National Resilience, Politics and Society

Editorʼs Note

Editorʼs Note

  • Eyal Lewin

This issue was signed when hundreds of thousands of people worldwide died from the
COVID-19 pandemic. Still, it is not even possible to tell whether we are in the beginning,
in the midst of it, or hopefully towards the end of this historical event. We do know,
however, that such episode we have not experienced since both World Wars, and no doubt
– since the days of the lethal Spanish flu of 1918-1920. In this sense, there is something
detached in writing these days about national resilience that addresses, first and foremost,
wars and natural disasters, and does not bring up any scripts – which until last month were
completely fanciful – of a global epidemic that strikes countries all over the world. On the
other hand, it is precisely distancing from the current event, rather the preoccupation with
the templates that are familiar to us, that allows the development of ideas and insights
that will be valid, with the right adaptations, once we reach some of the next stages of the
pandemic.

The current issue, then, is more relevant than ever because of the theoretical and
practical reference it has to national resilience in its broadest sense. First – in this issue
we are publishing the Ariel Index for National Resilience and Readiness. This measure is
based on a nationwide survey in Israel that examines the social components of resilience.
The Ariel Index continues a line of other works in this field, as stated in the opening for
its presentation here. However, its contribution is fundamental, because it expands our
perceptions of resilience by adding some crucial measures of readiness. Furthermore, the
new Ariel Index adds a deeper conceptual comprehension of resilience by referring to
three different levels: the personal, the community, and the national.

The theoretical basis for addressing three different levels in a nationwide survey is
given to the Ariel index by the study of Carmit Padan and Reuven Gal in this issue. Their
paper deepens the understanding of the components of resilience as expressed in different
social levels. For resilience researchers, this article, along with the index that appears
alongside it, are no less than an innovative foundation for further research.

From the macro level to the micro level, Roni Kampinsky’s article in this issue looks
at how the religious soldier faces a possible tension between his lifestyle as a believer and
the possibility of advancing through the ranks in the army. It is an article that touches on 8
religion and state relations in general as well as their military context, and even extends
from the theoretical to the empirical, mentioning historical events from the State of Israel’s
first decades to our present day.

In the English part of the issue, a brave analysis of Joel Fishman and Yossi Kuperwasser
is presented, which indicates the dimension of denial in decision-making processes in
general – and in the case of the Oslo Accords in particular. It is a breakthrough document,
that relates to historical events but can teach us so much about the decision-making
mechanisms among leaders in general – not only past but present.

The second article in the English part of this issue, Sergei Samoilenko analyzed the
concept of framing in general, and its occurrences in international relations in particular;
he also examines alternative paradigms for those currently used by scholars. Some of his
conclusions refer to the fact that in shaping the image of a state we should also consider
approaches that are currently not necessarily at the forefront, for example – the leader’s
role in shaping the way citizens perceive reality.

All in all, then, this issue incorporates both a theoretical and an empirical
conceptualization of the notion of national resilience, together with a focus on historical
events that can be analyzed with innovative approaches. Along with the various book
reviews, which reveal up-to-date writing on issues that directly and indirectly refer to
national resilience, this issue can serve as some basic readings for students who study the
field. Moreover, this issue brings to the academic front a new paradigm that will be used
by researchers to better understand in the future the horrific events that the entire world is
experiencing these days.

ISSN (Print): 2521-4810
ISSN (Online): 2617-8745

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