Gad Barzilai

Gad Barzilai (Hebrew: גד ברזילי‬; born 1958) is a full professor of law, political science and international studies, famous for his work on the politics of law, comparative law and politics, human rights and communities. Barzilai published heretofore 18 books and 173 articles in major academic refereed journals and publishing houses. He has been a full professor of law, societies and justice, and international studies at University of Washington, and the University of Haifa Faculty of Law.[1] Gad Barzilai has served as the Dean of the Faculty of Law (2012-2017) and starting from November 2016 he is the Vice Provost of University of Haifa.

He was a professor of political science and law at Tel Aviv University where he served (1996-2004) as its co-founder and co-director of the Law, Society and Politics Graduate Program.

גדי ברזילי
Gad Barzilai, 2012


Barzilai was born on January 11, 1958 in Tel Aviv to parents who had survived the Holocaust. He studied History, Judaism and Political Science at Bar-Ilan University, Law at Tel Aviv University, and in 1987 he received his PhD from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem which awarded him several prestigious prizes including Fulbright. After completing his PhD and LLB [JD] he studied quantitative research methods at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and completed a post doctorate at Yale University. Later he continued to teach at Yale University before deciding to return to Israel.

He served as a professor at Tel Aviv University in the political science department and the law school. Barzilai was the first founding director (1999–2002) of the newly established international Dan David Prize, which is among the three large prize foundations in the world, bestowing international prizes and scholarships for academic and scientific international excellence. In 2004 he moved to University of Washington where he has been a professor in the Law, Societies, and Justice Program,[2] Comparative Law and Society Studies Center,[3] and in the Jackson School of International Studies.[4] In 2012 he was elected and serves as the Dean of the Faculty of Law at University of Haifa.

Barzilai was the co-founder and co-chair of the Israeli Association of Law and Society. He is a board member of the Law and Society Association (Class of 2006), American Journal of Political Science (1998–2003), Association of Israel Studies (1993–1996, 2007– ), Israel Studies Forum (2004– ), and the Journal of Comparative Studies (2006– ). He is active in international, Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian human rights organizations and has advised senior politicians and NGOs on issues of law and politics. Barzilai was elected in 2011 as the President of the Association for Israel Studies and served as its President (2011-2013).[5]

Gad Barzilai is best known for his critical analysis of law as a dimension in political power, which should be understood through using combined methodologies of socio-political-legal studies. His work emphasizes the importance of legal pluralism, political elite, critical communitarianism, cultural relativism and political power in local, state and global sites. Barzilai has published numerous books and articles on these issues.


  1. ^ University of Haifa Faculty of Law - Full Time Faculty
  2. ^ Law, Societies, and Justice Program (LSJ)
  3. ^ Comparative Law and Society Studies Center (CLASS)
  4. ^ Jackson School of International Studies
  5. ^

External links

Selected Books

Selected Articles


Adjudication is the legal process by which an arbiter or judge reviews evidence and argumentation, including legal reasoning set forth by opposing parties or litigants to come to a decision which determines rights and obligations between the parties involved.

Attorney General of Israel

The Attorney General of Israel (Hebrew: היועץ המשפטי לממשלה‎, Ha-Yo'etz Ha-Mishpati La-Memshala, lit. The Legal Advisor to the Government) stands at the head of the legal system of the executive branch and the head of the public prosecution from the state. The Attorney General is the person who advises the government in legal matters, represents the state's authorities in the courts, and advises in preparation of law memoranda of the government in general and the Justice Minister in particular (likewise s/he examines and advises for private proposals for a law of Knesset members).

Additionally, the Attorney General is in charge of protecting the rule of law and, as such, entrusted with protecting the public interest from possible harm by government authorities. It is an independent appointed position which is one of the most important and influential in the Israeli democracy, and a central institution in the framework of the Israeli legal system. Owing to the common law tradition of the domestic legal system, much of the position's duties are not codified in law and have been borne out of precedent and tradition over the years.

Benjamin Barber

Benjamin R. Barber (August 2, 1939 – April 24, 2017) was an American political theorist and author, perhaps best known for his 1995 bestseller, Jihad vs. McWorld, and for 2013's If Mayors Ruled the World as well as the classic of democratic theory, 1984's Strong Democracy (revised in 2004). He became a top-level international consultant on participatory democracy as well as an adviser to Bill Clinton, Howard Dean, and Muammar Gaddafi.


