Democracy in Challenging Times: Israel, Europe and the World

Charles University, Prague

8 – 10 September 2019

The EAIS is pleased to release the Call for Papers for its 8th Annual Conference, which will be held at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague. The conference will take place from Sunday, 8 September to Tuesday, 10 September 2019. The conference will be held in English.

The EAIS 8th Annual Conference will examine the current state of Israel and its historical development by focusing on several changes that are presently challenging the contemporary democracies. The rise of populisms (on the right and left side of the political map) questions the origin of states and raises issues concerning identity, borders, culture, political party systems and the formation of elites.

Our deadline for panel title proposals has now passed, although we still welcome applications for completed panels (with maximum of four panellists to present), until Tuesday, 23 April 2019.

We would now like to invite individual paper proposals. Individual papers can either apply to one of the below panels, or can be submitted independently (please select ‘other’). The deadline for paper submissions is Tuesday 23 April 2019.


Disguised Hate: contemporary antisemitism in Europe

Chair: Dr Aaron Walter

This panel will focus on the EU’s difficulty in, or refusal to, identify hate and antisemitism; and how antisemitism is a tool for criticism of State of Israel.

Hebrew and Judaic Studies in the Islamic World or Israeli studies in Arab World

Proposed by: Dr Abdullah Swalha

This panel will examine the reasons behind the lack of a robust Israel-Jewish Studies in Muslim academia, such as: the dominance of ideological epistemologies on scholarship; the priority of Arab scholars to delegitimize Israel rather than to provide a sound knowledge of it; those who addressed the topic of Israel in the Arab world who do so as participants in a struggle rather as social and political scientists.

Political economy and social issues in historical perspective

Proposed by: Dr Arie Krampf

The Persaonalization of Political Parties in Israel

Chair: Prof Dan Korn

This panel will explore the increasing personalization of political parties in Israel and the impact it has on the ideology, policy programs and, indeed, on the democratic nature of the country. More and more parties on the Right and on the Left, secular and religious, Jewish and Arab, lack political arrangements relating to intraparty democracy. These parties are run by individual leaders who possess total control of their parties and, in this way, seem to have control over a number of Knesset and Cabinet members. 

Current Economic standing of Israel – is it really an innovations-based economy?

Chair: Dr Dmitry Maryasis

Today, Israel markets itself worldwide as a start-up nation. However, data shows that without the high-tech segment of the national economy, things may not be so positive. This panel aims to discuss to what extent innovations have a positive effect on overall Israeli economic performance.

Metropolitan Development in Israel

Chair: Dr Eran Eldar

This panel will discuss urban development in Israel, the development of metropolitan areas, and the various reforms in the local government in Israel from its inception to the present. This panel seeks papers that will deal with spatial changes in Israel, the establishment of cities, development towns and peripheral cities, as well as attempts to unify cities in Israel under one roof (Umbrella municipality).

Bridging the Gap: Locating Israel Between Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies

Chair: Imogen Resnick

Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies are too often siloed from one another as academic disciplines, situating Israel Studies in a ‘neither here nor there’ place between the two faculties. The aim of this panel is to discuss the historical and political developments behind Israel Studies’ place in higher education, alongside their practical implications for academic study and research. A further aim is to identify what strategies can be deployed to bridge this disciplinary siloeing and discuss if this gap is indeed possible to reconcile. 

Israel’s Relations with Countries in Africa / the Developing World

Chair: Dr Michael Bishku

Since the end of the Cold War, Israel has had renewed interest in relations with countries in Africa. Some ties were never discontinued, while others are new or restored. These relations are important for Israel as it seeks support in the UN and AU and, in return, it is willing to provide technical aid. This panel will explore Israel’s relations with Africa, and with the wider developing world, in both current and historical contexts

Cultural Resistances in Jerusalem

Chair: Mor Cohen

This panel examines forms of cultural initiatives and visual activism in Jerusalem, in light of the city’s political, economic and social challenges. The panel welcomes case studies, theoretical and methodological papers addressing the theme of cultural resistances in Jerusalem. These will concern issues related but not limited to the relationship between culture and politics, coexistence and co-resistance, as well as issues of collaboration, support and funding from private and public entities. 

1949 Knesset elections, 2019 Knesset elections – the gradual and yet dramatic change in the parliamentary scene

Chair: Mordechai Schenhav

In the 70 years since the first elections in Israel, parties on the left have seen their popularity fluctuate. More recently, the right and ultra-right parties are attracting more and more audience away from the left. The coming elections might be crucial for the survival or at least for the maintenance of Avoda and Meretz as credible alternative parties to those on the right. This panel will discuss and analyse this phenomenon and its influence on the political picture in Israel and its policies. 

Democracy in conflict and conflicting democratic values: the Israeli public discourse between Left and Right

Proposed by: Rafi Mann

The study of the Israeli media, both legacy and digital, is a highly effective tool for monitoring and understanding the country’s political and social scenes. It sheds light over the various issues at the heart of the dispute over the country’s democratic values: the future of the territories occupied in 1967, the attitude toward the Palestinians, minority rights, religious issues, the status of the Supreme Court, attempts to influence cultural productions and more. 

Forced Migration and Asylum in Israel

Proposed by: Dr Shai Tagner

Israeli Culture in the post-Oslo era

Proposed by: Dr Shira Stav

The purpose of this panel is to explore how Israeli culture – mainly literature, film and the arts – is reflecting and responding to the impasse that marks the political deadlock of the Oslo accords. The public conviction, shared by both Israelis and Palestinians, that the conflict cannot be compromised or reconciled, has been fortified by the rise of right wing parties to power over the past decade. The retreat from the two-states solution and the recognition that Israel circles in a loop of nationalism and populist conservatism, raises the questions on the new conditions of artistic creation and imagination in an era with no optimistic vision for a resolution of the conflict. 

Public Diplomacy and Political Psychology: An Israeli Case Study

Proposed by: Shlomo Roiter-Jesner

This panel aims to evaluate existing models of campus advocacy and Israeli public diplomacy efforts to present both a critique and alternative model based alternative initiatives and experiences, alongside extensive case studies.


The deadline for paper proposals is: Tuesday 23 April 2019. You can submit your paper via this form.

You can read the full Call for Papers here.