Alternative Provision of Public Services and the Democratic Ethos: The Evolution of Alternative Politics in Israel

By:
Dr. Shlomo Mizrahi
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This paper attempts to explain what brings individuals and groups to create, or turn to, alternative channels to those of the government for public services provision. This question relates to situations where people actually give up demanding better services from the government thus trying to find alternative ways to supply those services on their own or use existing private alternatives. We present a categorization of four modes of alternative provision of public services as well as a theory of social learning as developed in New Institutionalism.

In Israel, alternative provision of public services emerged through the development of a special mode of political behavior adopted by Israeli society since the 1980s, i.e., providing public services such as health, education, internal security, settlements and welfare via non-institionalized alternative channels to those of the government – often illegally. We suggest that alternative provision of public services will be defined as alternative politics when it results from deep learning processes regarding problem solving mechanisms and it is based on a special mix of public and private finance, facilities and provision in a way that often make this alternative provision semi-legal or illegal. We then explain the implications of the analysis for the study of institutional change and democratic theory.


Keywords: Alternative Provision of Public Services, Social Learning, Unilateral Initiatives, Privatizing Risk, Institutional Change, The Democratic Ethos
Stream: Politics, Public Policy and Law
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Shlomo Mizrahi

Department Chair, Department of Public Policy and Administartion
School of Management, Ben-Gurion University

Beer-Sheva, Israel

Ph.D. in political science: 1995, London School of Economics and Political Science. Since 1996 to present: Senior Lecturer and Chair in the Department of Public Policy, School of Management, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
Research Interests: public policy, public administration, public choice and game theory, collective action, constitutional change, bargaining and conflict resolution. Research Projects: Public sector preformance, participation and trust; Alternative Provision of Public Services; Methematical models of mass collective action and political change; Higher education policy; Peace and conflict in the Middle East

Ref: I06P0350