Socio-political entrepreneurship in Israel: the case of the Northern Islamic Movement.
AbstractThis paper examines the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel by using ‘socio-political entrepreneurship’ as the analytical framework. While the notion of entrepreneurship originated in the field of economics, it has also taken hold in the social sciences as ‘social entrepreneurship’ and ‘political entrepreneurship’. Social entrepreneurship refers to initiatives taken to ameliorate social issues through economic means, while political entrepreneurship describes the way in which policies are changed in unexpected ways, generally at high levels of government. However, there is a gap in which the literature fails to explain social entrepreneurship with political undertones, or the case of the politician as social entrepreneur. This paper proposes the concept, and various aspects of, ‘socio-political entrepreneurship’, which combines elements of social and political entrepreneurship. The aim of socio-political entrepreneurship is to work on behalf of society to improve social conditions; while this has political undertones, the enterprise need not necessarily, or exclusively, be about changing politics. The Northern Islamic Movement is a social and religious movement that focuses mainly on socio-religious activities in the Israeli Arab communities, but also exhibits goals, rhetoric, and functions with strong political undertones. Thus, the use of ‘socio-political entrepreneurship’ allows for a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the functions of the Northern Islamic Movement in Israeli Arab society.