Citizenship, minorities and the police: attitudes of Jewish Ethiopian Israelis toward police reforms

Ofir Abu, Guy Ben-Porat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Minority groups striving for integration may support representation in state institutions as well as recognition measures not as ends in themselves but only insofar as they believe that these reforms can advance their full integration into mainstream society. We illustrate this argument by focusing on perceptions about police reforms among Israeli Jews of Ethiopian descent, a racial minority. Drawing on data from public opinion surveys, focus groups, and interviews with community activists, our analysis indicates that Ethiopian Israelis support recruitment of co-ethnic officers (representation) and cultural sensitivity training of police officers (recognition) because they believe it could change police’s attitudes and behaviors. However, they are also conscious of the downsides of these reforms as they might perpetuate their stigmatization as a distinct group that requires special accommodation. This paper suggests that successful integration strategies need to take into account how minority groups view their status within the state’s citizenship regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-444
Number of pages19
JournalCitizenship Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Citizenship
  • Israel
  • police and police reforms
  • racial minorities
  • representation and recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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