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World Political Science

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Shake the Tree or Rock the Boat: The Not Nice Protest and Radical Democracy in Israel

Gal Levy
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Sociology, Political Science and Communication, The Open University of Israel, Raanana, Israel
  • 2017–18 visiting fellow CRASSH Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK
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Published Online: 2017-11-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/wps-2017-0009


What has remained of Israel’s tent encampments protest; what mark has it left on Israeli society and politics? This paper seeks to answer these two questions and to reflect on the “post-protest” protest. In reviewing the different accounts of the 2011 protest I propose to identify two political actors – the “hegemonic” and the “subaltern” – taking part in an agonic game which destabilized the neoliberal order. Central to the analysis is an activist group – The Not Nice1 – studied in consideration of its relations to the mainstream of the protest movement. The group’s activities and position challenge the conventional patterns of Israeli political discourse and its boundaries. It thus offers an opportunity to extend the discussion on citizenship and democracy beyond the liberal discourse and adopt the Radical Democracy theory as a conceptual framework to grasp present-day political reality.

Keywords: citizenship; Israel – neoliberalism; radical democracy; social movements; social protest


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-11-25

Published in Print: 2017-12-20

Citation Information: World Political Science, Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 303–331, ISSN (Online) 2363-4782, ISSN (Print) 2363-4774, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/wps-2017-0009.

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