In only a few decades, Israel was radically transformed from a developmental political economy to a neoliberal regime. This transformation was enabled and sustained by vast increases in the executive power of fiscal and monetary state authorities committed to radical neoliberal reform, alongside sea changes in the structure and capacities of both labor and capital. This book asks why and how these transformations were made possible. It adopts a historical-institutional perspective which focuses on state agencies and politicians as powerful actors driving neoliberal restructuring. Contributors to this volume analyze changes in a variety of social and labor market policies. They demonstrate how vested interests in achieving power and autonomy served as primary motivations for politicians and bureaucrats when advancing neoliberal practices. Resistance and struggles against such changes were also important in their capacity to sometimes undermine or even overturn reforms, underlining the contentious and ultimately political nature of neoliberalism.
John L. Campbell: Foreword: Israel, Neoliberalism and Comparative Political Economy 1: Asa Maron and Michael Shalev: Introduction Part 1. Transformations of the Key Actors 2: Lev Grinberg: Paving the Way to Neoliberalism: The Self-Destruction of the Zionist Labor Movement 3: Daniel Maman: Big Business and the State in the Neoliberal Era: What Changed, What Didn't? 4: Daniel Maman and Zeev Rosenhek: The Reconfigured Institutional Architecture of the State: The Rise of Fiscal and Monetary Authorities 5: Ronen Mandelkern: Institutionalizing the Liberal Creed: Economists in Israel's Long Journey towards Political-Economic Liberalization Part 2. Neoliberalism and Social Policy Reform 6: Michal Koreh and Michael Shalev: Pathways to Neoliberalism: The Institutional Logic of a Welfare State Reform 7: Sara Helman and Asa Maron: Wisconsin Works' In Israel? Imported Ideas, Domestic Coalitions, And The Institutional Politics Of Re-Commodification 8: Sharon Asiskovitch: Bureaucrats, Politicians, and the Politics of Bureaucratic Autonomy: Reforming Child Allowances and Healthcare Part 3. Neoliberalism and the Casualization of Employment 9: Michal Tabibian-Mizrahi and Michael Shalev: Precarious Employment in the Public Sector: How Neoliberal Practices Preceded Ideology 10: Guy Mundlak: Contradictions in Neoliberal Reforms: The Regulation of Labor Subcontracting 11: Asa Maron and Michael Shalev: Conclusion
Asa Maron is a Lecturer in the Sociology Department at the University of Haifa. Previously he held postdoctoral positions at Stanford University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is a political sociologist specializing in the sociology of the welfare state and neoliberalism, with an emphasis on the transformation of the state, its politics, institutional dynamics, and consequences for statesociety relations. He has published in Law & Society Review, Administration & Society, Social Policy & Administration, and Mediterranean Politics. Michael Shalev is a political sociologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a visiting at the University of California at Berkeley. His primary research interests are in the political economy of Israel and rich democracies generally, focusing on the politics of social and economic policy, social stratification, and the socio-economic underpinnings of political action. He is the author of Labour and the Political Economy in Israel (1992) and editor of The Privatization of Social Policy? (1996). He has published in World Politics, Socio-Economic Review, Social Forces and other journals. His recent research is on the mass protests of 2011 in Israel and Southern Europe.