Prof. Uriel Abulof

Political science studies
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Prof. Uriel Abulof
Phone: 03-6407170
Another phone: 03-6407170
Office: Naftali - Social Sciences, 519


Associate Professor
School of Political Science, Government and International Affairs, Tel-Aviv University
Israel Institute Visiting Professor, Department of Government, Cornell University;;
HOPE (PrincetonX online course) | Sapienism (Blog) | Double-Edged (Psychology Today Blog)

Uriel Abulof is an associate professor of politics at Tel-Aviv University, teaching at Princeton University and Cornell University, where he is currently an Israel Institute Visiting Professor. Abulof studies the politics of fear, happiness and hope, legitimation, social movements, existentialism, nationalism and ethnic conflicts. He is the recipient of the 2016 Young Scholar Award in Israel Studies, and of numerous grants and fellowships from prestigious funds like Fulbright, the Israel Science Foundation, and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. He has served as the director of the PhD program, and on the award committees of The Dan David Prize and of the Presidency of the State of Israel.

Abulof has published vastly and continuously, including several books and edited volumes, over sixty peer-reviewed academic articles, and copious essays and op-eds. His recent books include The Mortality and Morality of Nations (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and Living on the Edge: The Existential Uncertainty of Zionism (Haifa University Press, 2015). Abulof is also the co-editor of Self-Determination: A Double-Edged Concept (Routledge, 2016) and Communication, Legitimation and Morality in Modern Politics (Routledge, 2017). He is currently working on three book projects: (a) Human Conflict: From Existential Clash to Coexistence (on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict), Abyss & Horizon: Political Existentialism and Humanity’s Midlife Crisis (on the mismatch between objective peace and prosperity and intersubjective unease), and Death, Freedom, and the Search of Meaning (on what makes us human – in and beyond politics).

Abulof’s articles have appeared in leading journals such as International Studies Quarterly, International Political Sociology, Nations and Nationalism, British Journal of Sociology, European Journal of International Relations, Perspectives on Politics, Society, Ethnic and Racial Studies, International Political Science Review, and International Politics.

Abulof leads PrincetonX award-wining online course, HOPE. With tens of thousands of daily learners, worldwide, HOPE is reviewed the best online course of all times in political science and philosophy (#3 in the social sciences). Repeatedly receiving the Best Lecturer Award, Abulof has been teaching at top universities both in Israel (Tel Aviv and the Hebrew universities), and the US (Princeton and Cornell), with diverse curricular agenda, inducing: What Makes Us Human, Israeli Politics, Existential Conflicts, Introduction to International Relations and Strategy, Ethnonational Communities and Conflicts, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Identity Politics and Nationalism, and The Road to the Arab Spring.



Abulof, Uriel and Markus Kornprobst (eds.) (2017). Communication, Legitimation and Morality in Modern Politics: Studying Public Justification. New York: Routledge.

Abulof, Uriel and Karl Cordell (eds.) (2016). Self-Determination in the 21st Century. New York: Routledge.

Abulof, Uriel (2016). Living on the Edge: The Existential Uncertainty of Zionism [Hebrew]. Haifa and Tel-Aviv: Haifa University Press and Yedioth Books.
The winner of the Bahat Prize for the best Hebrew nonfiction manuscript.

Abulof, Uriel (2015). The Mortality and Morality of Nations: French Canadians, Israeli Jews and Afrikaners. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Journal Articles

Abulof, Uriel and Shirley Le Penne (forthcoming). Cosmic Political Theory. Political Theory. (50th anniversary special issue)

Abulof, Uriel (2022) Samson, Unchained: Biblical Undercurrents in the Political Sentiments of Israeli Jews. Israel Studies 27 (2):125-44.

Abulof, Uriel and Shirley Le Penne (2021). A Fearmonger at the Tiller: Israel’s Pandemic Politics. Israel Studies Review 36(3): 19-25.

Abulof, Uriel, Shirley Le Penne, and Bonan Pu (2021). The Pandemic Politics of Existential Anxiety: Between Steadfast Resistance and Flexible Resilience. International Political Science Review 42 (3): 350-366.

Abulof, Uriel. (2020). Taming Self-Determination: The Trials of a Political Speech-Act. International Political Science Review 41:622-37.

Abulof, Uriel (2018). Nationalism as Legitimation: The Appeal of Ethnicity and the Plea for Popular Sovereignty. Nations and Nationalism 24(3): 528-534.

