Can jewish ethics speak to sovereignty?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sovereignty remains one of the most contested political issues of our time. Prominent scholars on the American left have argued that Jewish ethics provides useful resources for the critique of sovereignty. Against these scholars, this article contends that the fixation upon Jewish values is liable to hinder the development of a forceful rejoinder to sovereignty’s defenders. To temper the enthusiasm for ethics as a framework for arbitrating conflicts over sovereignty, this article revisits an internal Zionist debate surrounding the relationship between ethics and politics. Drawing on the work of Jakob Klatzkin (1882-1948), this article argues that critics of sovereignty should downplay ethics, focusing instead on cultivating the political imagination required to envision and defend non-sovereign regimes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-135
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Jewish Ethics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018


  • Ethics
  • Political
  • Sovereignty
  • State
  • Zionism

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy


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