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Avner de-Shalit

Professor of Political Science

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


אבנר דה-שליט, אבנר דה שליט, avner de-shalit,  avner de shalit, civicism, human rights, democracy, environmental politics, equality,  socialism, urban politics, political science, political philosophy, political theory, 

Authored books     -     Edited books     -     Hebrew


Why Posterity Matters: Environmental Policies and Future Generations

Published in 1995 by Routledge.

From the book's cover: Why Posterity Matters is the first comprehensive philosophical examination of our duties to future generations. It appears at a time when it is becoming increasingly obvious that we can no longer exploit the environment without causing risks for posterity.

de-Shalit argues that our obligations towards new generations are a matter of justice, not of charity or supererogation. It becomes our duty to consider them when we distribute access to natural resources, decide on environmental policies and plan budgets. This raises problems for conventional theories of justice. Why Posterity Matters puts forward a new communitarian theory of intergenerational justice, which can serve as the moral basis for environmental policy.

The Environment: Between Theory and Practice

Published in 2000 by Oxford University Press.


From the book's cover: Why is there a gap betwen the questions that environmental philosphers discuss and the issues that motivate environmental activists? The author attempts to bridge this gap by combining tools of political philosophy with questions of environmental ethics and politics. He defends a radical position in relation to both environmental protection and social policies in order to put forward a political theory, which is not only philosophocially sound, but also relevant to the practice of environmental activism. He argues that several directions in environmental ethics can be at odds with contemporary political debates surrounding environmental politics. He then goes on to examine the environmental scope of the political theories of liberalism, communitarianism, participatory democracy, and socialism, and concludes that the last two are crucial for protecting the environment.

From the book's cover: What does it mean to be disadvantaged? Is it possible to compare different disadvantages? What should governments do to move their societies in the direction of equality, where equality is to be understood both in distributional and social terms? Linking rigorous analytical philosophical theory with broad empirical studies, including interviews conducted for the purpose of this book, Wolff and de-Shalit show how taking theory and practice together is essential if the theory is to be rich enough to be applied to the real world, and policy systematic enough to have purpose and justification. 


With Jonathan Wolff, Published in 2007 by Oxford University Press.

Second edition with a new preface was published in 2013.



From the book's cover: Power to the People examines the teaching of political philosophy in what is taken to be skeptical times. Author Avner de-Shalit encourages political philosophers to remain committed to the analytical achievements of political philosophy while also revising and improving the teachings of the discipline to be more in tune with the demands of democratic society. Using highly accessible language, de-Shalit argues that distinguishing political philosophy from politics is methodologically and normatively wrong; that political philosophy can empower its students; and that political philosophy should be democraticized. De-Shalit's radical and provocative theory will fascinate anyone involved in politics, philosophy, and education.

Power to the People: Teaching Political Philosophy in Skeptical Times

Published in 2007 by Lexington books (Rowman & Littlefield).





From the book's cover: Cities shape the lives and outlooks of billions of people, yet they have been overshadowed in contemporary political thought by nation-states, identity groups, and concepts like justice and freedom. The Spirit of Cities revives the classical idea that a city expresses its own distinctive ethos or values. In the ancient world, Athens was synonymous with democracy and Sparta represented military discipline. In this original and engaging book, Daniel Bell and Avner de-Shalit explore how this classical idea can be applied to today's cities, and they explain why philosophy and the social sciences need to rediscover the spirit of cities.

The Spirit of Cities: Why the Identity of a City Matters in a Global Age
With Daniel Bell, Published in 2011 by Princeton University Press.

Second edition with a new preface was published in 2013.




The Spirit of Cities: Why the Identity of a City Matters in a Global Age
With Daniel Bell, Published in 2011 by Princeton University Press.

Second edition with a new preface was published in 2013.

Chinese translation published in 2013, and was awarded a prize for being one of the ten most influential books for 2013.




cities and immigration.jpg

From the book's cover: All over the world immigration is one of the most urgent political issues, creating tensions and unrest as well as questions of justice and fairness. Academics as well as politicians have been relating to the question of how states should cope with immigrants; but 96% of immigrants end up in cities, and in Europe and the USA, two thirds of the immigrants settle in seven or eight cities. Indeed, most of us encounter with immigrants as city-zens, in our everyday life, rather than as citizens of states. So how should cities integrate immigrants? Should cities be allowed to design their autonomous integration policies? Could they issue visas and permits to immigrants? Should immigrants be granted voting rights in local elections before naturalization? And how do cities think about these issues? What can we learn from cities which are thought to be successful in integrating and assimilating immigrants? Is there a model of integration within the city which is best?

The book discusses these questions both empirically and normatively. The book is based on hundreds of in depth discussions of these matters with city dwellers in San Francisco, New York, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Thessaloniki and Jerusalem. It shifts the discourse on immigration from 'thinking like a state' to 'thinking like a city' .

Cities and Immigration:
Political and Moral Dilemmas in the New Era of Migration
Published in 2018 by Oxford University Press.
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