Prof. Mimi Ajzenstadt

Full Professor

Research Interests:

Criminology and foreign workers, Gender and social policy, Access to justice,   Gender, civil society and the welfare state, Qualitative research methods. 


Research Projects:

Incarcerated Motherhood

The socio-legal construction of foreign workers' involvement in crime.

Ngoization of Civil Spaces: Civil Society, Transformation of Welfare and Women's Organizations


Abstracts of Current Research :

 Incarcerated Motherhood: 

The project examines the way motherhood is perceived and experienced by incarcerated females and prison personnel. Based on interviews with mothers incarcerated in the Israeli female prison, the study attempts to understand both the social-structural factors influencing motherhood in prison and the methods in which female prisoners create their own identity as mothers.


The socio-legal construction of foreign workers' involvement in crime.

This study follows law enforcement agencies attitudes and practices towards documented, un-documented and asylum seekers in Israel. It analyzes various variables related to arrest data. Utilizing the narrative method, it analyzes court cases of foreign workers that appeared before the court in criminal offences and examines the public and official discourse relating to this group. The construction of the socio-legal reaction to foreign workers' involvement in crime is situated in the wider political economic regime of neo-liberalism and its logic.


Ngoization of Civil Spaces: Civil Society, Transformation of Welfare and Women's Organizations

This historical study traces the origin and emergence of women's organizations that provide welfare services and their evolvement over time. It focuses on the transformation in the social and political roles played by these NGOs in the creation of civil society. The project is grounded within wider processes such as: the transformation of social movements and community based organizations into formalized  NGOs and  the concomitant NGOization of civil society; erosion of the welfare state within the framework of neo-liberal regimes and ideologies.



Recent Publications:


Ajzenstadt, Mimi, Soffer, Michal and Steinberg Odeda (2010) In the Prison I Rest: Women Behind the Prison Walls. Tel-Aviv: Hakibutz Hameuhad, Kav Adom Series(Hebrew).

Edited Books

Ajzenstadt, Mimi and John Gal (eds.) (2010). Children, Families and Women in the welfare Mediterranean Countries. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Ajzenstadt, Mimi and John Gal (eds.) (2009). Access to Social Justice in Israel. Jerusalem: The Taub Centre for the Study of Social Policy in Israel (Hebrew).

Ajzenstadt, Mimi and Guy Mundlak (eds.) (2008) Empowerment on Trial.  Tel-Aviv: Tel-Aviv University, Nevo (Hebrew).


Book Chapters

 Ajzenstadt, Mimi (2010) "Children, Families and Women in the Israeli State: 1888-2008." In: Mimi Ajzenstadt and John Gal (eds.).Children, Families and Women in the welfare Mediterranean Countries. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. Pp. 143-163.

Ajzenstadt, Mimi (2010). "The Jewish Women's Equal Rights Association of Palestine and its Struggle to Establish the Role of 'Mother of the Family' in Pre-State Israel, 1919-1948." In:  Eyal Katvan, Margalit Shilo and Ruth Halperin-Kadari (eds.). One Law for Man and Woman: Women, Rights and Law in Mandatory Palestine. Ramt-Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press (Hebrew). Pp.57-85.   

Ajzenstadt, Mimi (2010) "Women in the Workforce in the Context of Neo-Liberalism: The Case of Israel." In: Shelley A.M. Gavigan and Dorothy E. Chunn. (Eds.) The Legal Tender of Gender: Law, Welfare and the Regulation of Women's Poverty. Oxford: Hart. Pp. 123-141.


Articles in Refereed Journals

Ajzenstadt, Mimi (2009) "Moral Panic and Neo-Liberalism: The Case of Single Mothers on Welfare in Israel.British Journal of Criminology. 49(1): 68-87.

Ajzenstadt, Mimi (2009) "Judicialization, Neo-Liberalism and Foreign Workers in Israel." International Review of Constitutionalism. 9(1): 107-133.

Ajzenstadt, Mimi and David Bar-Gal (2010) "The Birth of the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1953-1958)".Society and Welfare. 30(1): 9-27. (Hebrew).

Soffer, Michal and Mimi Ajzenstadt  (2010) "On Stigma and Otherness: Mirror Representations of HIV/AIDS and Heart Disease in the Israeli Press." Qualitative Health Research. 20 (8): 1033-1049.

Bar–Almog, Michal and Mimi Ajzenstadt (2010) "Women, Welfare and Civil Society Organizations: Creating an Alternative Women’s Welfare Sphere in Israel". Social Policy and Administration. 44(6):  673–688. 

Soffer, Michal and Mimi Ajzenstadt (2010) "The Multidimensionality of 'Pains of Imprisonment' among Incarcerated Women in Israel" Women and Health. 50(6):491-505.

Fried, Bell and Mimi Ajzenstadt (2011) "Pathological Women Gamblers: Gender-Related Aspects of Control." Sex Roles. 66:128-142.

Gal, John and Mimi Ajzenstadt (2013) "The Long Path from a Soup Kitchen to a Welfare State in Israel." Journal of Policy History.  25(2): 240-263.

Ajzenstadt, Mimi and Assaf Shapira (2012) "The Socio-Legal Construction of Otherness under a Neo-Liberal Regime: The Case of Foreign Workers in the Israeli Criminal Courts." British Journal of Criminology. 54(4): 685-704.

Statland-Vaintraub, Olga, Mona Khoury-Kassabri, Mimi Ajzenstadt and Shabi Amedi (2012) "Risk Factors for Involvement in Delinquency among Immigrants and Native-Born Israeli Girls." Children and Youth Services Review. 34:10: 2052–2060.

Ajzenstadt, Mimi and Mona Khoury-Kassabri (2013) "The Cultural Context of Juvenile Justice Policy in Israel." Journal of Social Policy. 14(1): 111-128.