It takes a village to build illegality: Minorities' noncompliance as manifestation of distrust

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Often portrayed as social resistance fueled by authorities' discrimination and legal racism, minorities' noncompliance is considered to undermine the current order and commonly ascribed to distrust in government. To better understand noncompliance as a manifestation of distrust, this article focuses on the well-documented violation of planning, building, and property laws among the Israeli-Arab minority, who consistently exemplify distrust in government. Differing from current research, our analysis explores what facilitates noncompliance on-the-ground, draws on face-to-face interviews with 30 Arab-Israeli offenders who built their houses illegally, and uses the noncompliant behavior as the unit of analysis. In contrast to the common idiosyncratic portrayal of noncompliance, illegal building emerged as depending on a threefold collective effort: institutional, social, and practical. Uncovering collective support mechanisms for noncompliance suggests that distrust in government is compensated by trust in informal arrangements, thus raising new dilemmas around where personal responsibilities end and public ones begin.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)983-1000
Number of pages18
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC.


Dive into the research topics of 'It takes a village to build illegality: Minorities' noncompliance as manifestation of distrust'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this