The Global Political Economy of Israel

The Global Political Economy of Israel

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'This accessible but deeply disturbing book is not only the most authoritative study of the Israeli State to date, but also a significant contribution to state theory and globalisation ...A masterpiece.' Ronen Palan, Professor of International Political Economy, University of Sussex. 'A 'Must' read for anyone interested in the debate about globalization and its discontents.' Joseph H.H. Weiler, Jean Monnet Professor of Law, NYU School of Law 'Undoubtedly the most riveting and outstanding political-economy book you would have read this year.' Globe Over the past century, Israel has been transformed from an agricultural colony, to a welfare-warfare state, to a globally integrated "market economy" characterised by great income disparities. What lies behind this transformation? In order to understand capitalist development, argue Bichler and Nitzan, we need to break the artificial separation between "economics" and "politics", and think of accumulation itself as "capitalisation of power". Applying this concept to Israel, they reveal the big picture that never makes it to the news. Diverse processes - such as regional conflicts and energy crises, ruling class formation and dominant ideology, militarism and dependency, inflation and recession, the politics of high-technology and the transnationalisation of ownership - are all woven into a single story. The result is a fascinating account of one of the world's most volatile regions.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 424 pages
  • 156 x 235.7 x 26.7mm | 721.22g
  • PLUTO PRESS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 45 figures/10 tables
  • 074531676X
  • 9780745316765

