Bureaucratic politics in Israel

Sharon Gilad, Nissim Cohen

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

1 Scopus citations


Studies of the Israeli public sector point to the vast influence of the Ministry of Finance (MOF) across multiple policy domains. This chapter combines bureaucratic politics research and the notion of veto players to theorize a two-tiered power game between bureaucratic and political players. It argues that the policy influence of bureaucracies is shaped by stable institutional factors and by the extent to which powerful politicians are inclined to intervene. In Israel, legal provisions vest the MOF with an institutional advantage over other bureaus and their ministers. Yet the MOF’s ability to exploit its advantaged position is contingent upon the joint propensity of the prime minister (PM) and the finance minister (FM) to forgo intervention. The chapter associates the PM’s and FM’s inclination to support the MOF with their political motivation to maintain their grip on the agenda of an increasingly fragmented coalition government. Thus, the MOF’s supremacy is reliant upon, and underpins, political power.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Israeli Politics and Society
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780190675585
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright of print version:
© Oxford University Press 2021.


  • Bureaucratic politics
  • Bureaucratic power
  • Ministry of finance
  • Political control
  • Veto players


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