Policy entrepreneurs and anti-racism policies

Adi Binhas, Nissim Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Under what conditions will those who fight against racism shift their strategies from traditional political participation to entrepreneurial activity? What would the institutional characteristics of the new organizations be, and what strategies would their activists employ? Whereas previous studies on anti-racism activities focused on traditional collective organizational patterns of action, this study examines the phenomenon on the individual level. We analyze the struggle of Ethiopian Israeli activists against racism. The framework suggests that the diffusion of techniques from other locations around the world and long-term learning processes in view of past failures, as well as newly acquired political skills, explain the transition to political entrepreneurial patterns. A comparison between traditional anti-racism actions and entrepreneurial strategies indicates that the essential differences between the two are the latter’s flexibility, creativity and innovation. These differences are manifested in the entrepreneurs’ attitudes toward the existing organizations, their relationship with the establishment, and their coalition-building strategies. The entrepreneurs’ coalition building is two-pronged. On one hand, they cooperate with the establishment on specific issues, and on the other hand, their actions challenge the establishment. They do not trust policymakers and are ready to confront the government more radically than in the past.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-345
Number of pages19
JournalPolicy Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-racism policy
  • Ethiopian Israelis
  • ethnic inequities
  • policy entrepreneurship
  • racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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