rarely found in similar works. The case studies on Jerusalem and religion are superb. It could be used as a text for undergraduate courses on public policy, Israeli politics, comparative politics, and religion and society.”—Fred A. Lazin

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Political Science/International Studies

All governments face problems and are judged by their ability to solve them and the policies they develop in doing so. Compared with other Western democracies, Israel has faced a devastating number of problems of unusual severity in a relatively short time: war, terrorism, heavy immigration, unsettled boundaries, economic stresses, internal disputes about ethnicity and religion, and the lingering scars of the Holocaust and other persecutions. Sharkansky’s analysis of the Israeli government’s routines and methods for coping with such an array of difficulties, from simple to complex to intractable, offers general insights into how governments make policy in a democracy.


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