Majority Nationalism Laws and the Equal Citizenship of Minorities: Experimental, Panel, and Cross-Sectional Evidence from Israel

34 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2021 Last revised: 17 Dec 2021

See all articles by Netta Barak Corren

Netta Barak Corren

Harvard Law School; Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Noam Gidron

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Political Science Department

Yuval Feldman

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: March 31, 2021

Abstract

Western societies are increasingly enacting majority nationalism laws to strengthen majority culture. We propose that these laws may alter public attitudes about minorities’ equal citizenship with varied impact on majorities and minorities. To explore this issue, we examine the impact of Israel’s recently enacted Nation Law on the Jewish majority and the Arab minority. Experimental evidence from before the Law’s enactment reveals that both minority and majority respondents perceive the passage of the Law as permitting discrimination against the minority in housing, employment, and voting, but the effect on minority perceptions is larger. Panel and cross-sectional data from before and after the Law’s enactment reveal that the effect on majority respondents was fleeting, whereas the negative impact on minority respondents was stronger and more durable. These findings expose the troubling effects of majority nationalism laws and suggest that law may operate as a prism, expressing different messages to different groups.

Keywords: Nation Law, majority nationalism, expressive law theory, heterogeneous effects

Suggested Citation

Barak Corren, Netta and Gidron, Noam and Feldman, Yuval, Majority Nationalism Laws and the Equal Citizenship of Minorities: Experimental, Panel, and Cross-Sectional Evidence from Israel (March 31, 2021). Forthcoming J. of Legal Studies (2022), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3816988 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3816988

Netta Barak Corren (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91905
Israel

Noam Gidron

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Political Science Department ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem
Israel

Yuval Feldman

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Faculty of Law
Ramat Gan, 52900
Israel

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