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Editors' Note and In Memoriam: Rachel Feldhay Brenner

Paul L. Scham and Yoram Peri

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Colin Shindler

When the existence of a European Association of Israel Studies (EAIS) was first publicized a decade ago, many believed that it was merely a front for advocacy and that the discipline was an invented one. The last ten years have borne testimony instead to a profound intellectual endeavor that indicates Israel Studies is an area worthy of academic research. Hundreds of academics from all over Europe—and beyond—now participate in dynamic discourse on a regular basis. Moreover, there has been tremendous support from Israeli academics. Indeed, there is an interesting overlap between Israel Studies in Europe and European Studies in Israel.

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Explaining sustainable regional integration to my parents

Zenyram Koff Maganda

I have been immersed in sustainable development and regional integration since I was a baby through the activities of the RISC Consortium. I have met people coming from different parts of the world to discuss their regions and how they affect communities. I have had the opportunity to travel and see how life is in different world regions, how people are the same, and how they are different. One day, my parents asked me to explain to them what “sustainable regional integration” means. This is my answer.

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“If the coronavirus doesn’t kill us, hunger will”

Regional absenteeism and the Wayuu permanent humanitarian crisis

Claudia Puerta Silva, Esteban Torres Muriel, Roberto Carlos Amaya Epiayú, Alicia Dorado González, Fatima Epieyú, Estefanía Frías Epinayú, Álvaro Ipuana Guariyü, Miguel Ramírez Boscán, and Jakeline Romero Epiayú

For more than 30 years after the arrival of the first multinational coal company in La Guajira, the Wayuu have raised their voices. They denounce the extermination of their people, the dispossession of their territory and their resources, and the negligence of the Colombian and Venezuelan states in facing a humanitarian crisis caused by hunger and the death of more than 4,000 children. The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic within this context.

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Innovation in Israel

Between Politics, Society, and Culture

Sigal Ben-Rafael Galanti, Fany Yuval, and Assaf Meydani

The past decade has witnessed a growing number of theoretical and empirical studies analyzing the components of innovation; the ways in which it filters into political, social, and cultural systems; how it accelerates; what drives its existence; and its advantages and disadvantages (Seeck and Diehl 2017). This special issue, a joint initiative of the Israel Political Science Association (ISPSA) and Israel Studies Review, seeks to examine innovation in the Israeli political and societal sphere. Rooted in different disciplines, the articles are diverse yet connected to the political world, offering a distinctive preliminary mosaic that highlights the theme of innovation in Israel as it unfolds between politics, society, and culture.

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Ten years later

Leonardo Morlino

A decade ago, Regions & Cohesion started with an editorial article by Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda, who proposed launching “a multilingual (English, French, and Spanish) and interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of the human and environmental impacts of regional integration as well as governance processes.”

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Ten years of re-thinking regions from citizens’ perspectives

Harlan Koff, Carmen Maganda, Philippe De Lombaerde, Edith Kauffer, and Julia Ros Cuellar

The year 2020 has been challenging due to the different overlapping crises related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is difficult to celebrate amidst the awareness of the worst global suffering in generations. Nonetheless, we consider ourselves extremely fortunate to commemorate ten years of Regions & Cohesion. It is not lost on us that our commemoration occurs amidst the above-cited crises. The inaugural issue of Regions & Cohesion (2011) was entitled “Regiones, régions, regions, everywhere. … But what about the people?” It noted that regional integration had proliferated throughout the 1990s and early 2000s to the point that some scholarship was suggesting that regions could one day substitute nation-states as prominent actors in global affairs. The opening editorial of this issue noted that successful region-building, at the supranational, transnational, and sub-national level was measured in terms of economic prosperity and political stability. The inaugural issue questioned this approach by studying how well regions respond to the needs of citizens. It asked whether regions serve the needs of their people or whether people serve the needs of regional economies. The coronavirus-related crises have merely emphasized many of the shortcomings of regions and regionalisms that this journal has documented throughout its first decade of existence.

