Addressing the Legitimacy Gap in the Israeli Corporatist Revival


  • Guy Mundlak is at the Faculty of Law and Department of Labour Studies, Tel-Aviv University.


Since the mid-1980s, Israel's labour law and industrial relations have transitioned from a Continental corporatist system to an Anglo-American pluralist system. The process has been characterized by greater fragmentation of the labour market and the system of interests' representation. However, in recent years, there have been several episodes of nationwide collective agreements and social pacts. These agreements resonate with a second generation of social corporatist bargaining that has been identified in some European countries. In this article, I question the legitimacy of the new agreements. The legitimacy gap evolves from the use of corporatist instruments against the backdrop of a pluralist system. I discuss the attempts to increase the legitimacy of the corporatist instruments, pointing to their limited success. Future attempts must consider solutions that track the hybrid nature of the industrial relations system and devise institutions that bring together the traditional corporatist social partners and the new pluralist agents. Of particular importance is the need to consider the role of the new associations in civil society that voice the interests of the growing segment of disadvantaged workers in the secondary labour market.