Moshe Maor CV

I am professor of political science and hold the Wolfson Family Chair in public administration at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Previously I was a Research Officer at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where I completed my doctorate in 1992. My research is concerned with comparative politics, comparative public administration, bureaucratic politics, public policy dynamics, and the role of emotions in public policy. I have written extensively on European politics, bureaucratic reputations, and disproportionate policy responses.

I am currently engaged in creating a novel foundation for the study of disproportionate response in policy and politics, and the resulting implications for modern democracy. Using behavioral insights, I develop models to predict policy over- and under-design; policy over- and underreaction; over- and underreaction policy styles; policy bubbles; and the interaction between policy bubbles.

In recent works, I upended our current understanding of the dynamics of disproportionate policy response by proposing that such responses may be intentionally designed, implemented as planned, and, at times, successful in achieving policy and political goals. This suggestion forces scholars to recognize the political benefits that elected executives may reap from deliberately implementing disproportionate policies, and that such policies can at times be effective. I have also developed the Disproportionate Policy Perspective, proposing that political executives who are vulnerable to voters may prioritize policy effectiveness over policy costs (or over another factor), leading to the formulation and implementation of policy overreaction options, and/or cost-consciousness (or another factor) over effectiveness, resulting in the formulation and implementation of policy underreaction options. This perspective implies that a disproportionate response in policy domains may at times be a politically well-calibrated and highly effective strategy because of the damage it inflicts on political rivals and/or its success in shaping voters' perceptions favorably. Global and domestic threats coupled with publics that are relatively skeptical about politicians and political institutions, and rising negativity and populism in democratic politics, imply that policy overshooting is increasingly required for the public to perceive policy action as sufficient and politicians as competent, at least in the short term.

My current work revolves around developing the Ladder of Disproportionate Policy -- an objective scale of disproportionate policies based on assessing the gap between the scope of the audience that the policy ostensibly serves and how the policy tools are set and adjusted to serve the actual audience.