Publications

2007
"Small Peoples": Ethnonational Existential Uncertainty of Israeli Jews and Quebecois
Abulof U. "Small Peoples": Ethnonational Existential Uncertainty of Israeli Jews and Quebecois. 2007.PDF icon Small_peoples.pdf
Free Movement of Labor: UK Responses to the Eastern Enlargement and GATS Mode 4
Persin D. Free Movement of Labor: UK Responses to the Eastern Enlargement and GATS Mode 4. 2007.Abstract

Abstract 

Limitations placed on the movement of labor are seen as major impediments to the growth both of trade in services and of the economy overall. The temporary movement of service providers is generally expected to be less politically sensitive than the permanent movement of labor. Therefore, it remains a puzzle why the UK, a major proponent of multilateral trade liberalization in services, made a slightly below-the-EU-average offer on the free movement of natural persons (Market Access Mode 4) as part of the first EU offer in the WTO Doha Round in February 2003, but then in 2004 chose not to limit the free movement of labor from the new Member States of the EU as most other "old” Member States did. The main argument is that the policy choices reflect the aim of the UKgovernment to retain flexibility in and external sovereign control over labor immigration policies. This allows it to maintain flexible labor markets within the UK and the extended EU Internal Market, while at the same time obtaining the support for these policies from the two domestic societal actors—the trade unions and the employers—each for its own self-interested reasons. The study contributes to the literature on immigration control policies and trade in services.

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Ethnonational Existential Uncertainty of Israeli Jews and Québécois
Abulof U. Ethnonational Existential Uncertainty of Israeli Jews and Québécois. 2007.Abstract

Abstract

This paper focuses on "small peoples,” a term coined by Milan Kundera to denote ethnic communities that lack a "sense of an eternal past and future.” My aim is twofold: to expose this phenomenon and to both theoretically and empirically explore its bases. I first describe this phenomenon, which I believe is invaluable to the understanding of both ethnicity and security. I further argue that in modern times, "small peoples” are marked by a heightened and historically prolonged sense of uncertainty about the viability of their future-driven national survival (epistemic insecurity) and the validity of their past-based ethnic identity (ontological insecurity). Empirically, I analyze two distinct "small peoples”—Israeli Jews and French Canadians (Québécois)—and suggest that while the former have been plagued by quandaries about survival, the latter have been no less concerned with insecurity about identity.

PDF icon small_peoples_uriel_abulof_2007.pdf
Zion as Proxy? Three Jewish Scholars of Nationalism on Zionism and Israel
Joffe AH. Zion as Proxy? Three Jewish Scholars of Nationalism on Zionism and Israel. 2007.Abstract

Introduction and abstract

One of the curious facts about the study of nationalism in the twentieth century is that some of its greatest scholars were Jewish émigrés who found educations and then homes at Western universities. Scholars such as Hans Kohn, Salo Baron, Sir Isaiah Berlin, Elie Kedourie, Ernest Gellner, George Mosse, Eric Hobsbawm, and Anthony Smith all shared the conviction that nationalism was a phenomenon to be taken seriously, and all share credit for reinvigorating its study during and especially after World War II. Only three are considered here: Gellner, Kedourie, and Hobsbawm, the leading proponents of the modernist approach to nationalism.

Each was an outstanding scholar who bridged several fields. Kedourie was a Middle Eastern historian and political philosopher, a profound student of British policy and critic of nationalism. Gellner was a philosopher and anthropologist, simultaneously a thunderous critic of unreason and a sensitive analyst of non-Western societies. And Hobsbawm was one of Britain’s most relentless Marxist historians, known for his political activism, sweeping view of European history, and studies of jazz and others he saw as revolutionaries.

Their attraction to the subject of nationalism varied, but in no case was it nostalgia. Rather, it was a concern for the interplay of ideas and identity in politics. In an age of nationalism, Jews stood out, forcing these and other scholars to address the question of the "nation” in one way or another. Moreover, it is suggested here that the experiences of these three intellectuals as Jews and émigrés, and their attitudes toward Judaism and Israel, fundamentally conditioned their divergent scholarship on nationalism.

Connecting the inner and the outer man is an historiographic problem. How are milieus, personal histories, attitudes, and beliefs reflected in scholars’ works? The mere facts of an individual’s life cannot be said to correspond exactly to his or her intellectual output. Nor can we psychologize, rotating facets of a life until an interesting and presumably telling refraction appears. The real task is at once factual and speculative, as is all historiography, but a systematic approach is needed (for recent examples of historiographic studies of scholars, see Judt 1998; Myers and Ruderman 1998; Lilla 2001; Hart 1999; Knepper 2005; and Hacohen 1999). At one extreme is Kedourie’s assertion that the historian matters little (Kedourie, 1984c). The opposite impulses are found in Hobsbawm’s autobiography (Hobsbawm, 2002) and in efforts by Gellner’s acolytes to collate his works and write a biography (Hall 1998; Hall and Jarvie 1996; see also the Ernest Gellner Resource Page).

