Biased Policy and Political Behavior: The Case of Uneven Removal of Elected Mayors in Israel

Avi Ben-Bassat, Momi Dahan, Amit Avigur-Eshel, Ayelet Harel-Shalev, Rollin F. Tusalem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Unlike the previous literature on mass policy feedback, the present study argues that a negative message embodied in public policy may foster or dampen political participation depending on social group affiliation. The policy change we use to examine the effect of biased policy (a perceived negative message) on political behavior is the removal of elected mayors that were replaced by an appointed committee in a large number of Arab and Jewish municipalities in Israel, which was skewed significantly toward Arab municipalities. We show that Arab voters in intervened municipalities are more likely to show up at the ballot boxes in national elections and they tend to vote more for Arab parties. In contrast, the political participation of Jewish citizens is lower in municipalities with an appointed council without noticeable effect on vote choice. Related Articles: Avigur-Eshel, Amit. 2018. “Encouraging Action in the Private Sphere: Demand-Side Practices in the Depoliticization of Economic Policy in Israel.” Politics & Policy 46 (1): 84-109. Harel-Shalev, Ayelet. 2009. “Lingual and Educational Policy toward ‘Homeland Minorities’ in Deeply Divided Societies: India and Israel as Case Studies.” Politics & Policy 37 (5): 951-970. Tusalem, Rollin F. 2015. “Ethnic Minority Governments, Democracy, and Human Rights.” Politics & Policy 43 (4): 502-537. Related Media: aboahma711122. 2009. “Video clip by Raam Taal Party.”

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)912-950
Number of pages39
JournalPolitics and Policy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Policy Studies Organization


  • Arab and Jewish Municipal Politics
  • Biased Policy
  • External Political Efficacy
  • Internal Political Efficacy
  • Israel
  • Mayoral Politics in the Middle East
  • National Elections Israel
  • Negative Message
  • Policy Feedback
  • Political Behavior
  • Political Participation
  • Social Group Affiliation
  • Voter Choice


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