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Fluid Sectoralism and the Present-Day Kibbutz

Sigal Ben-Rafael Galanti, Alon Pauker

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Israel’s political turnabout (1977) and the kibbutzim’s existential crisis of 1985 accelerated the transformation of the kibbutzim of all movements – once a revolutionary vanguard and a part of the ruling Labor camp – into a social sector much less ideological than ever before (Ben-Rafael, 2011, p.191-222). However, the kibbutzim as such continue to be present on the political stage, encouraged by major parties with which they have mostly soft alliances. Here it’s explained as an expression of “fluid sectoralism” characterizing pluralistic societies, where sectors make efforts to forward no more than narrow interests, while political forces seek proximity to as many sectors as possible, aiming to be perceived as general society’s “authentic representatives.” Analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data, including interviews with most major kibbutz politicians, we underscore interactions between the kibbutzim, kibbutz politicians, and political parties. A principal conclusion relates to the paradox between the pluralistic context that allows advancement of deep views, and the tendency to concentrate on promoting narrow interests.

Keywords: kibbutz – kibbutz politicians – fluid sectoralism – political parties


Bibliography: Galanti, Sigal Ben-Rafael/Pauker, Alon: Fluid Sectoralism and the Present-Day Kibbutz, PCS, 2-2013, pp. 181-200.