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The Supreme Court as a Political Entrepreneur

The Case of Israela

Assaf Meydani

In recent decades, the role that national supreme courts have played in shaping and determining institutional change has been studied from a number of angles. However, this vast literature has not produced a dynamic model that is capable of illuminating the impact of supreme courts on national policy or institutional change. This article proposes such a dynamic model using perspectives based on the 'shared mental model' and the concept of 'political entrepreneurship'. Adapting hypotheses from the neo-institutionalism literature, it develops a procedural model for analyzing how political rules are changed formally in a democratic system. The analysis also explores the political entrepreneur role that supreme courts play in developing institutional change and addressing social problems. This model is then used to study the Supreme Court in Israel.

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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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Innovative Thinking on the Relationship between the Provision of Local Services and Inequality in Israel

Yoram Ida, Amir Hefetz, Assaf Meydani, Gila Menahem, and Elad Cohen

Abstract

What innovative policy tools can be introduced so that the provision of local services will mitigate inequality among residents of different localities? Based on the ‘new localism’ approach, this article examines one such tool—a mandatory national standard for services provided by local authorities (a ‘service basket’)—and suggests that the implementation process should consider local variation and autonomy. The novelty of our approach lies in including both objective and normative considerations in the methodological instrument that we developed to capture these two dimensions. This innovative methodology also enabled us to estimate existing service gaps among local authorities and the burdens some will face upon instituting a mandatory service basket.