Israel: Metropolitan integration or 'fractured regions'? An alternative perspective

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3 Scopus citations


This paper proposes an alternative account of the high degree of power centrality in Israel, by arguing that the territorial 'fracturing' of Israel's main social and ethnic groups has prevented the emergence of effective pressure for regional devolution. Israel's character as a settler and settling state, and its central project of Judaising contested territories, enabled the Israeli 'ethnocracy' and its (mainly Ashkenazi) elites to create a political geography of 'fractured ethnic and social regions'. This was achieved by dispersing minorities and legitimising segregation and inequality, all in the name of the 'national interest'. The Israeli political landscape is therefore organised as 'fractured regions', each representing a distinct and interconnected, yet geographically dispersed, set of localities. The logic of dispersal and segregation, in turn, has also influenced patterns of development and residential separation within Israel's main urban areas. Thus ethnic and social fragmentation and conflict, and not a putative process of national or metropolitan integration, can explain much of Israel's highly centralised power structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-380
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1997


  • Ashkenazi
  • Frontier settlement
  • Haredi
  • Israel
  • Mizrahi
  • Settler state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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