'Pigs in Space': Geographic Separatism in Multicultural Societies

Issachar Rosen-Zvi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter addresses the normative and spatial dimensions of sovereignty in a society characterized by cultural diversity, social fragmentation, and ideological conflict. The thesis of this chapter is that in mediating these tensions, decision makers and the courts often use the 'ethics of provincialism', a vision of ethnic, cultural, and religious pluralism managed by geographic autonomy and isolation, using geography as a proxy for subgroup affiliation. For the sake of clarity, the discussion is focused on a recent decision delivered by the Israeli Supreme Court - Solodkin v. City of Beit Shemesh - that raises significant questions regarding the (appropriate) place of space in legal analysis, permitting the analysis of severe social effects of the ethics of provincialism. After exploring the facts of the case, it then considers how various political theories - liberalism, multiculturalism, and civic republicanism - would address the dilemma presented in it. This discussion, in turn, serves as a springboard for exploring pervasive questions regarding the association between social groups and the urban spaces they inhabit in multicultural societies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaw and Sociology
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780191700200
ISBN (Print)0199282544, 9780199282548
StatePublished - 22 Mar 2012


  • Civic republicanism
  • Israel
  • Israeli supreme court
  • Legal analysis
  • Liberalism
  • Multicultural society
  • Multiculturalism


Dive into the research topics of ''Pigs in Space': Geographic Separatism in Multicultural Societies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this