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Oct 17

OCT 17

12:00 PM–2:00 PM


The Politics of Religion in Israel

12:00 PM–2:00 PM    Maison Française East Gallery, Buell Hall

Panel Discussion:

The Politics of Religion in Israel

A panel discussion with Yinon Cohen, Katherine Franke and Alain Dieckhoff. Moderated by Chiara Superti

To RSVP, please click here. The Israeli elections of April and September 2019 highlighted, yet again, the profound rifts that divide Israeli society. But the now familiar political haggling that ensued did not only reveal traditional left-right divides. More significantly, it put into sharp focus the religious-secular split which has become one of the key factors shaping Israeli politics and electoral behavior today. How did religious parties, which represent a growing number of voters, come to play such a prominent role in a country that was founded as a secular state? What role does demography play in this new political landscape? What can we learn from an analysis of social movements and generational shifts in Israel? How was electoral opinion affected by the successive failures of the peace process? What is the impact of Israel’s “Nation-State Law”, which, inter alia, establishes Hebrew as Israel’s official language and downgrades Arabic to a “special status”? And how does it affect Israel’s identity as both a Jewish and democratic state?

To help guide us through this complex set of questions, we are bringing together a panel of leading experts:

Professor Katherine Franke, Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Columbia University. Katherine Franke directs the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law and is the faculty director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project. She is a member of the Executive Committee for the Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality, and the Center for Palestine Studies. She is among the nation's leading scholars writing on law, religion and rights, drawing from feminist, queer, and critical race theory.

Professor Yinon Cohen, Yosef H. Yerushalmi Professor of Israel and Jewish Studies, Columbia University. Yinon Cohen's research focuses on international migration, social stratification and labor markets. His recent research has examined the causes for rising wage inquality in the US, and his current research focuses on inequality in fringe benefits. Cohen is also involved in research on Israeli society on issues of unionization, socioeconomic ethnic and gender gaps, rising inequality, changing immigration and emigration patterns, and the demography of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Alain Dieckhoff, director of the CERI (Center for International Studies) at Sciences Po. He was previously the head of the Political Sciences Department at Sciences Po. (2012-2013). He is also a member of the advisory council of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS). He teaches courses at Sciences Po, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He is a member of the editorial boards of Politique et sociétés, Maghreb-Machrek, Questions internationales and Israel Studies. Alain Dieckhoff holds degrees from the University of Paris 10-Nanterre (Ph.D. in political sociology) and Sciences Po. His research area focuses on politics, contemporary society and transformations of the state in Israel. He also works on the transformations of contemporary nationalism.

Chiara Superti (Moderator)
Chiara Superti is Director of the M.A. program in political science and Lecturer in Political Science. She received the B.A. in International and Diplomatic Sciences at the University of Bologna (Forli), the Masters degree in Pacific and International Affairs at the University of California, San Diego (IRPS/GPS), and the Ph.D. in political science at Harvard University (2015). After completing her doctoral work, she was awarded the position of College Fellow in the Department of Government at Harvard University. Dr. Superti works on a variety of topics: unconventional voting, immigrants' political attitudes, and electoral politics in Southern Europe, Latin America, and Israel. She is currently working on a number of projects on unconventional voting in Cuba, immigration and trust in Israel, and electoral systems and parties in Italy.

This event is sponsored by IRCPL, the Alliance Program and Maison Française.

The Politics of Religion in Israel