The Israeli Settler Movement: Assessing and Explaining Social Movement Success, Sivan Hirsch-Hoefler and Cas Mudde

Reviewed by Ronnie Olesker



This book sets out to study whether the Israeli settler movement, described as the most enduring social movement of recent history, has been successful. Sivan Hirsch-Hoefler and Cas Mudde test the success of the settler movement by developing a theoretical framework that distinguishes between different types of successes, actors, and actions that social movements undertake in different political arenas. Although the primary indicator of success remains the ability of a movement to effect policy change, the book's framework captures two other forms of success: resource mobilization and the support of elites and masses. The study of the Israeli settler movement, Hirsch-Hoefler and Mudde argue, suggests that individual in combination with structural factors explain the success or failure of social movements.

The theoretical framework emphasizes the need to study the various organizations and structures within the social movement rather than treat it as a unitary actor—a feature that distinguishes this book from previous studies of the Israeli settler movement. Hirsch-Hoefler and Mudde identify different types of formal and informal actors in accordance with their organizational structure: institutions, networks, and influencers. Actions too, are categorized, ranging from moderate to extreme, and operating at different political arenas that include the st

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