Abulof, Uriel (2017). Why We Need Maslow in the 21st Century. Society 54(6): 508-509.

Abulof, Uriel (2017). Be Yourself! How am I not Myself? Between Essentialist and Existentialist Authenticity. Society 54(6): 530-532

Abulof, Uriel (2017). “Can’t Buy Me Legitimacy”: The Elusive and Illusive Stability of Mideast Rentier Regimes. Journal of International Relations and Development 20(1): 55-79.

Abulof, Uriel and Markus Kornprobst (2017). The Politics of Public Justification. Contemporary Politics 23(1): 1-18.

Abulof, Uriel (2017). Conscientious Politics and Israel’s Moral Dilemmas. Contemporary Politics 23(1): 34-52.

Abulof, Uriel and Markus Kornprobst (2017). Unpacking Public Justification. Contemporary Politics 23(1): 126-140.

Ogen Goldman and Abulof, Uriel (2017). Democracy for the Rescue - of Dictators? The Role of Regime Type in Civil War Interventions. Contemporary Security Policy 37(3): 341-368. [shortlisted for the 2017 Bernard Brodie Prize.]

Uriel Abulof and Ogen S. Goldman (2016). Intrastate Violence in the Middle East: On Democracy, Democratization and Nationalism [Hebrew]. Politics: The Israeli Journal of Political Science and International Relations 26: 137-165.

Abulof, Uriel (2016). Mirage or Vision: Binationalism in Theory and Practice. Ethnopolitics 15(4): 422-437.

Abulof, Uriel (2016). We the Peoples? The Strange Demise of Self-Determination. European Journal of International Relations 22 (3): 536-565.

Abulof, Uriel (2016). Public Political Thought: Bridging the Sociological-Philosophical Divide in the Study of Legitimacy. British Journal of Sociology 67 (2): 371-391.

Abulof, Uriel (2016). Behemoth vs. Leviathan: RIP R2P? E-International Relations.

Abulof, Uriel (2015). “The People Want(s) to Bring Down the Regime”: Rethinking Nationalism and Legitimacy in the Arab World. Nations and Nationalism 21(4): 658–680.

Abulof, Uriel and Ogen Goldman (2015). The Domestic Democratic Peace in the Middle East. International Journal of Conflict and Violence 9(1): 72-89.

Abulof, Uriel (2015). The Confused Compass: From Self-Determination to State-Determination. Ethnopolitics 14(5): 488-497.

Abulof, Uriel and Wolfgang Danspeckgruber (2015). In Search of a Common Ground Between Self-determination and Grand Strategy. Ethnopolitics 14(5): 555-565.

Abulof, Uriel (2015). The Malpractice of Rationality in International Relations. Rationality and Society 27(3): 358–384.

Abulof, Uriel (2015). Normative Concepts Analysis: Unpacking the Language of Legitimation. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 18 (1):73-89.

Abulof, Uriel (2014). Deep Securitization and Israel's “Demographic Demon”. International Political Sociology 8 (4):396-415.

Abulof, Uriel (2014). The Role of Religion in National Legitimation: Judaism and Zionism’s Elusive Quest for Legitimacy. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 53 (3): 515-533.

Abulof, Uriel (2014). Revisiting Iran’s nuclear Rationale. International Politics. 51 (3): 404-415.

Abulof, Uriel (2014). National Ethics in Ethnic Conflict: The Zionist “Iron Wall” and the “Arab Question”. Ethnic and Racial Studies 37 (14):2653-69.

Abulof, Uriel (2013). Nuclear Diversion Theory and Legitimacy Crisis: The Case of Iran. Politics & Policy 41 (5): 690-722.

Abulof, Uriel (2009). Small Peoples: The Existential Uncertainty of Ethnonational Communities. International Studies Quarterly 53 (1):227-248.

Abulof, Uriel (2008). Back to the Future: A Comparative Ethical Look at Israeli Arab Future Vision Documents. Israel Studies Review 23 (2):29-54.

Abulof, Uriel (2006). Israeli-Jewish Existential Uncertainty [Hebrew]. Tchelet 27:74-98.

Editing / Special Issues

Abulof, Uriel (ed.) (2017). Revisiting Maslow: Human Needs in the 21st Century, Society 54(6).

Abulof, Uriel and Markus Kornprobst (eds.) (2017). The Politics of Public Justification, Contemporary Politics 23(1).

