Dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in the Israeli welfare state
The welfare state represents a key institutional field where differential categories of membership in the political community are constituted and actualized. This is due to the close connection, both historical and analytical, between the formation and strengthening of the nation-state, and the institutionalization of the category of citizenship and the notion of social rights included in it. The welfare state embodies in the clearest and most material way the coupling between identity and rights – the two fundamental elements underlying the concept of citizenship (Soysal 1994). Moreover, as a main distributive mechanism in advanced capitalism, the welfare state is a crucial factor in shaping and reproducing the structure of inequality in society. Hence, it functions as a central nexus connecting the constitution of differential categories of membership with processes of resource distribution that determine the position of various groups in the socio-economic hierarchy.