The Personalization(s) of Politics: Israel, 1949-2003.


Gideon Rahat and Tamir Sheafer. 2007. “The Personalization(s) of Politics: Israel, 1949-2003.” Political Communication, 24, Pp. 65 -80. Publisher's Version


A study was conducted to examine the occurrence of personalization(s) in the Israeli political system from independence in 1948 to the 2003 elections. Institutional personalization was analyzed in terms of changes in candidate selection methods; personalization in the unpaid media was assessed through analysis of the media coverage of 16 election campaigns for the Israeli parliament, the Knesset; and personalization in the behavior of politicians was measured as the percentage of the laws passed in each Knesset that originated in private member bills out of the total number of bills passed in a specific term. Findings indicated that institutional personalization generates personalization in the media, which in turn leads to personalization in the behavior of politicians.