Articles

llliberal Democracy: the Case of Democratic Erosion

Campbell, Amy

This paper uses Israel’s 2018 Nation-State Law, which guarantees the “ethnic-religious character of Israel as exclusively Jewish,” as a lens to reveal the ongoing socio-political change in Israel and processes of democratic erosion. In addition to having immediate relevance for contemporary Israeli policy, especially concerning the status of Arab Israelis and the likely annexation of the West Bank, the law poses a profound, existential challenge for the maintenance of Israel as a democratic state. Drawing on Fareed Zakaria’s theory of “illiberal democracy,” this paper analyses the implications of this law for Israel, for the linked concepts of liberalism and democracy, and for the future of the democratic state in an increasingly illiberal world.

The law is a culmination of other basic laws and political thresholds, and accelerates settler colonialism. Gaining more international attention than previous basic laws, the political thresholds prior to the Nation-State Law and cumulative legislation building up to the debate have been ignored. Analysing these thresholds will reveal the efficacy of supporting such a law and using nationhood provisions in other Western democratic constitutions as justification. This paper is a warning: to act upon seemingly insignificant anti-democratic legislation before political actions become irreparable.
  
The law is a culmination of other basic laws, political thresholds, and accelerates settler colonialism. Gaining more international attention than previous basic laws, direct discriminatory implications on Arab minorities as well as powerful legal consequences, the political thresholds prior to the Nation-State Law and cumulative legislation building up to the debate have been ignored. This paper will hopefully reveal the efficacy of supporting such a law and using the nationhood provisions in other constitutions in Western democracies as justification. This paper is a warning: to act upon seemingly insignificant anti-democratic legislation before political actions become irreparable.
 

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Also Published In

Title
Columbia Undergraduate Research Journal
DOI
https://doi.org/10.52214/curj.v5i1.7451

More About This Work

Published Here
August 29, 2022