Review quote

"One of the characteristics of much academic writing is an obsession with theory at the expense of empirical investigation. It is rare to find a book that combines genuinely novel theoretical exploration with rigorous empirical study, the more so in fields such as political science where abstraction seems to have become the norm. It is for this reason that "The Global Political Economy of Israel" is such a gripping read. A remarkable investigation into the concrete workings of the Israeli and U.S. economies that avoids the fatuous generalities of much of the globalization literature, it presents a challenging theoretical framework that not only clarifies the past but also seeks to understand the present. The authors end with a speculation. They raise the open question of whether we are now seeing a shift back towards a global regime of accumulation through depth, with its attendant features of war and conflict. The analysis offered by Nitzan and Bichler offers a powerful conceptual framework for understanding this latest crisis in the global political economy. It also points to a way out of the crisis by asking the simple question: Who really gains?" -- Monthly Review"Professional academics will, of course, hate it. They will say it is not 'science' and they will say it is not scholarship, it will be called 'journalism' and all that. But you guys knew of course what you were doing. And I am glad you did it this way, because I would have never even opened the book if it were classical scholarship. Life is too short. I found it a good read, a very good read, illuminating, very funny at times, and even when I did not agree (because my views on life, social justice, political organization,are very different than yours), I found it challenging and engaging. I also loved, just loved, all the gossipy snippets. A 'Must' read for anyone interested in the debate about globalization and its discontents, this book pricks and deflates all hot air balloons in sight." -- Joseph H.H. Weiler, Jean Monnet Professor of Law, NYU School of Law"This fine and careful study provides an enlightening account of the development of the Israeli economy within the context of the contemporary version of economic international integration ("globalization"), regional planning and developments, and internal conflicts and confrontations. It is rich in insights and far-reaching in its broader implications." -- Noam Chomsky"A must-read for anyone interested in global and Middle-East economics and politics." -- Professor Moshi Machover, London School of Economics"Nitzan and Bichler brilliantly excavate the direct link between Israeli aggression and oil companies' drive to boost their profits through war-induced higher oil prices. The popular responses to this 'blood for oil' dynamic include democratic internationalism and its terrorist antithesis." -- Terisa E. Turner, Professor, University of Guelph, Canada" (This book) is hard to review without superlatives...I read it as a desert traveler who has finally reached an oasis. It is full of details, flatters the reader, but demands an intellectual effort. In return, it explains not only the 'how' but also the 'why.' Bichler and Nitzan have put aside the justifications, the misleading terminology, the dis-information, the speculation in blood. They came to the party with their cameras, only that instead of conventional film, they used x-rays." -- HaimBaram, Kol Ha'eer"The reader will find in this book a whole world, Kafkaesque in nature and scope...Naturally, it deserves attention from economists...but it could also be read as a first-class cultural document. Above all, it is a grand, perpetual deconstruction of Israel's material reality, a penetrating, sarcastic and well-written study of 'where we live.' Rarely does a single book transform the entire worldview of a reader. This book does it. Eye opening. Depressing." -- Dror Burstein, Kol Ha'eer"You could agree or disagree with 'The Global Political Economy of Israel, ' but it is undoubtedly the most riveting and outstanding economics book you would have read this year." -- Globes"An arresting and creative book. Moving beyond standard explanations, the authors reveal the underpinnings of Israeli's history and politics, and in doing so provide a new framework to examine other such societies in global politics." -- Jeffrey Harrod, Professor of International Political Economy, University of Amsterdam"I devoured it in few days. It is a great, impressive and illuminating book, as well as a fascinating read. The enemies of Bichler and Nitzan, but also their admirers, will now be a thousand-fold." -- Aryeh Kofsky, Professor of Comparative Religion, Haifa University"I read the hundreds of pages of this book like a thriller...There is a great deal of anger in this book and a great deal of humor. Reading economic literature is usually very boring. This book is fascinating. Marxists and socialists of all kinds, if they don't want to give answers from the day before yesterday to yesterday's questions, should definitely read it." -- Itzhak Laor, Professor of Literature, Tel AvivUniversity"Bichler and Nitzan are without doubt two of the more innovative political economists in the world right now. Relying primarily on data gathered by themselves, with brutal precision and unwavering logic they dispense with the thick layer of ideologies and mystification to lay bare the innermost structures of power of Israeli society. This accessible but deeply disturbing book is not only the most authoritative study of the Israeli State to date, but also a significant contribution to state theory and globalization. I would place it on par with Poulantzas' work in the seventies. It is a masterpiece." -- Ronen Palan, Professor of International Political Economy, University of Sussex"This innovative and thoroughly researched examination of Israel in the global political economy is a brilliant addition to the growing 'new political economy' literature. The volume is distinguished by its engaging style. Theories are laid out clearly and evaluated empirically with reference to a rich descriptive and quantitative database that includes economic and political variables. Indeed, among the greatest strengths of this work is the way that economics and politics are fully integrated throughout; another is how well the authors site Israel's domestic political economy in a larger web of external strategic and economic relationships. I recommend it highly and look forward to sharing it with my students." -- Mary Ann Titreault, Professor of International Political Economy, Trinity University"What explains the phenomena of stagflation, the waves of corporate mergers and acquisitions, foreign policy decisions that appear to contradict the national interest, intra-societal conflicts, the trend ofglobal integration and capitalist class formation? Focusing in particular on the history of Israel's dominant capital groups, Nitzan and Bichler, argue that reliance on the traditional views of neoliberalism, and the conventional explanations of institutional and statist models is inadequate. Instead, they offer an original and alternative theoretical framework of analysis which, the authors contend, not only explains how Israel has evolved over the past century to create dominant capital groups which have transnationalized and transcended their state 'cocoon', integrating Israel's economy with the rest of the world in the process, but also how similar processes and forces have shaped other societies and the world in general. Seeking to explain the underlying driving forces, Nitzan and Bichler put their analytical emphasis on what the dominant capital (read as 'power') groups within an economy are doing to attain and maintain their supremacy. Thus, through the drive to 'beat the average' which can be done via four basic regimes of 'differential accumulation', everything from inflation, societal conflict, and corporate amalgamation, to political trends, international conflicts and global economic integration can be explained. With such a heavy burden, their theory merits a deeper look.(their) analysis correctly points to the fracture which appears to exist within Israel today, and the great uncertainty facing future developments for the region and the world at large. Whether this can be explained by the alternate paths of depth and breadth regimes of dominant capital is for the judgement of the reader, a judgement which I urge you to make, after having gained the requisite qualification!"-- europeanbooks.org For comprehensive research collections -- Choice''The Global Political Economy of Israel is a highly challenging account of the Jewish state and argues that post-Zionism may not simply be a new ideological development, but may indeed be the logical consequence of Israel s evolution as a capitalist society. In many ways, thus, Nitzan and Bichler take further the work of scholars such as Gershon Shafir or Michael Shalev, who have earlier argued that political economy is the key to understanding Israel in the past and in the present. It is also an all-out, all-round attack on political scientists, international relations scholars, and liberal and neo-liberal economists, which invites a great deal of controversy...Nitzan and Bichler deserve the attention of a larger audience. All those who read the New Historians and followed the debates on the revisionist historiography closely, as well as those interested in globalization and its implications for the social and political spheres, should study this book intensively and consider its interpretations and wider implications. Disagree one may, but ignore, one cannot afford. Forget the New Historians, these are the real revisionists. -- MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies"The authors proceed to lay the groundwork for analyzing Israel's power structure in its relation to capital accumulation. 'This accessible but deeply disturbing book is not only the most authoritative study of the Israeli State to date, but also a significant contribution to state theory and globalisation ... A masterpiece.' --Ronen Palan, Professor of International Political Economy, University of Sussex. 'A 'Must' read for anyone interested in the debate about globalization and its discontents.' --Joseph H.H. Weiler, Jean Monnet Professor of Law, NYU School of Law 'Undoubtedly the most riveting and outstanding political-economy book you would have read this year.' --Globeshow more

About Jonathan Nitzan

Jonathan Nitzan teaches political economy at York University in Toronto. n Bichler teaches political economy at colleges and universities in Israel.show more

Table of contents

1. Introduction 2. Capital and Power: Breaking the Dualism of 'Economics' and 'Politics' 3. The History of Israel's Power Structure 4. The Making of Stagflation 5. The Weapondollar-Petrodollar Coalition 6. From Foreign Investors to Transnational Ownership References Indexshow more

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