King Bibi: The personification of democratic values in the 2019-2021 election cycle

Liron Lavi, Naama Rivlin-Angert, Clareta Treger, Tamir Sheafer, Israel Waismel-Manor, Michal Shamir

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The 2019–2021 election cycle was focused on Netanyahu, the incumbent prime minister, for over a decade. Second on these elections’ agenda was the future of the Israeli democracy. Based on the literature of political personalization, this chapter examines whether and how Netanyahu has embodied attitudes toward democratic principles and values in this election cycle, calling this understudied manifestation of centralized personalization “personification.” The findings indeed indicate personification, beyond already-documented political and sociological sources of democratic support. Netanyahu personified authoritarian views as well as illiberal approaches. This chapter suggests that personification may be a mechanism of democratic erosion, thus joining the growing public and academic concerns about democratic backsliding in Israel and worldwide.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Elections in Israel, 2019-2021
EditorsMichal Shamir, Gideon Rahat
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781000729306, 9781003267911
StatePublished - 27 Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

RAMBI Publications

  • rambi
  • Democracy -- Israel -- Evaluation
  • Elections -- Israel -- History -- 21st century
  • Israel -- Keneset -- Elections, 2019-2020
  • Israel -- Keneset -- Elections, 2021
  • Israel -- Politics and government -- 2010-
  • Netanyahu, Binyamin
  • Politicians -- Israel -- Public opinion


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