Land, State, and Diaspora in the History of the Jewish Polity

By Daniel J. Elazar

Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), Spring 1991

The Jewish people represents the classic state-and-diaspora phenomenon of all time. Indeed, the term "diaspora" originated to describe the Jewish condition. In the 3500 years of the existence of the Jewish people, Jewish states have existed for roughly 1000 years, while Jewish diasporas have existed for at least 2600 years. For some 1500 years the Jewish people existed as an exclusively diaspora community. Nevertheless, the Jewish people not only preserved their integrity as an ethno-religious community, but continued to function as a polity throughout their long history through the various conditions of state and diaspora. This essay analyzes the unique characteristics of the Jewish people, particularly in the context of a world Jewish polity. An historical survey traces the patterns of development of the Jewish polity and its institutions from its original foundings through the beginning beginnings of diaspora and up to the present day.

Topic: Political Behavior, History, Diaspora, Politics

Name of Publication: Jewish Political Studies Review

Volume/Issue: 3:1-2

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Genre: Scholarly Periodical

Coverage: Diaspora , World

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link.

Bibliographic Information:
Elazar, Daniel J. Land, State, and Diaspora in the History of the Jewish Polity. Jewish Political Studies Review. Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA). Spring 1991:


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