Episodes of Translation and Network Resilience: Lessons from Israel's Attempted Institutionalisation of Workfare

Sara Helman, Asa Maron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The translation perspective explores the travel of policy ideas, programmes and practices across international boundaries, focusing on the process through which interpretative agents introduce and adjust borrowed policy items to a new policy context. Current research emphasises the significance of local networks' support for translation's efficacy. However, we know little about how such networks are maintained and stabilized over time or how changing configurations and capacities may affect translation's prospects. This paper explores the case of Israel's attempted institutionalisation of workfare - an enduring international policy fashion - from 1998 to the present day. We follow the stabilization and destabilization of the local translation network across different levels and sites of policy design and implementation, analysing emerging conflicts and agreements at each site. We use the metaphor 'episodes of translation' to explore translation's value as a concept accounting for local policy change. In order for translation-led policy change to maintain legitimacy and actualisation in contested domains, ongoing engagement of existing and emerging policy actors is essential. This case demonstrates how when networks become destabilized, translation-led policy change may come to a halt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-82
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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