Abulof, Uriel and Karl Cordell (eds.) (2015). Self-Determination: A Double-edged Principle, Ethnopolitics 14(5)

Book Chapters

Abulof, Uriel (forthcoming). A Real Ideal: Reflections on ImagiNation. New introduction to Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism by Benedict Anderson [Hebrew].

Abulof, Uriel (2023). The Emergence and Evolution of Self-Determination. In Routledge Handbook on Self-Determination and Secession, ed. R. D. Griffiths. New York: Routledge.

Abulof, Uriel (2022) Samson’s Fall and Solomon’s Judgement: Feelings and Fairness in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. In Routledge Companion to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, edited by Asaf Siniver, pp. 561-74. New York, NY: Routledge.

Abulof, Uriel (2021). The Zionist Absurd: Israel’s Politics of Fear, Freedom, and Bad Faith. In Finding Meaning: An Existential Quest in Post-Modern Israel, edited by Ofra Mayseless Pninit Russo-Netzer. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 199-223.

Abulof, Uriel (2020). Humanity’s Gadflies: The Existential Vocation of Small Nations. In Small Nations, edited by Joseph Yvon Thériault. Montreal: Université du Québec à Montréal

Abulof, Uriel (2020) Les Mouches De L’humanité: La Vocation Existentielle Des Petites Nations In Les Petites Nations: Culture, Politique Et Universalité edited by Jean-François Laniel and J. Yvon Thériault, pp. 49-73. Paris: Classiques Garnier.

Abulof, Uriel (2019). Reading Maslow in the Land of (Magical) Realism: The Hierarchy of Human Needs in Israel’s Politics. In The Edinburgh Companion to Political Realism, edited by Robert Schuett and Miles Hollingworth. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Abulof, Uriel (2019) Free or Fearful? Zionism’s Responses to Jewish Insecurity. In Routledge Handbook on Israeli Security, edited by Stuart Cohen and Aaron S. Klieman, pp. 13-24. New York, NY: Routledge.

Abulof, Uriel (2017). Mirage or Vision: Binationalism in Theory and Practice. In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Reflections on the Politics of Stalemate, edited by Karl Cordell, Brendan O'Leary, and Stefan Wolff. New York: Routledge.

Abulof, Uriel (2016) Free to Fight? Testing the Democratic Civil Peace in the Middle East. In Democratic Peace across the Middle East: Islam and Political Modernisation, edited by Yakub Halabi, pp. 17-45. New York: I.B.Tauris.

Abulof, Uriel (2014). Introduction [Hebrew], with Ephraim Lavie. In Nationalism and Ethics: The Zionist Discourse and the “Arab Problem,” edited by Ephraim Lavie, pp. 9-21. Tel-Aviv: Tel-Aviv University.

Abulof, Uriel (2014). Zionist Political Ethics in the Last Generation [Hebrew]. In Nationalism and Ethics: The Zionist Discourse and the “Arab Problem,” edited by Ephraim Lavie, pp. 337-356. Tel-Aviv: Tel-Aviv University.

Abulof, Uriel (2013). Binationalism Beyond Israel. In Nationalism and Binationalism: The Perils of Perfect Structures, edited by Yedidia Z. Stern, Alexander Yakobson and Anita Shapira, pp. 1-13. Sussex: Sussex Academic Press.

Abulof, Uriel (2010). Political Land and Space. In Nobody’s property: art, land, space, 2000-2010, edited by K. Baum. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Art Museum.

Abulof, Uriel (2009). Zionism. In Encyclopedia of Nationalism and Ethnicity (composite), edited by J. H. Moore, pp. 36-40. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA/Thomson Gale.

Abulof, Uriel (2008). French, Canadiens, French-Canadians and Québécois: The Survival-Identity Complex. In Coping with Crisis: Conflict Management and Resolution, edited by S. Barzilai, A. Churchman and A. Zysblatt, pp.213-235. Jerusalem: Magness Press, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Review Articles

Abulof, Uriel (2019) Response to Arjun Chowdhury’s Review of the Mortality and Morality of Nations. Perspectives on Politics 17 (1):185-186.

Abulof, Uriel (2019). Review of “The Myth of International Order: Why Weak States Persist and Alternatives to the State Fade Away” (2018) by Arjun Chowdhury, New York: Oxford University Press. Perspectives on Politics 17(1): 186-188.

