Thinking Comparatively about Israel

in Israel Studies Review
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  • 1 University of Texas at Arlington, USA
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Students enrolled in Israel Studies courses often come to class with either firm opinions or little knowledge about the country (sometimes both). One way to address this while training students in the particular disciplines in which they are interested is by emphasizing the use of disciplinary concepts and tools to study Israel in a comparative framework, specifically, by pointing out the similarities and differences between Israel and other states. An effective epistemological approach to this end is the use of discussion questions to structure class conversations. This article demonstrates the usefulness of such an approach by looking at three main concepts in Political Science—the state, democracy, and liberal democracy.

Contributor Notes

BRENT E. SASLEY is an Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Texas at Arlington. His research focuses on how emotions, images, language, and collective memories shape group identities and, from there, foreign policy. He is the co-author, with Harold M. Waller, of Politics in Israel: Governing a Complex Society (2017), and the author of a forthcoming study on how Israel is used in International Relations theory development. E-mail:

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  • Sokoloff, Naomi. 2004. “Teaching Hebrew Literature in Translation.” AJS Perspectives (Fall): 1415.


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