Origins of the Israeli Polity: Palestine under the Mandate

By Dan Horowitz; Moshe Lissak | Go to book overview

7
Authority and Exchange

The emergence of the Yishuv as a semi- autonomous political system, a state within a state, involved the development of rules of the game that regulated the interrelations between the political system and its environment and between the national center and the subcenters. These rules stemmed from the nature of the political system as field of authority and as network of exchange. 1 The first aspect deals with the status of the various foci of authority in a political system, while the second is concerned with the networks of exchange and resource flow within the system and between the system and its environment, the media of exchange being material, symbolic, or power resources. There is a reciprocal relation between the two aspects. The exchange network is not an independent market composed of buyers and sellers freely interacting on the basis of supply and demand; rules and institutional arrangements for regulating exchange originate in centers of authority. In contrast, the position of an authority center as a regulating agency is influenced by its position as a party to exchange transactions. However, in a nonsovereign system such as the Yishuv, the distinction between the status of the center as a focus of authority and its status as a party to transactions governed by the law of supply and demand

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