Taking Space Seriously: Law, Space and Society in Contemporary Israel, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Taking Space Seriously

Law, Space and Society in Contemporary Israel, 1st Edition

By Issachar Rosen-Zvi


224 pages

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This perceptive study investigates the different ways in which the state deals with various social groups through the mechanisms of space. By means of case studies involving three social groups within Israel's multicultural society - the Sephardim, the Bedouin-Arab minority and the ultra-Orthodox community of Jerusalem - the different roles played by political space in legal analysis are revealed and analyzed. Issachar Rosen-Zvi then unearths the unifying logic underlying the disparate legal treatment of political space, brought to light by the case studies. The law treats political space differently depending on the social group involved, an attitude that, the author argues, can be traced back to early Zionist thinking. He concludes that a reform of local government law is required, to correct the segregated system of political space and the separate and unequal distribution of political power and economic resources that accompany it.


'This is an insightful and original study of the way in which politics, culture, and tradition, have molded the legal and political definitions of space within Israeli society. It's techniques and methods are rich in implications, that go far beyond the confines of the case-studies which form the body of the book. The book will be of great value to scholars who are interested in the politics of Israel, and also to those who are concerned more generally with the relationship between a legal system and the society in which it is located.' Professor Lawrence M. Friedman, Stanford University, Stanford California, USA 'This is a subtle, thoughtful and original treatment of how Israeli law has dealt with social group conflicts and hierarchies in the context of land use and political jurisdiction - an impressive study in the new interdisciplinary field of law and geography.' Professor Thomas C. Grey, Stanford Law School, USA '…highly original, penetrating and stimulating analysis of Israeli experience.' The Law and Politics Book Review '…illustrates how the space concept is used by different social groups to increase or consolidate their political and economic power.' International Journal of Environment and Pollution

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Invisible spaces: the case of the Arab-Jews; The re-emergence of space: the case of the Bedouin; Spaces of ambivalence: the case of the ultra-orthodox; Spaces of identity: Zionist ideology and the social production of political space; Toward a reform of local government law; Epilogue; Bibliography; Index.

About the Series

Law, Justice and Power

Law, Justice and Power
To speak about law is always and necessarily to be engaged in a discourse about both justice and power. While law's relationship to justice is everywhere contingent and uncertain, law completely divorced from power is unthinkable. And, while law need not be virtuous to be law, if it had no effect in the world it could hardly be said to merit the name law. Recognizing these facts, the series on Law, Justice and Power takes a broad view of legal scholarship.It publishes books by social scientists, humanists and legal academics which connect an understanding of culture's normative ideals with examination of the complex ways that law works in the world, insist that justice is inseparable from social practices and analyze law as one form of power, one way of constituting, controlling and changing the social world. It focuses on state law as well as law in communities and cultural practices and on identities and their articulation in and through law, on law's power in the taken-for-granted world, on its role in the complex construction of nation and national power and on global developments which today destabilize and transform the meaning and significance of law. The series invites innovative scholarship that crosses disciplinary as well as geographic and temporal boundaries.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General