The revival of ethnic particularism, along with the huge waves of immigration, particularly from the Middle East, changing the human face of societies in many countries around the world, particularly in Europe and North America, has posed a significant challenge to Israel. While in some sense unique, in many ways Israel is similar to a large number of other political communities, in having to build a viable nation in the face of the challenges posed by concurrent tides of globalism and particularlsm. Despite many sharp cleavages (Jewish-Arab and religious-secular in particular) that still plague Israeli social intercourse, Israel has managed to build a vibrant, developing and basically cohesive society, particularly within the majority Jewish community, despite the aforementioned cleavages, and despite the huge differences between the waves of immigration making the majority of the population. This seminar will discuss how this has been achieved and possible lessons for other multi-ethnic societies facing similar challenges.
About the Speaker
Gabriel Ben-Dor is Professor of Political Science at the University of Haifa in Israel. He served in the past as the Rector of the University, as well as Chairman of the Department of Political Science, Director of the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies and Dean of Research. He is also a past President of the Israel Political Science Association. He is a member of a number of high-level public commissions and forums dealing with academic development and policy in Israel and abroad. In the past, he served as senior adviser on strategic affairs to the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
Professor Ben-Dor has also advised major institutions of higher education in Israel and abroad, particularly in the United Kingdom, on academic programs and appointments.
Professor Ben-Dor has been the director of the graduate study program at the National Defense College, the highest course of the studies in the Israeli Defense Forces. He is also the founder of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa, which is one of the leading research institutes on matters related to defense, security and strategy in Israel. He recently completed a six year term as a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Middle East Studies-one of the most prestigious publications in the field.
Professor Ben-Dor has published seven books and over one hundred and twenty articles in scholarly journals on Middle East politics, the Arab-Israeli conflict, national security affairs, strategic studies, ethnic problems and political theory.
Professor Ben-Dor has been a visiting lecturer at a number of universities in Western Europe, Canada and the United States. He holds a doctorate in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies from Princeton University in the United States.
Professor Ben-Dor has commented on political and strategic affairs to audiences around the world, including appearances on radio and television programs from Israel, Sweden, Norway, Germany, China, Brazil, Canada, Russia and the United States.