The Three Mahapacs: a game theoretical analysis of power changes and democracy-building in Israel
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Since independence, Israel has passed through the phases of democratic transition from the non-democratic British Mandate Authority of pre-independence Palestine to the democratic confirmation of peaceful transfers of power, from founding election through critical election. Political developments indicate that Israel has reached a third phase that I have called the revitalization phase, and that the Israeli party system is going through fundamental changes. Before each of the three elections corresponding to these phases there is a mahapac, turnabout', that fundamentally affects the following phase. The founding election is preceded by a power struggle over the nature of the state, the critical election by a conflict over the power structure and subsequently electability of the dominant party, and the revitalizing election by a struggle over party leadership. This thesis uses Game Theory to analyze the three mahapacs in depth, to explain the actions that preceded, and perhaps led to, the power changes and the phases of democratic transition. On this background it then discusses the relationship between these significant events and the transition, and how the latest mahapac and corresponding transition phase may imply a fundamental change from two-party to multiparty system.