Society Space and Governance

Ben-Elia N. The Missing Link: Regional Government in Israel. Jerusalem: Floersheimer Studies; 2007.Abstract

This study examines the issue of regional government as an efficient means for governing sub-national regions in Israel, particularly peripheral regions. Against a background of territorial disparities and a malfunctioning regional governance, a new tier of governance is required, one which relies on political empowerment and a prudent devolution of authority.

Jerusalem in the Future: The Challenge of Transition
Hasson S ed. Jerusalem in the Future: The Challenge of Transition. (Hasson S). Jerusalem: Floersheimer Studies; 2007.Abstract

This publication presents the complex reality of Jerusalem as a divided city analyzed by six contributors. Shlomo Hasson examines the territorial, social, economic, and political developments in Jerusalem and explores how they may affect possible solutions to the problem of Jerusalem. Shlomo Hasson and Rami Nasrallah explore the different possible futures that may be played out in the city due to the impact of local, national, and international developments. Rassem Khamaisi proposes the alleviation of the Palestinian plight through the realization of the right to the city. Amiram Gonen explores new ways of strengthening Jerusalem by creating new contacts between Israelis and Palestinians. Noam Shoval examines the morphology of the city and the impact of the security barrier on everyday life. Ifat Maoz presents survey data on public opinion regarding different solutions to the problem of Jerusalem.

Connected and Strengthened Jerusalem
Gonen A. Connected and Strengthened Jerusalem. Jerusalem: Floersheimer Studies; 2007.Abstract

This essay presents a vision of a strengthened Jerusalem that can hopefully endure any geopolitical scenario.  In order to achieve this goal several strategic steps are essential, all  to be accompanied by a growing involvement of the central government of Israel in the affairs of the city and its surrounding region, so as to not only allocate generously resources to support housing, employment and infrastructure but also generate planning tools that enable urban development. All the strategies suggested in this essay share the notion of connectedness.

The Local Democratic Deficit: A Seeming Democracy ?
Hasson S ed. The Local Democratic Deficit: A Seeming Democracy ?. (Hasson S). Jerusalem: Floersheimer Studies; 2006.Abstract

Summarizing the Second Annual Local Government of The Harold Hartog School of Governance and Policy, this publication consists of three parts: The first unfolds the concept of Democratic Deficit and explains how it is formed, the dangers embodied in it  and how we may overcome i and establish the democracy correctly. The second part presents the discussion among the panel members and the third part contains the questions asked by the audience and the answers given by the speakers.

Razin E, Hazan A. Redistributing Municipal Wealth in Israel: Reducing Inequalities in the Revenues of Local Authorities. Jerusalem: Floersheimer Studies; 2006.Abstract

This study analyzes options for redistributing revenues from local taxes and levies on non-residential real estate among local authorities, with the aim of reducing fiscal disparities among local authorities.

The study recommends considering the implementation of alternatives at the local and regional levels, with clearly defined limits on conditions that permit revenue redistribution without the consent of involved parties. Implications in the direction of strengthening local government or concentration of power in the hands of government ministries depends on the manner of implementation: imposition subject to restraint and clear constraints, in which the central state is considered to be a fair broker, or an arena for bitter conflicts and for controversial decisions that are largely motivated by the need to alleviate short-term fiscal problems of the central state.

Political Cultures in Development Towns
ItzhaDahan. Political Cultures in Development Towns. Jerusalem: Floersheimer Studies; 2006.Abstract

This study examines the world views, ideologies, traditions, norms and social and cultural networks prevalent in development towns among various protagonists and groups – governmental and civic. The study highlights the crossroads, conflict and junctures which develop in a tenuous social field, and offers decision-makers an alternative strategy in light of this cultural and political labyrinth.

Social Capital and its Value in Coping with Crisis Situations
Billig M. Social Capital and its Value in Coping with Crisis Situations. Jerusalem: Floersheimer Studies; 2006.Abstract

This study examines the value of social capital in crisis management under the circumstances confronting the settlers of the Gaza strip in recent years. Its findings show that the security risks and the threat of disengagement contributed to strengthening social capital in all settlements, and that social capital greatly contributed to the resilience of settlers in their confrontations. However, challenges are influenced by the cultural affiliations of each group, and it is this environment which ultimately determined the quality and long term influence of social capital. The study clearly concludes that wherever communities stuck together even after disengagement, their ability to face the crisis of evacuation improved.

Ben-Elia N. The Fourth Generation: A New Local Government for Israel. Jerusalem: Floersheimer Studies; 2006.Abstract

This book attempts to develop a new conceptual view of local government in Israel and possible paths of institutional development towards the next decade. The urgency of such a task is based on two key assumptions. First, and mostly, the emergence of a new public agenda that shifts the traditional dominance in Israel of security related issues towards social and civic concerns. Second, the exhaustion of present patterns of governing and public governance and the consequent need for institutional change.

The book describes the key features of a new type of local government in Israel  (the ‘4th generation’) and explores three different scenarios for its actual emergence.

Ben-Elia N. From Municipal to Supra-Municipal Modes of Service Delivery in Israel. Jerusalem: Floersheimer Studies; 2006.Abstract

An alternative solution to the local government crisis with respect to the declining capacity of many municipalities to secure services for their residents. The proposal shifts away from the horizontal perspective, which identifies the change in local government with the changing municipal map, to a vertical perspective, which emphasizes the structural change in local government. Supra-municipal options for service provision are examined on the basis of a 'bottom-up' delegation of authority and regulating services.

Applebaum L, Hazan A. Cooperation Between Small Municipalities: Lessons for Israel. Jerusalem: Floersheimer Studies; 2005.Abstract

This study examines patterns of cooperation between small municipalities both in israel and abroad. Cooperation frameworks aim to achieve efficacy and reduce expenditure as well as to improve the quality of services to citizens, reduce risks, solve mutual problems, develop municipal and economic projects and to forge nucli of power to confront central government.Undoubtedly, mutual trust is a fundamental factor in any arrangement as is a good working relationship between employees in positions of power, whether elected or professional.

Schnell I, Mishal S. Uprooting and Settlers' Discourse: The Case of Gush Katif. Jerusalem: Floersheimer Studies; 2005.Abstract

This research focuses on the internal discourse of the Gush Katif settlers, exposes their socio-political perceptions, and attempts to understand the motives and the socio-psychological reasoning determining the settlers’ conduct. An understanding of the settlers’ discourse entails understanding their perception of “a home” -  a geographic location strongly tied with their individual and community identity.  The research highlights the frequent tension between the humane, individual and communal discourse and the national-religious discourse.