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Cleavages and political party system in Israel: Applying Lipset and Rokkan's model to a non Western case

Sharon Weinblum

No 3, CEVIPOL Working Papers from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract: Drawing on the classic theories of cleavages developed by Lipset and Rokkan, the article offers a new approach to understand the existing party system in Israel and a new typology of the Israeli cleavages. Through a socio-historical methodology, the analysis leads to theidentification of three cleavages, namely a religious-secular, a centre-periphery and a Weltanschauung cleavage, and offers an explanation for the non-crystallisation of the socioeconomic lines of opposition. The article finally tests the political alternative freezing hypothesis presented by Lipset and Rokkan. It reveals that the Israeli political system has known a crucial moment of political opening and democratisation in the late 1970s, after which the political structures and political families crystallised and remained unchanged.

Keywords: Cleavages; political system; political parties (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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