Judicial Power and National Politics, 2nd Ed.

Courts and Gender in the Religious-Secular Conflict in Israel

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Patricia J. Woods
SUNY Series in Israeli Studies
  • Albany, NY: 
    State University of New York Press
    , July
     268 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Chronicles the conflict between religious and secular forces in Israel.

In Judicial Power and National Politics, Second Edition, Patricia J. Woods returns to an issue that has only grown in relevance since the first edition’s publication in 2008: the religious-secular conflict in Israel. The first edition focused on the role that courts and justices play in deeply charged political battles. In the last quarter of the twentieth century, social groups turned to the judicial arm of the state in an effort to force the state to change its laws and policies on religious personal status law, or family law. Through an extensive case study of the interactions of the women’s movement with the High Court of Justice, Woods argues that the most important determining factor explaining when, why, and how national courts enter into the world of divisive politics is found in the intellectual or judicial communities with whom justices live, work, and think about the law. The interaction among members of this community over time culminates in new legal norms. This second edition takes into account what has happened in the past decade, with public debate over religion and the state moving away from the court and into the realm of popular politics—on the Knesset floor, in the media, in shopping malls, and on the streets. Included for the first time is the dataset for the author’s national survey of women’s movement volunteers.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Patricia J. Woods is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida.


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