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Asher Arian and Michal Shamir, "Candidates, Parties and Blocs: Israel in the 1990s," Party Politics, 7 (November 2001), 689-710.

First Paragraph:
Political systems change, and they change in complex ways. Just as a range of factors affects the decision of the individual voter, myriad forces drive the transformation of a society and its political system. The rule of the game may be altered; new groups of voters may emerge; international or economic shifts may present new challenges. Were one to seek an apt site and an appropriate setting to study these matters, the choice of the 1999 elections in Israel would be most felicitous.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Knesset election results 1949-99: fragmentation, competitiveness, blocs. p. 692
Table 2: Logistic regressions: prime ministerial candidate/ right-left bloc, 1981-99 p. 696
Table 3: Thermometer scores- parties and candidates p. 701
Table 4: Left-right identification (in %) 1962-99 p. 702

Last Paragraph:
Israeli democracy has witnessed the imperfect dissolution of major institutions, while the media-driven increased personalization of politics has fostered the dominance of a political center, peopled by potential prime ministers but not by political parties. Organizations of control have been eclipsed; individuals of previously dominant groups are still in control, but the trends toward personalization underscore the expression of a new Israeli liberalism. This liberalism champions individual rights and the courts, leaving weaker groups doomed to pursue their quest in the back corridors of coalition bargaining. Dominant groups will generate candidates to appeal to the center of the electorate for the now personalized and less encumbered office of prime minister; in the meantime, the tensions between sectarian and universalistic demands will likely grow if they remain unresolved.