Liron Lavi, Ph.D.

laviliron@ucla.edu

University of California, Los Angeles

Country: United States (California)

About Me:

I am a research fellow at the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. In my research I combine strong political theory background with computational, quantitative, and qualitative discourse analysis methods to better understand elections, representation, political communication, and democracy in Israel and the US.  

Research Interests

Political Communication

Elections, Election Administration, and Voting Behavior

Text as Data

Political Theory

Public Opinion

Representation and Electoral Systems

Specific Areas of Interest

Computational Discourse Analysis

Democratic Theory

Legitimacy

Elections

Political Representation

Politics Of Time

Countries of Interest

Israel

United States

My Research:

I currently work on two projects: the first project focuses on time horizons in the 2016 US election media discourse. Employing computational text analysis of TV news media and Twitter before and after the election, I study how time horizons affect the meaning of elections in the media and perceptions of representation and popular sovereignty; the second project explores dimensions of political representation in Israel in interviews and surveys, focusing on the latest 2019 election.  

Publications:

Journal Articles:

(2015) Voter Election Frames: What Were the Elections About?, Political Studies

How do citizens think about elections? Building on democratic theory, political psychology and political communication theories, we conceptualize how voters interpret elections in terms of election frames, and explore the interplay between them and media frames. Election frames are deduced from the empirical and normative body of work on elections and democracy and they are tracked empirically through in-depth interviews with citizens, carried out during the 2009 parliamentary elections in Israel. The article highlights three major findings. First, all election frames are represented in people's reasoning about elections, but there is considerable variability in their usage, and they are usually applied in rudimentary form. Second, the frames vary over different political contexts. And third, the public does not seem to absorb passively frames from the media, but rather plays an active role in the process of election interpretation, relying on diverse sources. It is proposed in the article that publics’ election interpretations are an important aspect of politics that should be placed on political scientists’ research agenda.

(2013) Making Time for National Identity: Theoretical Concept and Empirical Glance on the Temporal Performance of National Identity, Nations and Nationalism

Despite global, economic, technological and social transformations, nationality has remained an influential identity category. It still forms the basis for collective self-determination, political sovereignty and sense of belonging. This article puts forward the concept of ‘Chrono-Work’ to offer a critical approach to national identity. Employing temporal and performative perspectives, the concept addresses the conditions for establishing and constructing national identity. Drawing on Judith Butler’s performance theory, it is suggested that performance of national acts loads national identity with meaning through the construction of a chronological narrative. To complete the theoretical picture, a case study of ‘Chrono-Work’ among the Jewish settlers on the Golan Heights in Israel is offered. It is shown that national identity is constantly performed through temporal strategies that aim at achieving a chronological order. Therefore, it is suggested that national identity is not given, but rather is the result of continuous ‘Chrono-Work’.

(2013) Home and Away: Hybrid Perspective on Identity Formation in 1.5 and Second Generation Adolescent Immigrants in Israel, Glocalism

Immigration is not only about changing countries, but also about shifting identities. This change is especially important for adolescents. This article examines identity formation among 1.5 and 2nd generation adolescent immigrants to Israel. A survey of 125 children of immigrants aged 12-19 examined the role of social structures such as pace of life, culture, religion and language on identity formation in 1.5 and 2nd generational groups. We have identified several significant factors affecting the identities of children of migrants in each group. Looking beyond self-labeling, we argue that identity formation among children of immigrants is a continuous process in which the host country and origin country, both or neither of them, create dynamic hybrid patterns of identifications.

Media Appearances:

TV Appearances:

(2015) BBC World

I was interviewed following the 2015 Israeli election on their impact on identity politics in Israel.

Newspaper Quotes:

(2019) Crusoé

I was interviewed about the latest 2019 Israeli election.