Dear Readers, this Special Issue of the Polish Political Science Journal on Israel Studies, which we are happy to present, is a result of the cooperation between the European Association of Israel Studies (EAIS), the University of Wrocław, and the Jagiellonian University. The cooperation began at the EAIS 6th Annual Conference on Israel Studies held in September 2017 in Wrocław, Poland. The aim of the conference was to bring together international scholars from a variety of disciplines, who are engaged in research in any aspect of Israel studies – including Politics, Literature, Security, Minorities, Social Studies, History, Economics, Law, Culture, Film, Music, and Art.
The success of the conference, and the progressively developing activity of EAIS, followed by the growing interest in the Israel Studies in Poland, resulted in the idea of issuing the call for papers to be published in Poland but addressed to international audiences. Therefore, we were very happy to have the opportunity to cooperate with the Adam Marszałek Publishing House and specifically with the editors of the PPSY, who have kindly offer to devote a Special Issue to Israel Studies.
The presented volume puts together papers written by scholars representing different academic centres from Europe, the United States, Canada and of course Israel. We were convinced that the Special Issue had to be, and has to be, open to the scholars of all scientific and research backgrounds within the field of Israel Studies. There is no doubt that a comprehensive approach to researching Israel, its history, politics, society, and culture is helpful in better understanding its diversity and complexity. So, in the Special Issue one can find research papers and in-depth analysis on topics related to internal dynamic of Israeli politics and society, as well as Israeli engagement in international relations. The authors have been investigating the crucial research problems from different perspectives: historical, political, legal and cultural. It was very important for us to be able to present papers written by well-established scholars with academic experience, together with articles written by early-stage scholars whose curiousness and freshness became an added value to the debates conducted within the area of Israel Studies.
We would like to thank everyone who has supported our project from the very beginning. We are especially grateful for the constant support we have been receiving from the Pears Foundation, without which many activities of the EAIS would not be possible, including this Special Issue. We would also like to express our gratitude to over 50 anonymous reviewers representing best world’s academic centres. Their expertise, knowledge and outstanding involvement contributed greatly to the quality of the presented volume. We would like also to thank the authorities of the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Wrocław for hosting the EAIS conference and bringing Israel Studies not only to Wrocław but also across Poland. This has certainly become a turning point in the process of consolidation of this specific area of study in Central and Eastern Europe. Our thanks go out also to the authorities of the Institute of the Middle and the Far East at the Faculty of International and Political Studies at the Jagiellonian University for essential scholarly contribution and financial support.
Finally, we would like to gratefully acknowledge the exceptional joint work and involvement of the EAIS Executive Committee Members: Alan Craig, Aide Esu, Lior Libman, Yonatan Sagiv, Marcella Simoni, Colin Shindler, Yair Wallach, and Jonathan Rawson. We would like to underline our appreciation to Kirsten Daswani, whose engagement and efforts have helped the EAIS to strategically think about deepening and expanding its academic activities. And our final word of thanks goes to Anna Godfrey, the professional, patient, and responsive EAIS Executive Director for her logistic support and valuable insights and initiatives.
About the European Association of Israel Studies
The European Association of Israel Studies (EAIS) is an independent, international, scholarly association devoted to the academic study of Israel. The EAIS is committed to rigorous academic scholarship about Israel and high-quality research and teaching in this area, as well as increasing the breadth of study of this important part of the Middle East.
Our mission is to promote, encourage, and support the independent academic study of Israel across Europe and beyond.
Our vision is to become the leading, non-partisan, academic, scholarly, and intellectual association for Israel Studies in Europe by 2019.
Our values are: objectiveness, non-partisanship, transparency, openness to all and academic excellence.
The EAIS is run by an Executive Committee and is a not-for-profit entity. Our work is made possible thanks to the generous support of our partners and our members. The EAIS is based at SOAS, University of London.
In September 2017, the European Association of Israel Studies held its sixth annual conference in the city of Wrocław, Poland. Hosted by the University of Wrocław, the conference included 33 panels and roundtables discussing a variety of topics, from Israeli literature and culture to bilateral relations and identity politics. The conference attracted 180 attendees, including academics from over 20 institutions.
We are thrilled to work with the Polish Political Science Yearbook on this special edition on Israel studies. The EAIS is committed to expand our influence across Central and Eastern Europe, and to engage as many scholars working in the field of Israel studies as possible.