Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Political Science

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, vii, 243 pages) : illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Rey Koslowski

Committee Members

Avinoam Cohen, Stephan Stohler, Meredith Weiss


Immigration, Israel, South Africa, Taiwan, Immigrants, Minorities, Nationalism, Emigration and immigration

Subject Categories

Political Science | Public Policy


This dissertation examines the role of shifting national identity narratives in immigration politics in deeply divided societies by focusing on the case of Israel. It raises a general question: why does a state established upon an ethnocentric national identity subsequently augment its self-definition to include certain non-co-ethnic migrants without applying the extension to all non-co-ethnic groups? I argue that although a country may initially be founded upon a seemingly-unequivocal ethnocentric national identity, this identity is not immutable. Rather, over time, a national dialogue may take place, causing the reexamination of the identity. During the transition, agents redefine “who we are” and “who can join us” and re-draw the boundaries between various citizen and migrant groups, leading to changes in immigration policy.