The Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Books in English



Beyond the Two States Solution: A Jewish Political Essay


Yehouda Shenhav, London: Polity Press, p. 256. ISBN 978-0745660295.

For over two decades, many liberals in Israel have attempted, with wide international support, to implement the two-state solution: Israel and Palestine, partitioned on the basis of the Green Line – that is, the line drawn by the 1949 Armistice Agreements that defined Israel’s borders until 1967, before Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza following the Six-Day War. By going back to Israel’s pre-1967 borders, many people hope to restore Israel to what they imagine was its pristine, pre-occupation character and to provide a solid basis for a long-term solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In this original and controversial essay, Yehouda Shenhav argues that this vision is an illusion that ignores historical realities and offers no long-term solution. It fails to see that the real problem is that a state was created in most of Palestine in 1948 in which Jews are the privileged ethnic group, at the expense of the Palestinians – who also must live under a constant state of emergency. The issue will not be resolved by the two-state solution, which will do little for the millions of Palestinian refugees and will also require the uprooting of hundreds of thousands of Jews living across the Green Line. All these obstacles require a bolder rethinking of the issues: the Green Line should be abandoned and a new type of polity created on the complete territory of mandatory Palestine, with a new set of constitutional arrangements that address the rights of both Palestinians and Jews, including the settlers.

  • For a book review by Mazal Mualem in Al-Monitor, click here
  • For a book review by Alex Kane in Mondoweiss, click here
  • For a book review by Nathan Thrall in the New York Review of Books, click here
  • For a book review by Haim Ganz in Haaretz, click here



The Arab Jews: A Postcolonial Reading of Nationalism, Religion, and Ethnicity


Yehouda Shenhav, Stanford University Press, p. 280. ISBN 0-8047-5296-6.

 This book is about the social history of the Arab Jews—Jews living in Arab countries—against the backdrop of Zionist nationalism. By using the term “Arab Jews” (rather than “Mizrahim,” which literally means “Orientals”) the book challenges the binary opposition between Arabs and Jews in Zionist discourse, a dichotomy that renders the linking of Arabs and Jews in this way inconceivable. It also situates the study of the relationships between Mizrahi Jews and Ashkenazi Jews in the context of early colonial encounters between the Arab Jews and the European Zionist emissaries—prior to the establishment of the state of Israel and outside Palestine. It argues that these relationships were reproduced upon the arrival of the Arab Jews to Israel. The book also provides a new prism for understanding the intricate relationships between the Arab Jews and the Palestinian refugees of 1948, a link that is usually obscured or omitted by studies that are informed by Zionist historiography. Finally, the book uses the history of the Arab Jews to transcend the assumptions necessitated by the Zionist perspective, and to open the door for a perspective that sheds new light on the basic assumptions upon which Zionism was founded.

  • For a book review in Japanese, click here
  • For a book review by Zvi Ben-Dor Benite in Israel Studies Forum (ISF), a publication of the Association for Israel, vol. 22, no. 2. (Winter 2007), pp. 115-120., click here
  • For a book review by Yitzhak Dahan in Azure, no. 19 (Winter 2005), click here
  • The Political Implications of Arab-Jewish Identity > A recorded Lecture given for the EUME (Europe in the Middle East—The Middle East in Europe) workshop.



Manufacturing Rationality: The Engineering Foundations of the Managerial Revolution


Yehouda Shenhav, Oxford University Press. p. 256. ISBN 0-19-925000-6.

Management is a powerful mode of thought and code of conduct in the modern world, closely associated with the American way and a natural extension of economic progress. This is a book about the history of management and the origin of managerial rationality in the United States.

“By carefully doing away with functional accounts of the managerial revolution andby linking this compelling historical case study with a broader reflection on the intersection of applied and academic knowledge on organizations, Manufacturing Rationality should not only appeal to economic sociologists interested in management history and the emergence of the large corporation but also to students of the sociology of professions and the history of sociology.”–American Journal of Sociology
“Yehouda Shenhav shows that the American system of management required elaborate social construction. Managers had to justify their existence vis avis owners and workers, and it took a great deal of effort to ‘normalize’ their social power. This book makes an important critical contribution to our understanding of how the large corporation emerged in the U.S and deserves to be read by anyone interested in the origins of Americans ‘managerialism.”–Neil Fligstein

  • For a book review by Dirk Zorn of Princeton University in the American Journal of Sociology, click here