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הילה זהבי, hila zahavi

 The Simone Veil Centre's Research Projects

Ph.D Dissertation Projects

Click here to view PhD research projects


Master Thesis Projects

Click here to view MA research projects


Israeli Visions of the EU

This research project provides the first detailed analysis of Israeli perceptions and images of the EU. By providing empirical findings concerning the attitudes of Israeli public opinion, political elites, organized civil society and the media, this project offers insights into the overall assessment on the part of Israelis of the EU as a global actor. At the same time, the research also serves as an important indicator of the success with which European intentions have been translated into observable actions. The underlying assumption of this project is that only through understanding various EU images and perceptions – and in some cases, misperceptions – will Israel and the EU be able to improve and upgrade their relations.

As of May 2015 this project has developed into a new stage, containing a new branch of research which attempts to examine the Israeli visions of the EU as reflected in new social media.


European Visions of Israel

This research explores some of the main images and perceptions of Israel in the EU. By providing empirical findings concerning the attitudes of EU political elites, organized civil society and the media, this research will offer insights into the overall assessment on the part of the EU of Israel’s standing and actorness in the EU. At the same time, the research will also serve as an important indicator of how well Israeli intentions have been translated into observable actions in EU circles. The underlying assumption of this research is that only by understanding the various Union’s images and perceptions of Israel, will Israel and the EU be able to improve and upgrade their relations.


The Politics of Honorary Degrees

What global changes can we discover from taking a deep look at the practice of Honorary Degrees, or honoris causa degrees, granting?


The European Forum of Young Researchers

The European Forum of Young Israeli Researchers was established under the auspices of the Centre for the Study of European Politics and Society in order to constitute a national hub and a power house for the enhancement of European Integration Studies. Through various actions and activities, we are aiming to enrich and advance European Integration scholars and study programs and to bring Europe closer to Israeli society.

NEAR-EU Jean Monnet Project 

Near-EU, coordinated by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev,  is a global academic network, funded by the Jean Monnet programme of the European Commission. The project, officially launched in November 2016, aims to broaden the field of European integration studies by incorporating the domain of higher education in the research and activities of European study centres and departments of international affairs.The project will develop an inter-regional, collaborative academic space to enhance the study of European higher education policy and academic internationalization. The project intends to establish Bologna Resource Centers (BRC), for the study and research of European HE, within and outside Europe and to create a nexus among them. The BRCs will evolve into a network of prominent academic units in the field of European Studies and international affairs  in EU and non-European countries (Israel, New Zealand, Canada and Singapore) to further deepen the academic discourse on European HE policy and the EHEA. Capitalizing on their venues within National Jean Monnet Centers and leading European and international affairs research centers, the BRCs will be in a position to catalyze interest in European higher education policies and research, attracting academics and graduate students to the arena. 


Crisis, Conflict and Critical Diplomacy: The EU Perceptions in Ukraine and Israel/Palestine 

The project establishes a Network - "Crisis, Conflict and Critical Diplomacy: EU Perceptions in Ukraine and Israel/Palestine" (C3EU) - focused on EU images in key issue areas of economy, politics, foreign policy, energy, climate change, RS&I, civil society and culture/education. The EU aims to engage more effectively with 3rd country publics and stakeholders. Ukraine and Israel/Palestine are currently embroiled in conflicts set in differing contexts which threaten the EU’s eastern and southern edges. C3EU diagnoses and studies EU perceptions in these volatile strategic neighbours and tracks expectations.

Under new leadership, the EEAS has prioritized coherent public diplomacy as a foreign policy instrument. Intense conflicts in Ukraine and Israel/Palestine make EU public diplomacy more critical than in non-conflict situations. C3EU provides empirical information to revise public diplomacy based on an assessment of EU perceptions. This will allow for the EU to reconceptualise policy outreach and re-launch its image.

C3EU involves established and early-career experts from leading EU perceptions studies and employs an internationally tested methodology to assess which EU messages resonate within divided societies and which target audiences are the most influenced by the EU. Drawing on multidisciplinary expertise in EU external perceptions, CFSP, ENP, governance, IR, communication and cognitive linguistics studies, C3EU examines official policy discourses, EU media framing, EU perceptions among policy-makers and youth, and makes policy recommendations. 

Policy- and solution-oriented, C3EU traces external views on the EU’s:  exit from its crisis; new leadership; response to the conflicts; attraction as a destination for migration, investment, business and education; appeal as a Normative Power; structural support and civil society outreach; critical diplomacy;  role as a legitimate and credible partner.

For more information on the project see :



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