Academic discourse on making new towns in Israel: Three approaches in social science

Erez Tzfadia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This paper places the making of twenty-eight new development towns in the Israeli periphery at the junction of political ideologies, spatial policy, and academic discourse. The objective of the paper is to delineate the policy of making the development towns and the reasons explaining their relatively disadvantaged state against the backdrop of three master approaches in the social sciences in the 20th century: the modernist - functionalist approach, particularly the planning perspective within this approach; the neo-Marxist approach; and the colonial approach. Each places the planning and establishment of the new towns within a wider political context and sociospatial structure, hence suggesting different explanations for the backwardness. Yet, combining the approaches yields a comprehensive picture of the towns. Finally, the juxtaposition of these master approaches with the making of new towns elucidates the contribution of geography and public policy to the general discourse in social science. That said, it also exposes the weaknesses of the modern and rational approaches, and portrayed public policy and spatial planning as ingredients of multilayered control and domination, which are expressed in cultural (ethnic), geographical, and economic terms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-491
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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