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Meritocracy in the service of ethnocracy

Preminger, Jonathan ORCID: 2020. Meritocracy in the service of ethnocracy. Citizenship Studies 24 (2) , pp. 247-263. 10.1080/13621025.2020.1720604

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Contributing to scholarship on differential citizenship of minority groups, this article asserts that the meritocracy discourse provides a discursive ‘cover’ for tensions between the economic imperative to integrate and the political desire to exclude ethnic minorities. Analysing the incorporation of Israeli Arabs in hi-tech, the epitome of an inclusive, ethnicity-blind enclave, the article claims that this meritocracy discourse celebrates diversity and inclusion while camouflaging ethnic hierarchies and the denial of the minority’s collective rights. Thus the ethnic majority can champion ethnic minority inclusion without risking ethnic equality. The article therefore challenges a core capitalist assumption, that the market is ‘the perfect arbiter’ and rewards on merit, by underlining the ‘ethnocratic’ context of Israeli hi-tech’s meritocracy: while the liberal citizenship discourse enables the ethnic minority to claim citizenship through economic participation, it cannot be separated in practice from an ethnonational citizenship discourse because ostensibly liberal spaces are infused with ethnonational meaning.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 1362-1025
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 January 2020
Date of Acceptance: 21 January 2020
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2022 21:23

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