Professor of Political Science &
Wolfson Family Chair Professor of 
Public Administration

Department of Political Science
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905

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I am a political scientist currently engaged in creating a novel foundation for the study of disproportionate response in policy and politics, and the resulting implications for modern democracy. Using behavioral insights, I develop models to predict policy over- and under-design; policy over- and underreaction; over- and underreaction policy styles; policy bubbles; and the interaction between policy bubbles.

In recent works, I upended our current understanding of the dynamics of disproportionate policy response by proposing that such responses may be intentionally designed, implemented as planned, and, at times, successful in achieving policy and political goals. This suggestion forces scholars to recognize the political benefits that elected executives may reap from deliberately implementing disproportionate policies, and that such policies can at times be effective. I have also developed the Disproportionate Policy Perspective, proposing that political executives who are vulnerable to voters may prioritize policy effectiveness over policy costs (or over another factor), leading to the formulation and implementation of policy overreaction options, and/or cost-consciousness (or another factor) over effectiveness, resulting in the formulation and implementation of policy underreaction options. This perspective implies that a disproportionate response in policy domains may at times be a politically well-calibrated and highly effective strategy because of the damage it inflicts on political rivals and/or its success in shaping voters' perceptions favorably.

The overarching idea behind my current research is that at times government efforts are not motivated by efficient goal attainment and are not ‘seamlessly calibrated’ to the policy problem at hand. Specifically, my models take into account the idea that under certain conditions the most important factor in public policy development is rather the political motivation embedded in elected executives’ policy intention. Policy varies quite dramatically between different time periods and diverse locations, and for this reason one must gain a sense of the politics at play in the time and place under investigation in order to understand disproportionate patterns of policy development. Global and domestic threats coupled with publics that are relatively skeptical about politicians and political institutions, and rising negativity and populism in democratic politics imply that policy overshooting is increasingly required for the public to perceive policy action as sufficient and politicians as competent, at least in the short term.

Interests:   Policy dynamics; Disproportionate policy responses; Bureaucratic Reputations; Comparative politics (Israel and OECD countries)