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Nationalism and Binationalism

Volume I of Contemporary Challenges to the Nation State:
Global and Israeli Perspectives

Anita Shapira is professor emerita of Jewish history at Tel Aviv University, specializes in the history of Zionism, the Jewish community in Palestine, and the State of Israel. She is currently an editor of the biographical series "Jewish Lives" at Yale UP, and a senior fellow at The Israel Democracy Institute.

Yedidia Z. Stern is a professor of Law at Bar Ilan University and Vice President of Research aspan>t The Israel Democracy Institute. His fields of expertise are constitutional law, religion and state, and business law.

Alexander Yakobson is an associate professor of ancient history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research focuses on democracy, popular politics and elections in the Classical World; democracy, national identity, religion, state and national identity, and the rights of national minorities in Israel and the West.

For the last two centuries, the nation state has posed a formidable challenge to multinational empires. It has served as a base for modernization, secularization and democratization – and also for the formation of totalitarian regimes. Today, the nation state faces challenges from multiple directions. National minorities demand self-determination while religious forces seek to undermine secular governments, and global migration movements destroy the cultural uniformity once considered essential for the formation and preservation of nation states.

Nationalism and Binationalism is the first of a three-volume set (detailed below) which addresses key challenges facing the contemporary nation state from a global perspective but with special emphasis on the Middle East and Israel. Publication reflects research conducted under the auspices of The Israel Democracy Institute's “Nation State Project”, which analyzes Israel’s complex reality in which a Jewish majority contends with an Arab minority, ultra-Orthodox religious forces reject the authority of the nation state, and an immigrant society exhibits substantial cultural and ethnic variance.

Volume I examines binationalism – a topic that has gained popularity in academic circles as a possible solution to the Israel/Palestine issue (though the historical experience of binationalism is discouraging) – from a theoretical point of view and from a practical angle, analyzing cases in which two ethnic groups or nations share one political system and govern it jointly. Some contributors challenge the accepted notion of national unity in several countries, such as France and Germany; others consider the precedents of Belgium and Canada, and other countries, which are considered as binational. The history of the binational concept in Israel is explored and different opinions are presented on its future prospects: the idea of Israel within the borders of 1949 as a binational state, and the possibility of a binational state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.

Vol. II: The Nation State and Religion: The Resurgence of Faith (978-1-84519-568-7)
Vol. III: The Nation State and Immigration: The Age of Multiculturalism (978-1-84519-569-4)

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-567-0
Hardback Price: £35.00 / $49.95
Release Date: March 2013
Page Extent / Format: 240 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


Uriel Abulof, Binationalism Beyond Israel

Michael Walzer, Five Regimes of Coexistence

Alain Dieckhoff, Nationalist Processes and State Divisions in Europe

Ran Halévi, Plurality in the Shadow of Unity: The Fabric of the French Nation State

Shulamit Volkov, Delusions of Unity: The Case of Germany

Philippe Van Parijs, Is a Binational Democracy Viable? The Case of Belgium

Asa Kasher, Binationalism: Fundamental Objections

Aviva Halamish, Binationalism in Mandatory Palestine: The Case of Hashomer Hatzair

Sarah Ozacky-Lazar, One State in Eretz Israel/Palestine: Dream or Nightmare?

Mordechai Bar-On, A Binational State between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean: Evolution and Critical Survey of an Idea

Matti Steinberg, “Two Nations are in thy womb and the one people shall be stronger than the other people" (Genesis 25:23): Binationalism in the Arab Middle East

As'ad Ghanem, The Palestinians in Israel and the Demand for Binationalism

Alexander Yakobson, National Identity and Citizenship in a Jewish Nation State

Sammy Smooha, A Zionist State, a Binational State and an In-Between
Jewish and Democratic State

The Contributors

Review Quotes to Follow

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