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Beyond Comparativism

Israel's Welfare History in a Non-European Comparative Perspective

Arie Krampf


This article critiques Esping-Andersen's class-based theory of welfare regimes, demonstrating that the theory's scope conditions are not fulfilled by the Israeli case during the country's first three decades. It traces the transition of Israel's welfare regime and the consolidation of its welfare state in the 1970s. Based on historical analysis, the article points out two incongruities between Esping-Andersen's theory scope conditions and the case of Israel. Further, it argues that the transformation of Israel's welfare regime can be better explained by institutional historical theories that highlight the impact of the production regime on welfare and the significance of conflicts between high-skilled and low-skilled workers.

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Bringing Politics Back In

Embedded Neoliberalism in Israel during Rabin's Second Government

Arie Krampf, Uri Ansenberg, and Barak Zur


This article makes an empirical and historical contribution regarding the role of the Labor Party government between 1992 and 1996—Yitzhak Rabin's government—in shaping the Israeli path to neoliberalism. The article argues that Rabin's government developed a new neoliberal political-economic logic that differed from the political-economic logic of the Emergency Stabilization Plan as well as from the political-economic logic of Sharon's government in the post-Intifada era. It argues that Rabin's government's political-economic logic conforms to the notion of ‘embedded neoliberalism’ (Bohle and Greskovits 2012). The article also argues that political parties had greater impact on the Israeli neoliberal path than is conventionally claimed. The historical analysis is based on qualitative and quantitative research in six policy areas: supply-side, demand-side, welfare and redistribution, development, depoliticization and democratization.