October 2, 1989
Jewish political studies is a neglected but extremely significant dimension of Jewish life that needs to be explored. An understanding of the influence of the Jewish political tradition on Jewish public affairs during the epochs of Jewish national independence and communal self-government can be useful in meeting problems of Jewish public affairs and communal organization. The present exploration of Jewish phenomena from a political science perspective began in the 1950s and has developed significantly in recent decades. That exploration has developed a theoretical framework that looks at the phenomenon of the Jewish polity at any time and in any place. This framework rests upon the assumptions that the Jewish people is a corporate entity by definition, that exploration of the Jewish polity can be undertaken with the tools of political science, and that Jews have continued to function as a polity throughout their history.