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The Ukrainian divide

The power of historical narratives, imagined communities, and collective memories

Alina Penkala, Ilse Derluyn, and Ine Lietaert


Ukraine is usually portrayed as a cleft country with a determining internal East–West divide. However, critical researchers in Ukrainian scholarship emphasize that the East–West paradigm fails to adequately reflect the complex reality of the Ukrainian society and its historical, linguistic, economic, and political mixture. This article deconstructs the origins and evolution of the eastern and western Ukrainian identities and argues that the current clash between the two regions should not be explained by linguistic and ethnic differences, geopolitical strategies, economic interests, or political gains but rather by symbolic geographies, historical myths, and political imaginations. As a consequence, Ukraine is unable to make clear choices about its geopolitical future and remains a liminal space of east and west, where the broader EU-centered and Russia-centered regions overlap.


Ucrania suele ser retratada como un país caracterizado por una división interna determinante entre el este y el oeste. Sin embargo, algunos investigadores critican este paradigma Este-Oeste, que no refleja la compleja realidad de la sociedad ucraniana y su mezcla histórica, lingüística, económica y política. En este artículo se deconstruyen los orígenes y la evolución de las identidades ucranianas orientales y occidentales y se argumenta que el actual choque entre las dos regiones debería explicarse por el nuevo enfoque de geografías simbólicas, mitos históricos e imaginaciones políticas. En caso contrario, Ucrania no puede tomar decisiones claras sobre su futuro geopolítico y sigue siendo un espacio liminal de este y oeste, donde se superponen las regiones más amplias centradas en la UE y en Rusia, respectivamente.


L'Ukraine est généralement présentée comme un pays avec une division interne Est-Ouest déterminante. Cependant, des chercheurs ukrainiens critiquent ce paradigme Est-Ouest, qui ne reflèterait pas la réalité complexe de la société ukrainienne ni son mélange historique, linguistique, économique et politique. Cet article déconstruit les origines et l'évolution des identités ukrainiennes orientales et occidentales et soutient que le conflit qui les oppose actuellement devrait être expliqué par la nouvelle approche des géographies symboliques, des mythes historiques et des imaginations politiques. A défaut, l'Ukraine est incapable de faire des choix clairs quant à son avenir géopolitique et reste un espace liminaire entre l'Est et l'Ouest, où les régions plus larges centrées sur l'UE et la Russie se chevauchent.

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The Convergence of Military Conduct and Policing in Israeli-Controlled Territories

Nir Gazit and Yagil Levy

The murder of George Floyd by a police officer in the United States in May 2020 and the subsequent turmoil, as well as the violence against migrants on the US-Mexican border, have drawn major public and media attention to the phenomenon of police brutality (see, e.g., Levin 2020; Misra 2018; Taub 2020), which is often labeled as ‘militarization of police’. At the same time, in recent years military forces have been increasingly involved in policing missions in civilian environments, both domestically (see, e.g., Kanno-Youngs 2020; Schrader 2020; Shinkman 2020) and abroad. The convergence of military conduct and policing raises intriguing questions regarding the impact of these tendencies on the military and the police, as well as on their legitimacy.

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Editors' Note

Paul L. Scham and Yoram Peri

This is the first of three special, guest-edited issues of ISR that will precede the retirement of the current editors from the journal. This issue, co-edited by Nir Gazit and Yagil Levy, takes on the unusual and seemingly somewhat arcane subject of military policing in Israel—that is, in the West Bank and on the Gaza border. The subject seemed somewhat arcane when we started planning it early in 2019, but now, as this issue reaches publication, we find that military policing is closely related to current events around the world, especially in the US, sometimes even competing with the coronavirus pandemic for the headlines. See the guest editors’ introduction immediately following this note for a fuller exposition before delving into the articles that follow.