My current research deals with two broad questions.
(1) What is the role of rituals, ceremonies and symbols in instilling national identity and cohesion?
(2) How does citizenship operate as a system of global inequality and how does it intersect with economic inequality?
(c) Yossi Harpaz
Below are some of the projects I am currently working on.
Analyzing the Effect of Naturalization Ceremonies
Over the past two decades, numerous European countries instituted new ceremonies and loyalty oaths for immigrants who wish to become citizens. In adopting such policies, they are following the lead of the United States, Canada and Australia, which have had such ceremonies for decades. The project will seek to explain the new drive towards the ritualization of citizenship in Europe, as well as examine the effectiveness of such ceremonies in the United States. It will use a range of methods to evaluate the effect of naturalization ceremonies and oaths. Are such ceremonies effective in instilling identities and enhancing cohesion, or are they mainly a political ritual that is addressed at the native population?
The Effect of Israel's Remembrance Day Siren
Examining Jewish Engagement with Preferential Citizenship
Israel's Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers, a key national holiday, is marked by a unique ritual: a siren is sounded across the nation, and millions stand at attention and observe a moment of silence. The project uses quasi-experimental methods to identify the effect of participation in this ritual on Israelis' attitudes toward the nation and toward domestic minorities, including Haredi Jews and Arab-Israelis.
Numerous countries provide preferential immigration and citizenship opportunities for Jewish individuals. Such programs include Israel's Law of Return as well as invitations by Germany, Spain and Portugal for the descendants of forced migrants to reclaim citizenship. The multiplicity of opportunities for mobility provides an interesting study case. I study two main questions pertaining to these preferential programs. First, what social, political and economic conditions
drive individuals to engage with such programs? Second, what kind of opportunities do they open for individuals who are not Jewish according to a religious definition and how do they engage with them?