Special Issue: Kibbutzim And Moshavim In Israel – New Research Directions



Guest editors: Aviad Rubin, Avi Shnider
The journal Israel Studies Review invites contributions for a special issue of Israel Studies Review that aims to introduce new research directions, empirical and theoretical insights on Kibbutzim and Moshavim (jointly labeled in Hebrew – Hityashvut Ovedet, hereafter – K&M).

Since the creation of the Kibbutz (Deganya, 1909) and the Moshav (Nahlal, 1921), these forms of living became the pioneers of the Zionist project and the newborn state. They absorbed new immigrants, served as Israel’s primary source of food, demarcated the state boundaries, and safeguarded open territories via cultivation. K&M occupied central role in the labor market, the means of production and the land, thus in the fulfilment of the Zionist project. As such, they attracted abundant scholarly interest in diverse fields including economy anthropology and sociology. From the 1970s, K&M iconic place in Israeli society eroded due to profound changes in the value system of Israeli society, the structure of economic markets, and Israel’s political
regime. In response, K&M privatized, reformed their institutional design, and opened their gates to new immigrants seeking high quality of life without embracing the K&M’s traditional
value system.

After decades on the margins of Israeli interest, the horrific events of October 7 returned K&M into the spotlight. Members of K&M in the Western Negev were murdered, raped, and taken hostage, and had their homes vandalized. Entire communities became internally displaced. The war also sparked violent conflict with Hezbollah, forcing the evacuation of many K&M along Israel’s northern border. Be’ery, Nir Oz, Kfar Aza, Nativ Hasara, Shtola, Avivim and Hanita returned to the headlines. The K&M emergency security squads (kitot hakonenot), who were first (or only) line of defense, along with the insistence of farmers to continue working during war, have been reintroduced as manifestations of national heroism.

Against this background, we invite proposals for papers that offer new and updated perspectives on the K&M and their relationships with broader Israeli society in the 21st Century, either with or without relation to the recent war. Possible themes of interest include the roles of K&M in Israeli Democracy, including forms of direct and deliberative democracy and K&M participation in social protest; evolutionary organizational and community designs, economic structures, demographic trends, cultural traits and value systems in contemporary K&M communities; Relevance of regional and national institutional and economic organizations, such as the Moshavim and Kibbutzim Movements, Nir Shitufi, Granot Industries; and the role of K&M
in land management and development in light of new challenges in the realms of security and agriculture. Other themes are also welcome.

Scholars interested in contributing should submit a paper abstract proposal of about to 250-300 words to hityashvutovedet@gmail.com by April 1, 2024. Please note that due to journal space limitations, it is possible not all strong proposals will be accepted. Authors will be notified if their proposals were chosen by the end of April 2024. Selected authors will be expected to submit a 7,000 words paper (including references and abstract) by December 31, 2024.

Please note: All articles will undergo double-blind peer-review as per the norm in the Israel Studies Review.