Communitarianism is a philosophy that emphasizes the connection between the individual and the community. Its overriding philosophy is based upon the belief that a person's social identity and personality are largely molded by community relationships, with a smaller degree of development being placed on individualism. Although the community might be a family, communitarianism usually is understood, in the wider, philosophical sense, as a collection of interactions, among a community of people in a given place (geographical location), or among a community who share an interest or who share a history. Communitarianism usually opposes extreme individualism and disagrees with extreme laissez-faire policies that neglect the stability of the overall community.

Cultural identity

Cultural identity is the identity or feeling of belonging to a group. It is part of a person's self-conception and self-perception and is related to nationality, ethnicity, religion, social class, generation, locality or any kind of social group that has its own distinct culture. In this way, cultural identity is both characteristic of the individual but also of the culturally identical group of members sharing the same cultural identity or upbringing.

Dan David (businessman)

Dan David (Hebrew: דן דוד‎; ‎23 May 1929 – 6 September 2011) was a Romanian-born Israeli businessman and philanthropist.

Dan David Prize

The Dan David Prize grants annually three prizes of US$1 million each for outstanding achievement. Fields are chosen for Past, Present and Future.

The Dan David Prize is awarded for innovative and interdisciplinary research. Prize laureates donate 10 percent of their prize money to doctoral scholarships for outstanding Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scholarships for outstanding researchers in their own field from around the world.

Joseph Raz

Joseph Raz (; Hebrew: יוסף רז‎; born 21 March 1939) is an Israeli legal, moral and political philosopher. He is one of the most prominent advocates of legal positivism and is well known for his conception of perfectionist liberalism. Raz spent most of his career as a professor of philosophy of law at the University of Oxford associated with Balliol College, and is now a part-time professor of law at Columbia University Law School and a part-time professor at King's College London. He received the prestigious Tang Prize for rule of law in 2018.

José Pérez Adán

José Pérez Adán (born 1952 in Cartagena, Spain) is a Spanish sociologist. He holds a teaching and research position in Sociology at the University of Valencia (Spain). He is a charter member of the "Valencian Institute of Fertility, Sexuality and Family Relations (IVAF)" and of the "Inter-American Foundation for Science and Life". He is also a member of the board and one of the founders of the "Latin-American Association of Communitarianism (AIC)", presides the "Spanish chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Socioeconomics" and he is the general coordinator of the "Free International University of the Americas (ULIA)".

He does research and teaches on Socioeconomics, Communitarianism, Family Relations, and Environmental Studies, and he is the principal popularizer of the thought of Amitai Etzioni in the countries of Spanish language. He has been an expert adviser of the European Council in matters of gender equality and he is the director of the book series collection: "How", "Ten Topics", "University Texts", and "Rethink".

List of critical theorists

This is a list of critical theorists.

Michael Walzer

Michael Laban Walzer (; born 1935) is a prominent American political theorist and public intellectual. A professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, New Jersey, he is co-editor of Dissent, an intellectual magazine that he has been affiliated with since his years as an undergraduate at Brandeis University. He has written books and essays on a wide range of topics—many in political ethics—including just and unjust wars, nationalism, ethnicity, Zionism, economic justice, social criticism, radicalism, tolerance, and political obligation. He is also a contributing editor to The New Republic. To date, he has written 27 books and published over 300 articles, essays, and book reviews in Dissent, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harpers, and many philosophical and political science journals.

Negative and positive rights

Negative and positive rights are rights that oblige either action (positive rights) or inaction (negative rights). These obligations may be of either a legal or moral character. The notion of positive and negative rights may also be applied to liberty rights.

To take an example involving two parties in a court of law: Adrian has a negative right to x against Clay if and only if Clay is prohibited from acting upon Adrian in some way regarding x. In contrast, Adrian has a positive right to x against Clay if and only if Clay is obliged to act upon Adrian in some way regarding x. A case in point, if Adrian has a negative right to life against Clay, then Clay is required to refrain from killing Adrian; while if Adrian has a positive right to life against Clay, then Clay is required to act as necessary to preserve the life of Adrian.

Rights considered negative rights may include civil and political rights such as freedom of speech, life, private property, freedom from violent crime, freedom of religion, habeas corpus, a fair trial, and freedom from slavery.

Rights considered positive rights, as initially proposed in 1979 by the Czech jurist Karel Vasak, may include other civil and political rights such as police protection of person and property and the right to counsel, as well as economic, social and cultural rights such as food, housing, public education, employment, national security, military, health care, social security, internet access, and a minimum standard of living. In the "three generations" account of human rights, negative rights are often associated with the first generation of rights, while positive rights are associated with the second and third generations.

Some philosophers (see criticisms) disagree that the negative-positive rights distinction is useful or valid.

Phillip Blond

Phillip Blond (born 1 March 1966) is an English political philosopher, Anglican theologian, and director of the ResPublica think tank.

