Ina Filkobski

McGill University

Department of Sociology
Program: PhD
Supervisor: Eran Shor
Start: 2015

Title: Restrictive Legislation on Aid to Non-Governmental Organisations and its Impact on Civil Society in Israel

Past decade have witnessed the proliferation of various laws restricting nongovernmental organizations worldwide. As part of this trend, some governments promote laws that ban or heavily tax funds provided to domestic NGOs by foreign states and foundations. In recent years, Israeli lawmakers attempted to adopt legislation in order to restrict the activity of NGOs dealing with human and civil rights. Israeli lawmakers have proposed both “harsh bills”, with measures that include heavy taxation and restriction on registration of NGOs, and “soft bills”, focusing mainly on demands for transparency and revealing sources of funding. I explore the role of discursive repertoires adopted throughout the process of legislation in allowing or inhibiting social action, and the impact of emerging claims-making on the day to day functions of human rights NGOs and civil society more generally. To do so I use ethnographic and in-depth interviews with staff members and CEOs of the affected organizations and textual content analysis of Israeli newspapers, television shows and radio broadcasts reviewing the legislation.

Previous Awards
The project is funded by The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program