But short of biographies that fully connect the inner and outer scholar, the task is to enter into a dialogue with historians to understand how their lives and thought conditioned our understanding of a key phenomenon: nationalism. Modernist scholarship is the primary lens through which many, including policy makers, see the issue. This paper discusses, to use David Gellner’s words on his father’s analysis of Wittgenstein, "the social context of ideas” (D. Gellner 1998, x), but ideas with more than academic significance.

Nationalism has been defined many ways, including by the three scholars considered here. Briefly, nationalism holds that the world is comprised of many different groups or peoples—defined by shared languages, descended from common ancestors, and with common histories and religions. Nationalism judges it proper for individual groups to exert political control over the discrete territories in which they reside; that is to say, nations should equal states. As a cluster of assertions this is controversial enough, but underlying are more fundamental and intractable questions: whether groups and their identities are "real” or "invented,” of great antiquity or purely modern vintage; and whether identities are natural and necessary, shifting or fixed, arbitrary and even imposed.

This paper discusses the work of Kedourie, Gellner, and Hobsbawm and their attitudes toward Israel and Zionism. These are emblematic of their larger approaches to nationalism and the question of identity in the modern world. They also exemplify some of the Jewish intellectual responses to modernity.

PDF icon zion_as_proxy_joffe.pdf
2004
As The Generals See It: The Collapse of the Oslo Process and the Violent Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Bar-Siman-Tov Y. As The Generals See It: The Collapse of the Oslo Process and the Violent Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Jerusalem: The Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations; 2004.Abstract

Includes 5 lectures given by: Ami Ayalon, Amos Malka, Yossel Kuperwasser, Amos Gilad, Giora Eiland.

PDF icon As_the_generals_see_it.pdf
Rashomon in Jerusalem: Mapping the Israeli Negotiators Positions on the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process, 1993-2001
Kacowicz AM. Rashomon in Jerusalem: Mapping the Israeli Negotiators Positions on the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process, 1993-2001. Davis Occasional Papers. 2004;95.Abstract
This is a revised version of a paper presented for delivery at the Conference “Assessing the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations, 1993-2001,” Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel, March 1-2, 2004; and at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 17-20 March 2004.  I would like to thank Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov, Galia Press-Bar-Nathan, Gil Friedman, Kathleen Hawk, and Orly Kacowicz for their comments in previous versions of this paper, and Laura Wharton, Hani Mazar, and Sharon Yakin-Mazar at the Leonard Davis Institute for their help and assistance.  
PDF icon Rashomon_in_jerusalem_mapping_the_israeli_negotiators.pdf
2001
Adaptation and Learning in Conflict Management, Reduction, and Resolution
Bar-Siman-Tov Y. Adaptation and Learning in Conflict Management, Reduction, and Resolution. Davis Occasional Papers. 2001;90.PDF icon adaptation_and_learning_in_conflict_managment_reduction_and_resolution.pdf
Separatist Wars, Partition, and World Order
Fearon JD. Separatist Wars, Partition, and World Order. 2001.Abstract

Should ethnonationalist wars be resolved by formally partitioning states? The answer
can't be decided case by case, because two incentive problems imply that ad hoc
partitions have eects that extend across cases. First, if the implicit criterion for major
power intervention in support of partition is some level of violence, this encourages violent
movements seeking to mobilize cultural dierence in order to claim statehood. The
Wilsonian diagnosis is wrong. Perpetual civil peace cannot be had by properly sorting
\true" nations into states, because nations are not born but made, partially in response
to international incentives and major power policies. Second, an international order in
which major powers go around carving up lesser powers on an ad hoc basis would make
all states signicantly less secure. Ad hoc use of partition to solve civil wars would
undermine a relatively stable implicit bargain among the major powers in place since
the 1950s { \If you don't seek to change interstate borders by force, neither will we." I
argue that this norm has been valuable, functioning in some respects like an arms control
agreement. It would be irresponsible to undermine it without a thought to what might
replace it, as the advocates of ad hoc partition are eectively urging.
If the major powers want to start redesigning \sovereign" states, they need a political
and legal framework that mitigates these two incentive eects. The best feasible solutions
may be: (1) strengthening and making more precise international legal standards on
human (and perhaps group) rights; (2) threatening to sanction states that do not observe
these standards in regard to minorities, possibly including some forms of support for
agents of the oppressed group; (3) holding to the norm of partition only by mutual
consent, but providing carrots and sticks when the state in question refuses to abide by
minimal standards of nondiscrimination.