Ambiguity, Coping, and Governance: Israeli Experiences in Politics, Religion, and Policymaking
Sharkansky asserts that the use of ambiguity and other forms of coping are more suitable than problem solving in dealing with certain kinds of public problems. However, there are costs as well as benefits associated with these less than perfect ways of policy making. Sharkansky's approach conveys both optimism and pessimism. The bright side is that ambiguity works; the dark side is not so much its disadvantages as the realization that many commentators and practitioners of the craft seem unwilling to recognize its advantages and appear unwilling to promote its use for problems where it might be most useful.
Ambiguities surrounding the name of Jerusalem lead to insights and possibilities with respect to the city's future, as well as with respect to other disputes involved in the peace process between Israel and its neighbors. Ambiguities also appear in sophisticated modes of social science, and they raise the question, if research is unclear, can policy making be substantially different? As Sharkansky makes clear, there are negative as well as positive aspects to coping and ambiguity, and he suggests ways of dealing with the disadvantages. This frontal attack on widely advocated, conventional modes of thinking about public problems and policy making will be stimulating to students, researchers, and policy makers dealing with Israeli-Arab issues specifically and policy issues generally.
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On the Advantages of Coping and Ambiguity in Jerusalem
Jewish Ambiguities in Jerusalem
Allegations and Assessment
Testing the Claims
Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full?
Ambiguities of the Peace Process
A Cumbersome Giant
Limits to Israels Power
Moving Towards Normality
Ambiguity in Religion as Well as Politics
The Positive and Negative Sides of Ambiguity
Religion and Politics in the Jewish State
Religion and Politics in Utah
On the Nature of Religions
A Typology of Ambiguity in Policymaking and Administration
Synonyms for Jerusalem
Which Locale of Jerusalem
The Political Significance of Numerous Jerusalems
A Proposal That Could Work but that Politicians Cannot Articulate
Coping with Our Neighbors and Ourselves
Finality Like Consistency Is the Preoccupation of Small Minds
If Social Science Is Ambiguous Can Governance Be Different?
Points in the Historical Record
James S Coleman and Others
What Does It All Mean?
Coping with the Downside of Coping
Political Perspectives and the Judgment of Coping
Coping with the Problems of Coping
When is Coping Worth the Costs?
For Further Reading