Ten leading scholars and practitioners of politics, political science, anthropology, Israel studies, and Middle East affairs address the theme of continuity and change in political culture as a tribute to Professor Myron (Mike) J. Aronoff whose work on political culture has built conceptual and methodological bridges between political science and anthropology. Topics include the legitimacy of the two-state solution, identity and memory, denationalization, the role of trust in peace negotiations, democracy, majority-minority relations, inclusion and exclusion, Biblical and national narratives, art in public space, and avant-garde theater. Countries covered include Israel, Palestine, the United States, the Basque Autonomous Region of Spain, and Poland. The first four chapters by Yael S. Aronoff, Saliba Sarsar, Yossi Beilin, and Nadav Shelef examine aspects of the conflict and peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, including alternative solutions. The contributions by Naomi Chazan, Ilan Peleg, and Joel Migdal tackle challenges to democracy in Israel, in other divided societies, and in the creation of the American public. Yael Zerubavel, Roland Vazquez, and Jan Kubik focus their analyses on aspects of national memory, memorialization, and dramatization. Mike Aronoff relates his work on various aspects of political culture to each chapter in an integrative essay in the Epilogue.
Yael S. Aronoff is director of the Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel and is the Serling Chair in Israel Studies at Michigan State University and teaches in James Madison College. Ilan Peleg is founding editor-in-chief of Israel Studies Forum, the scholarly journal of the Association for Israel Studies. Saliba Sarsar is professor of political science at Monmouth University.