Israel’s Innovative Young Adults Lists

Robust Participation in Institutional Municipal Politics

in Israel Studies Review
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  • 1 Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel zvihadar56@gmail.com
  • 2 Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel fanyuval@som.bgu.ac.il
  • 3 Ben-Gurion University, Israel bkook@bgu.ac.il
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Abstract

Scholars have pointed to the alarming decline in the participation of young people in the institutional political activities underlying representative democracy, such as voting, joining political parties, or running for office. Solutions previously proposed have dealt with participatory democracy rather than representative democracy. Based on in-depth interviews, this article shows that, since 1998, the involvement of Young Adults Lists (YALs) in Israel's local elections have successfully and consistently engaged young adults as a descriptive constituency in local representative democracy. The YALs’ extraordinary electoral success derives from their ability to construct and carry out an innovative campaign strategy tailored to the preferences of young adults. This strategy has compensated for the YALs’ minimal financial resources and their lack of political experience and significant ties to national parties or similar organizations.

Contributor Notes

ZVI HADAR is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His research interests include local government and participation in formal and informal local politics. He is a lawyer by profession and served as a member of the municipal council and as deputy mayor of his hometown of Herzliya. E-mail: zvihadar56@gmail.com

FANY YUVAL is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Public Policy and Administration at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Her research interests include public policy and local government. She is the author with Guy Ben-Porat of Policing Citizens: Minority Policy in Israel (2019). E-mail: fanyuval@som.bgu.ac.il

REBECCA KOOK is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University. She has written extensively on issues related to Israeli politics and society with a focus on minority and identity politics. E-mail: bkook@bgu.ac.il

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