Daniel Polisar

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Daniel Polisar is among the founders of the Shalem Center and has served during the past decade as research director, academic director, editor-in-chief of the Center's journal, Azure, and, since 2002, president.

Previously, he was founder and director of Peace Watch, a non-partisan Israeli organization that monitored Israeli and Palestinian compliance with the Oslo Accords, and he headed the Peace Watch observer team during the January 1996 Palestinian elections. Polisar received his BA in politics from Princeton University where he met Yoram Hazony and Joshua Weinstein[1] with whom he would go on to fund the Shalem Center.

He gained his PhD in government from Harvard University, where he was the recipient of Truman and Fulbright scholarships, and of a Mellon Fellowship. In between earning those degrees, he spent two years studying at Yeshivat Darchei Noam, in Jerusalem[2]

Polisar's research, writing, and teaching focuses on Israeli constitutional development, Zionist history, Jewish political thought, and economic policy. He has testified before the Knesset Constitution Committee on Israel's character as a Jewish state, and is a member of the Presidential Commission on Governmental Reform. In February 2006, he was appointed by the Prime Minister to chair the National Herzl Council, responsible for commemorating the legacy of Theodor Herzl[3].



  • Choosing Freedom: Economic Policy for Israel, 1997-2000, with Yitzhak Klein (Jerusalem: Shalem Center, 1997)
  • Electing Dictatorship: Why Palestinian Democratization Failed (Dissertation: Harvard University, 2001)



  1. Na'ama Lanski and Daphna Berman Storm in a neo-con teapot Haaretz, accessed June 14 2012
  2. The Shalem Centre, Daniel Polisar Biography, accessed 18 June 2012
  3. The Shalem Centre, Daniel Polisar Biography, accessed 18 June 2012
  4. Democracy and Security Conference, List of Participants, Accessed 25-February-2009