Political culture, alternative politics and foreign policy: The case of Israel

Guy Ben-Porat, Shlomo Mizrahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This article analyzes how sociopolitical dynamics within a state can help explaining foreign policy. We show that under certain conditions, the public can be involved in ways that extend beyond expressing opinions that act as constraints on policy makers, and also takes active initiatives that eventually shape foreign policies. The article explains how sociopolitical processes in Israeli society, which transformed the nature of citizen-politician relations from a top-down to a bottom-up orientation, gradually led to shifts in foreign policy regarding the conflict with the Palestinians. The Israeli public has adopted an approach to solving social problems by unilateral initiatives, as part of its attempts to shape foreign policy from the bottom up, due to continuous government failure to provide public services, combined with blocked influence channels. As long as Israeli politicians ignored these changes, they failed to mobilize support for policies imposed from the top down and lost their positions of power.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-194
Number of pages18
JournalPolicy Sciences
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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