SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

The Dynamics of Exclusionary Constitutionalism: Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State

The Dynamics of Exclusionary Constitutionalism
Mazen Masri (City, University of London), Nimer Sultany (SOAS) and Elian Weizman (SOAS)

Date: 6 February 2018Time: 5:45 PM

Finishes: 6 February 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Lecture

What does Israel's definition as a 'Jewish and democratic' state mean? How does it affect constitutional law? How does it play out in the daily life of the people living in Israel? Talk by Mazen Masri on his book The Dynamics of Exclusionary Constitutionalism: Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State (Hart Publishing, 2017) in which he provides a unique and detailed examination of the consequences of the 'Jewish and democratic' definition. It explores how the definition affects the internal ordering of the state, the operation of the law, and the ways it is used to justify, protect and regenerate certain features of Israeli constitutional law. It also considers the relationship between law and settler-colonialism, and how this relationship manifests itself in the constitutional order.

The Dynamics of Exclusionary Constitutionalism offers a novel perspective on the Jewish and democratic definition rooted in constitutional theory and informed by a socio-legal approach. Relying on a wide range of court cases and statutes as well as secondary sources, Masri shows how the definition is deeply embedded in the constitutional structure, and operates, as a matter of law, in a manner that concentrates political power in the hands of the Jewish citizens and excludes the Palestinian Arab citizens in Israel from the political process.

With Discussants: Nimer Sultany, School of Law, SOAS and Elian Weizman, Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS

Mazen Masri is a Senior Lecturer in law at the City Law School, City University London. Mazen’s areas of teaching and research are constitutional law and public international law with special interest in comparative constitutionalism, constitutional theory, human rights law and equality. His work has appeared in legal and interdisciplinary journals such as Social and Legal Studies, Asian Journal of International Law and International Journal of Law in Context as well as scholarly ezines and blogs. His book, The Dynamics of Exclusionary Constitutionalism: Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State, published in 2017, was shortlisted for the Peter Birks Book Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship (The Society of Legal Scholars).

Nimer Sultany is Senior Lecturer in Public Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He holds a Doctor of Juridical Science degree from Harvard Law School, and was the recipient of the British Academy Fellowship. His book Law and Revolution: Legitimacy and Constitutionalism After the Arab Spring was published by Oxford University Press. He has also published extensively on constitutional theory, Islamic constitutionalism, and Israeli jurisprudence. 

Elian Weizman is a lecturer in Middle East Politics at the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS. Before re-joining SOAS she was the deputy director of the CBRL Kenyon Institute in East Jerusalem (2015-2017). She completed her PhD on resistance to Zionist hegemony in the State of Israel in the department of Politics at SOAS in 2013. She is interested in the politics of knowledge production, and practices of resistance from within settler colonial societies, particularly in the case of Israel.

Chair: Adam Hanieh, SOAS

Admission Free - All Welcome

Organiser: London Middle East Institute, Centre for Palestine Studies and Centre for Jewish Studies

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Contact Tel: 020 7898 4330