In a double bind: Conflicts over education and mayoral election outcomes

Gad Yair*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Many European countries have decentralised governance structures to local communities with the direct election of mayors by local residents. This article provides a case study from Israel to assess the interplay between education and local politics. It investigates election outcomes for 75 locales, with a focus on the unique tensions involved in the dual loyalties of mayors to local parents, on the one hand, and state officials, on the other. Mayors who developed conflict relationships with both the local parents and state officials were found most likely to leave office. Conflicts over education are a clear indicator of impending political defeat, but amicable relations with parents and state officials are no automatic guarantee for re-election.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)167-184
Number of pages18
JournalLocal Government Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research emanates from a large scale study of LEA functioning in Israel, carried out in 1998. The study was financed by collaboration of the Israeli Ministry of Education, Ministry of Interior, Center for Local Governance, and Joint – Elka. The views expressed here are the author’s alone. The NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education supplied the research facilities for this study. The author is highly indebted to his research assistants – Noa Padan, Marluzi Perera, Adi Kuntzman, Ramit Hermoni, Eytan Hamou and Michal Lewin-Epstein. Tracy Karp was my skilled editor.


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