Skip to main content

Meet the Director

Csaba Nikolenyi

Professor, Political Science
Director of the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies

Welcome to the website for the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies

Since its opening in June 2011, the Institute has been the center of the academic study of Israel in Canada. Our faculty and graduate students actively contribute their research insights and results to current debates in the field of Israel Studies, which encompasses diverse disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences. We also promote scholarly engagement and collaboration between Israel and Canada in other areas, such as Business, Fine Arts, the Sciences, and support our students who wish to partake in various educational and training programs offered by our Israeli partner universities. In 2017, I was proud to start and lead the annual Summer in Jerusalem program in collaboration with the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which has allowed dozens of our students to join me in a one-month intensive sturdy program in Israel. We are hopeful that the program can resume as soon as global travel conditions return to their normal state!

Every year I offer an undergraduate course on the Israeli Political System, which is very popular among our students and is always fully enrolled. In this course, I put the emphasis on the complexity that characterizes the Israeli domestic political system and the interaction between society and the institutions of the state. One of my favorite class activities is the simulation of an Israeli election which culminates in the formation of a new coalition government!

Our mission to promote the informed academic understanding of Israel extends beyond the university community and, to this end, we regularly partner with community institutions to deliver programs, lectures, film screening and other events that engage a broader set of interests. I would like to encourage you to contact me directly if your community would like to explore joint collaborations on an Israel-related theme or topic.

I hope that many of you will join our fast-growing community of friends and followers as we embark on our second decade of teaching and researching Israel.

If you have any questions or would like to explore any ideas that our website may inspire, please contact me at

With my kindest regards,

Csaba Nikolenyi
Director, Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies
Professor, Department of Political Science

My recent Israel-related publications

Party Switching in Israeli Politics: A Historical and Comparative Analysis (State University of New York Press, 2023)

“Government by Consensus? A Comparison of the Alignment - Likud (1984-1988) and the Likud - Blue and White (2020) National Unity Coalitions” in Trends of Consensus and Polarization in Israel, eds, Elie Friedman, Michal Neubauer - Shani and Paul Scham (Routledge, 2023)

“Government termination and anti-defection laws in parliamentary democracies” Western European Politics45:3, 638-62 (2021)

 “The End of Kalanterism? Defections and Government Instability in the Knesset” Israel Studies 25:2, 95-114. (2020)

 “The 2018 Municipal Elections in Jerusalem: A Tale of Fragmentation and Polarization­­­­­” Contemporary Review of the Middle East, 7:1, 6-24. (2020)

 “Party Switching in Israel: Understanding the Split of the Labor Party in 2011” Contemporary Review of the Middle East, Volume 6 Issue 3-4, 408-22. (2019)

 “Changing Patterns of Party Unity in the Knesset: The Consequences of the Israeli Anti-Defection Law”. Party Politics  25:5, 712-23. (2019)

 “Keeping Parties Together? The Evolution of Israel’s Anti-Defection Law”. Polish Political Science Yearbook Special Issue on Israel Studies, 47: 2, 188-201. (2018)

 “Faces of Israel at EXPO ’67: Introduction”. Canadian Jewish Studies volume 26. Special sub-section on “Israel at EXPO 67”. Guest editor of this issue. (2018)


My recent talks on Israeli Politics

A Special Double Event on the Israeli Elections, October 31 & November 14, 2022

Israel and the COVID-19 Pandemic on Sunday, November 15, 2020

After Netanyahu, Who? on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 (The Q & A from the session)

Weizmann to 21st Century, the Presidents of Israel - a four part talk which took place the Fall of 2019.

Israel at the Polls - a four part talk which took place during the Winter & Spring 2019.   

  1. Guide for the Perplexed: An Overview of the Universe of Israeli Political Parties
  2. The News Right and the Future of Religious Zionism in Israeli Politics
  3. Political Leadership: Who will form the 35th Israeli Government
  4. Understanding the Voters' Madate: A Post Election Appraisal
Back to top

© Concordia University