Pluralism (political philosophy)

Pluralism as a political philosophy is the recognition and affirmation of diversity within a political body, which permits the peaceful coexistence of different interests, convictions, and lifestyles. While not all political pluralists advocate for a pluralist democracy, this is most common as democracy is often viewed as the most fair and effective way to moderate between the discrete values.As put by arch-pluralist Isaiah Berlin, "let us have the courage of our admitted ignorance, of our doubts and uncertainties. At least we can try to discover what others [...] require, by [...] making it possible for ourselves to know men as they truly are, by listening to them carefully and sympathetically, and understanding them and their lives and their needs... ." Pluralism thus tries to encourage members of society to accommodate their differences by avoiding extremism (adhering solely to one value, or at the very least refusing to recognize others as legitimate) and engaging in good faith dialogue. Pluralists also seek the construction or reform of social institutions in order to reflect and balance competing principles. One of the more famous arguments for institutional pluralism came from James Madison in The Federalist paper number 10. Madison feared that factionalism would lead to in-fighting in the new American republic and devotes this paper to questioning how best to avoid such an occurrence. He posits that to avoid factionalism, it is best to allow many competing factions (advocating different primary principles) to prevent any one from dominating the political system. This relies, to a degree, on a series of disturbances changing the influences of groups so as to avoid institutional dominance and ensure competition. Like Edmund Burke, this view concerns itself with balance, and subordinating any single abstract principle to a plurality or realistic harmony of interests.

Pluralism recognizes that certain conditions may make good faith negotiation impossible, and therefore also focuses on what institutional structures can best modify or prevent such a situation. Pluralism advocates institutional design in keeping with a form of pragmatic realism here, with the preliminary adoption of suitable existing socio-historical structures where necessary.

Pluralism (political theory)

Classical pluralism is the view that politics and decision making are located mostly in the framework of government, but that many non-governmental groups use their resources to exert influence. The central question for classical pluralism is how power and influence are distributed in a political process. Groups of individuals try to maximize their interests. Lines of conflict are multiple and shifting as power is a continuous bargaining process between competing groups. There may be inequalities but they tend to be distributed and evened out by the various forms and distributions of resources throughout a population. Any change under this view will be slow and incremental, as groups have different interests and may act as "veto groups" to destroy legislation. The existence of diverse and competing interests is the basis for a democratic equilibrium, and is crucial for the obtaining of goals by individuals. A polyarchy—a situation of open competition for electoral support within a significant part of the adult population—ensures competition of group interests and relative equality. Pluralists stress civil rights, such as freedom of expression and organization, and an electoral system with at least two parties. On the other hand, since the participants in this process constitute only a tiny fraction of the populace, the public acts mainly as bystanders. This is not necessarily undesirable for two reasons: (1) it may be representative of a population content with the political happenings, or (2) political issues require continuous and expert attention, which the average citizen may not have.Important theorists of pluralism include Robert A. Dahl (who wrote the seminal pluralist work, Who Governs?), David Truman, and Seymour Martin Lipset.

Political particularism

In political science, political particularism is the ability of policymakers to further their careers by catering to narrow interests rather than to broader national platforms. It is often characterized by its opponents as the politics of group identity that trumps universal rights and therefore the rights of minorities or any other kind of "other".

In a political system governed by particularism, sooner or later, the decisive factor of politics becomes religious and ethnic identity and the interests of the communities defined by these bonds. This stands in contrast with the ideas and values of political pluralism, with its emphasis on universal rights, separation of religion and the government, and an ethic of religious and ethnic tolerance.

University of Haifa

The University of Haifa (Hebrew: אוניברסיטת חיפה‎, Arabic: جامعة حيفا‎) is a public research university on the top of Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel. The university was founded in 1963 by the mayor of its host city, Abba Hushi, to operate under the academic auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Value pluralism

In ethics, value pluralism (also known as ethical pluralism or moral pluralism) is the idea that there are several values which may be equally correct and fundamental, and yet in conflict with each other. In addition, value-pluralism postulates that in many cases, such incompatible values may be incommensurable, in the sense that there is no objective ordering of them in terms of importance. Value pluralism is opposed to value monism.

Value-pluralism is a theory in metaethics, rather than a theory of normative ethics, or a set of values in itself. Oxford philosopher and historian of ideas Isaiah Berlin is credited with being the first to popularize a substantial work describing the theory of objective value-pluralism, bringing it to the attention of academia (cf. the Isaiah Berlin Virtual Library). The related idea that fundamental values can and, in some cases, do conflict with each other is prominent in the thought of Max Weber, captured in his notion of "polytheism".

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