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With a proliferation of scholarly work focusing on populist, far-left, and far-right parties, questions have arisen about the correct ways to ideologically classify such parties. To ensure transparency and uniformity in research, the discipline could benefit from a systematic procedure. In this letter, we discuss how we have employed the method of ‘Expert-informed Qualitative Comparative Classification’ (EiQCC) to construct the newest version of The PopuList (3.0) – a database of populist, far-left, and far-right parties in Europe since 1989. This method takes into account the in-depth knowledge of national party experts while allowing for systematic comparative analysis across cases and over time. We also examine how scholars have made use of the previous versions of the dataset, explain how the new version of The PopuList differs from previous ones, and compare it to other data. We conclude with a discussion of the strengths and limitations of The PopuList dataset.
In this lecture, I lay out my approach to populism, which falls within the now dominant ‘ideational approach’ of populism, discuss the complex relationship between populism and politics, and identify some of the main causes of the ongoing ‘populist Zeitgeist’. My main arguments are: (1) while populism is related to (real and perceived) ‘crises’, these so-called ‘crises’ are often catalysts rather than prime causes of the rise of populism; (2) populism is essentially an illiberal democratic response to undemocratic liberalism; and (3) populism can only be overcome by more rather than less liberal democracy. I illustrate my arguments on the basis of the recent rise of populism in Europe, but believe they also largely hold true beyond that specific regional and temporal context.
The Israeli settler movement is not only one of the most enduring social movements in recent history, having been active for over fifty years now, but it is also widely seen as one of the most successful. Observers on both sides of the highly polarized issue of Israel’s politics in the West Bank agree on little, but all accept that the settler movement is one of the most important actors on this issue.
In its more than fifty years of existence, the settler movement has had a significant impact upon a broad range of interrelated political actors: the state, the military, civil society, and the wider domestic and international publics. This was achieved by a variety of actions and tactics, employed by the different branches of the movement. This chapter delves deeper into the different action repertoires of the various movement branches and shows how they work in concert to advance the settler cause.
Ariel is the fourth largest Israeli settlement in the West Bank. As the best example of a mainstreamed and normalized settlement in the West Bank, it constitutes an “extreme case study” for the success of the settler movement (Gerring 2008). Although the city is legally a settlement, and falls under the bureaucratic jurisdiction of the Civil Administration of the West Bank (part of COGAT), it is in many ways, and to many Israelis, an Israeli city. Ron Nachman, the longtime mayor of Ariel, noted already in 2004, “There has been consensus on the Right and on the Left over the course of the years regarding Ariel.
The success of the Israeli settler movement is often simply assumed, or proclaimed, rather than explained or proven. Most accounts both exaggerate the triumphs of the movement and simply ignore the defeats. Few offer such a subtle assessment as Ran Cohen, which goes beyond mere numbers of settlements and settlers and also includes cultural elements. Still, while we agree with much of his statement, our comprehensive and systematic assessment warrants a more complex and qualified conclusion.
In 2005, Israeli society was riven by the unilateral disengagement from Gaza, which involved the withdrawal of Israel’s military presence in Gaza and the dissolution of the Israeli settlements in the region known as Gush Katif, along with four settlements in the northern West Bank. The evacuation of some 9,000 Jewish settlers from the twenty-five settlements, and in particular the complete removal of an Israel’s presence from the Gaza Strip, was a watershed moment in Israeli history, both because it represented a response to domestic and international calls for a peaceful solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and because it flew in the face of the belief that settlement expansion was the fulfillment of a messianic prophecy – a belief that had driven the settler movement for decades (Eiran 2009; Shechory & Laufer 2011; Zertal & Eldar 2007).
There is a tendency to describe all settlers as cut from the same cloth, with the most radical settlers tainting the entire Jewish population of the West Bank with the image of extremism. Contrary to this widespread perception, the settler population is actually quite heterogeneous. To understand the settlers’ views, motivations and political impact, one must take this diversity into account. So far, few empirical studies have characterized the West Bank settler population, though several have pointed out the diverse character of settlements and their residents. This heterogeneity extends to the settler movement, even if its goals and motivations are narrower than those of the settler population.
Israel launched its settlement project in the West Bank, categorized by much of the international community and at times by Israel itself as “occupied” – later the Israeli government would come to call it “disputed” – shortly after its military occupied the region during the 1967 Six-Day War.
To assess success in any context, we need to know at the very least the main goals against which success is to be measured. While this may be straightforward for organizations or individuals, it is less so with respect to social movements, which comprise networks of networks – webs of different individuals and groups with partially differing (sub)goals. This is also the case for the settler movement, which is internally heterogeneous in terms of many variables, including motivation for settlement, political ideology, and religion (see Chapter 3). That is why we begin this chapter with an analysis of the key goal of the settler movement as a whole, as well as its subgoals, mostly means to achieve the primary goal.
A fundamental aspect of the study of social movements is the analysis of their success. However, before one can engage in such an assessment, we must first understand what success means in the context of social movements. For decades, scholars of collective action have paid only scant attention to the outcomes and political success of movement activities (Bosi et al. 2016; Giugni 2008), a fact that may be explained, at least in part, by the conceptual and methodological difficulties inherent in the task of explaining success (Amenta & Young 1999; Earl 2000).
The Israeli settler movement plays a key role in Israeli politics and the Arab-Israeli conflict, yet very few empirical studies of the movement exist. This is the first in-depth examination of the contemporary Israeli settler movement from a structural (rather than purely historical or political) perspective, and one of the few studies to focus on a longstanding, radical right-wing social movement in a non-western political context. A trailblazing systematic assessment of the role of the settler movement in Israeli politics writ large, as well as in relation to Israel's policy towards the West Bank, this book analyzes the movement both as a whole and as a combination of its parts (i.e. branches) - institutions, networks, and individuals. Whether you are a student, researcher, or policymaker, this book offers a comprehensive and original theoretical framework alongside a rich empirical analysis which illuminates social movements in general, and the Israeli settler movement in particular.