“If not today, then tomorrow”: Culture, socio-politics, and public involvement in city policymaking for the Palestinian minority in Israel

Raghda Alnabilsy, Lia Levin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research on the involvement of minority communities in city policymaking currently broadly overlooks situations in which citizens and policymakers both belong to the same ethnic minority. The present study aimed to fill this lacuna, exploring public involvement in Palestinian cities across the Jewish majority-dominated State of Israel. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 67 residents of Palestinian cities in Israel, exploring their experiences surrounding public involvement in terms of access to such involvement and its eventual influence on city policymaking. The findings of the study, elicited by Guided Thematic Analysis, show considerable differences among participants with regard to their experiences and perceptions of public involvement. Such differences were mainly observed between younger and older participants, and between men and women, and reveal the overwhelming influence of the hierarchies that prevail in traditional societies on the process and prospect of involvement. The findings also expose how belonging to dominant social groups within traditional society, entails having direct avenues of influence on city policy, and how such influence may create a false appearance of public involvement. An unforeseen issue uncovered in interviews, emphasizes the crucial role Palestinian women's activism plays in promoting inclusive city policymaking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104273
JournalCities
Volume137
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Funding

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1371/17

    Keywords

    • Citizen involvement
    • City policymaking
    • Israel
    • Majority-minority relations
    • Palestinian cities

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