Prof. Michal Shamir, Project coordinatorProf. Shira Dvir-GvirsmanProf. Tamir SheaferProf. Shaul ShenhavProf. Israel Waismel-Manor
The ISF-funded (2018-2022) center of research focuses on patterns of representation and elections in Israel, prompted by the 'crisis of democracy' diagnosis, which is apparent in Israel as in other democracies for several decades. This crisis is evident in the citizenry's disaffection with politics and politicians, declining voter turnout, upsurge of anti-establishment and populist candidates and parties, among other phenomena. Against this backdrop we ask whether we witness the end of representative democracy, as numerous scholars argue, or rather a vital change in the manifestations of representative democracy.
Our attempt to answer this pressing question draws on Hanna Pitkin's classic multi-dimensional conception of political representation as substantive, formalistic, descriptive, and symbolic. We move to study representation patterns - so as to cover concurrently all dimensions; across the three major actors (citizens, media and political elites); and dynamically, as a reciprocal process over time. Our focus on elections stems from their status as the foremost institution of representative democracy, the locus of 'the crisis', where the dynamic process of representation is exercised by all participants in the most intensive and concentrated manner.
The research center is built on three subprograms with different research traditions, data sources and research methods. Jointly, they provide the multi-dimensional, reciprocal, dynamic and holistic analysis required to study political representation in a changing political and media environment. The Israel National Election Studies subprogram (INES) investigates elections in Israel since 1969, and concentrates on citizens' preferences and perceptions of representation, alongside their disaffection with politics and political behavior. The Computerized Monitoring and Content Analysis of Discourse subprogram uses Big Data to study representation patterns of candidates and political parties, voters in social networks, and media coverage of the elections. The Political Communication subprogram focuses on the direct communication between citizens and politicians, introduced by Web 2.0, and its effect on representation patterns and their dynamics.
Based on the analytical framework of representation patterns that was developed jointly, we study:
1) These representation patterns within the citizenry, in the media an in the political elite discourse;2) How citizens' perceptions of representation have evolved during this period and how they relate to their support for democracy;3) How these patterns form and crystallize in the dynamic process between citizens, the political elite, and the media in each of the two Israeli national elections in April and September 2019, and all the way through this turbulent political year.4) Analyze the dynamics of the representation process over the long-run, beyond single elections;5) Their implications for the 'crisis of democracy' diagnosis;6) Contemplate applied tools to increase actual representation and perceptions of representation.
The School of Political Science, Government, and International Affairs. Her research focuses on democratic politics, including elections, party systems, public opinion, tolerance, and democratic culture, in old and newly established democracies, with a particular emphasis on Israel
Is a Professor at the Dan Department of Communication at Tel Aviv University. She received her PhD in 2011 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research focuses on psychological media effects
Is a Professor in the Departments of Political Science and Communication, and the Rector of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research focuses on actor-centered perspectives in political communication, and on using new methods for automated textual analysis based on a combination of topic modelling, deep learning and expert coding
Is an associate professor at the Department of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.His research interests include political narratives, political discourse, rhetoric, public diplomacy, Israeli politics, and developing methods for qualitative and automated textual analysis
Is an associate professor at the School of Political Science, University of Haifa. His work focuses on political attitude formation and its effects on voting behavior. His current projects explore the ways in which non-verbal communication, physiological stress, institutional settings and new media influence political preferences and behavior
Bar Ilan University
University of Haifa
Postdoctoral Fellow University of Haifa
Tel Aviv University
Postdoctoral FellowUniversity of Toronto
PhD Candidate Tel Aviv University
PhD Candidate Hebrew University of Jerusalem
PhD student Hebrew University of Jerusalem