Abulof, Uriel (2017). Review of “The Politics of Majority Nationalism: Framing Peace, Stalemates, and Crises published” (2015) by Neophytos Loizides, Stanford: Stanford University Press. Perspectives on Politics 15 (4): 1196-1198.

Abulof, Uriel (2017). Review of “Nations Torn Asunder: The Challenge of Civil War” (2016) by Bill Kissane, Oxford: Oxford University Press. The Review of Politics 79 (4):740-743.

Abulof, Uriel (2016). Review of “Zionism and its discontents: a century of radical dissent in Israel/Palestine” (2014), by Ran Greenstein, London: Pluto Press. Ethnic and Racial Studies 39 (13): 2414-2416.

Abulof, Uriel (2015). Review of “Divine Service? Judaism and Israel's Armed Forces” (2013) by Stuart A. Cohen, New York: Ashgate. Journal of Israeli History 34 (1): 113-116.

Abulof, Uriel (2010). “Land, Blood and Ballots: The Curious Case of Resident Alien Franchise” (Review of “Old Nations, New Voters: Nationalism, Transnationalism, and Democracy in the Era of Global Migration” by David C. Earnest) International Studies Review 12 (2):320-322.

Abulof, Uriel (2009). “The Last Clash” (Review of Clash of Identities by Baruch Kimmerling). Israel Studies Review 24 (2):114-116.

Treatises & Op-Eds

Have I Just Met the Jewish Hitler?” The Washington Monthly, November 25, 2022

“Why Authoritarian Leaders Are Like Toxic Therapists” Psychology Today, June 28, 2022

“Hail Caesar! When Personal Resentments Spur Political Revenge” Psychology Today, June 20, 2022

“Self-Determination Is Key to Avoid Escalation” Psychology Today, March 14, 2022

“Love Is an Hourglass—And We Can Flip It” Psychology Today, March 7, 2022

“Love’s a Drug Until It Becomes a Drag” Psychology Today, February 27, 2022

“Homesick in Israel” Psychology Today, 13 July 2021

“July 4th Soul-Searching and the Liberal Uncanny” Psychology Today, 6 July 2021

“Has COVID Fueled Existential Anxiety?” Psychology Today, 28 May 2021

“Should We Pursue Awe, and Can We, Without God?” Psychology Today, 30 July 2020

“The Puppetry of Evil: If circumstances make us cruel, who’s responsible?” Psychology Today, 18 May 2020

“Can We Sit Quietly in a Room Alone? Psychology Today,” 7 May 2020 (with Shirley Le Penne)

“The Trials of Betrayal: Trump and the Kurds,” Jerusalem Post, 17 November 2019 (with Dilan Okcuoglu).

“Party Time in the Promised Land: How fear helps illiberal leaders deliver liberalism’s promise of happiness,” The Guardian, 7 April 2019.

“How and Why Tribes Are Taking Over,” Forward, 30 December 2016.

“The Liberal Uncanny” The Huffington Post, 11 January 2016.

“The Meaning of Life and Death (in Politics)” The Huffington Post, 2 December 2015.

“Living on the Edge” The Huffington Post, 10 September 2015 & fifteeneightyfour (the blog of Cambridge University Press), 11 September 2015.

“Israel 2015: The Politics of Fear and Bad Faith” The Huffington Post, 26 March 2015.

“Self-Determination, Redux?The Huffington Post, 20 March 2014.

“The Greengrocer That Broke the Camel's Back,” The Huffington Post, 3 January 2012.

“What Is the Arab Third Estate?” The Huffington Post, 10 March 2011.

“Ever After… The Pursuit of Wealth and Happiness,” (Treatise) Eretz Acheret, 13 February 2011.

“On the Jewish State As an Alien State,” (Treatise) Eretz Acheret, 4 November 2010.

“Poll the People,” YnetNews, 9 May 2010.

“Make History, Don't Record It,” The Huffington Post, 5 May 2010.

“Obama Must Follow Balfour on Palestinian State,” RealClearWorld, 22 September 2009.

“A Shadow on the Wall,” Common Ground News Service, 13 August 2009.

“Too Little, Too Late,” Ynet News, 1 July 2009.

“Obama’s Pudding,” LISD Commentary / Princeton University, July 2009.

“Arab-Israeli Conflict About Identities, Not Borders,” RealClearWorld, 22 May 2009

Op-Ed Column in Haartez Israeli Daily Newspaper (2009-present).

Op-Ed Column in Maariv Israeli Daily Newspaper (2003-2008).

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