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Véronique Pujas

The debate in 1999 on how to finance the Italian party system centred

on two aberrations from the European norm that are linked to

the wider issue of the unfinished transition of the Italian political

system. The first of these aberrations is that the Italian political

class has yet to find a definitive remedy for the illegal funding of

the country’s political parties. Although public funding has been

envisaged since the law of 1974, subsequent legislation has

always been determined by circumstances and has never

addressed the real needs of parties. The second problem concerns

the control of three television channels by the state, on the one

hand, and of three further channels by a media entrepreneur and

political leader, Silvio Berlusconi, on the other. In the opinion of

many observers, this situation comprises an interweaving of interests

harmful to democratic pluralism.

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Sergio Rizzo and Gian Antonio Stella

In this chapter, the efforts of the Italian ruling class to cut the costs of politics during 2012 are analyzed. An informal division of labor was established between Monti's executive, which was to take care of budgetary problems, and the Parliament, which was supposed to tackle the frequent scandals of corruption and public money mismanagement. The results of the latter's efforts were amply (and predictably) disappointing, justifying once more the low levels of trust that citizens display toward politicians. In particular, we consider five points: the expenditure cuts by the constitutional bodies, the failure to reduce the number of MPs, the effort to cut back on the public funding of political parties, the “anarchy” of regional expenditures, and the inability to decide about the abolition of provincial government.

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Gianfranco Pasquino and Marco Valbruzzi

This chapter analyzes the processes of candidate selection in Italy for the main political parties facing the 2013 general election. In particular, the authors investigate and evaluate the primary elections organized, in November–December 2012, by the center-left coalition (composed of the Democratic Party, Left Ecology and Freedom, and the Italian Socialist Party) for the selection of the candidate to the office of president of the Council of Ministers. The chapter explores in detail the main issues at the center of the electoral campaign, the candidates involved in the process of selection, the socio-demographic profile of the “selectorate,” the electoral results of the primary elections, and their consequences for the consolidation of the Italian party system.

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Acronyms of political parties

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Ofer Kenig, Michael Philippov, and Gideon Rahat

Party membership is in decline in Israel. This article analyzes the main characteristics of party members in three of the largest parties in Israel: Kadima, Likud, and Labor. Party members in Israel share similar features with party members in other countries: they are older, economically better off than the average voter, they are more highly educated than an average voter, and they are more likely to be male than female. This comparison between the members population and the voters population also demonstrates that Arabs are over-represented in Kadima and Labor while religious people are over-represented in Kadima and especially Likud. Most party members claim that ideological motivations led them to join a particular party, yet they suspect that the other members are motivated by more instrumental reasons. They expect the party to act cohesively but at the same time clearly support deeper intraparty democratization. They are also rather passive, hardly engaging in party activities.

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The Determination of Educational Policy

Shas, Politics, and Religion

Anat Feldman

-based discussion that is consistent with social requirements and takes into account pressure exerted by social forces and political parties. What is unique about the case at hand is that no such discussion took place. Instead, policies were determined in the wake

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Mapai's Bolshevist Image

A Critical Analysis

Avi Bareli

This article describes and analyzes the image of Mapai, Israel's ruling political party during its first decades, as an undemocratic 'Bolshevist party'. This perception is based on certain associations between socialist-Zionist collectivism and the totalitarian political culture of Soviet communism. The article reviews the public-political background regarding this image in Israeli political discourse and scholarship and then examines the reasons for its ready acceptance. Finally, it is argued that this Bolshevist image has functioned as a rhetorical tool that has allowed public leaders and scholars who had been involved with the Zionist labor movement to distance themselves from it.

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The 1956 Strike of Middle-Class Professionals

A Socio-political Alliance with the Right

Avi Bareli and Uri Cohen

abstract

This article assumes, first, that during the 1950s the government, the trade union Histadrut, and the political party Mapai situated themselves in an intermediate position between the Ashkenazi public and the recently arrived Mizrahi immigrants. Second, it assumes that the right and center-right public forces, such as the General Zionist and Herut parties, and the influential liberal-oriented newspaper Ha’aretz played key roles in the evolution of ethnic relations during this period and impacted the political orientation of the Ashkenazi middle class. It examines these assumptions by considering the part played by the right, the center-right, and the Mapai government during a prolonged conflict between the Ashkenazi academic middle class and the government during the mid-1950s. This dispute centered on the appropriate extent of the wage gaps set between the salaries of the new Ashkenazi academic middle class and those of the new Mizrahi proletariat.

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Olga Kharus and Vyacheslav Shevtsov

of a parliament and political parties in Russia. The adherents of the idea of Siberian autonomy leaned toward different political parties. Even though the main leader of Siberian oblastnichestvo (regionalism), Grigorii Potanin, defined himself as

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Sephardi Leadership in Israel

Transitioning from Mandate to Statehood

Moshe Naor

discussed, among other issues, the development during 1948 of new Israeli political parties such as Mapam, the Progressive Party, and Herut (e.g., Weitz 2010 ). However, the historiography of the 1948 War and the early years of the State of Israel has paid