Doctoral Student

  • Portrait
  • Lior Yohanani
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  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Lior Yohanani is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Sociology, Rutgers University.

    In his dissertation project, Lior explores the global phenomenon of Jewish youth who volunteer in the Israeli military. Lior asks for the individual motivations and structural factors that drive young Jews to move to Israel and join the military, for their military experience and how it shapes soldiers’ views, identity, and long-term migration plans. Lior uses a mixed-method approach, integrating data from an original survey that he administered, interviews, and archival work. By doing so, Lior brings together research on migration and integration, religion and ethnonationalism, globalization, citizenship, and identity. Beyond the contribution to the field of Israel and Jewish studies, Lior’s work carries unique contributions to diverse fields of study such as foreign fighters, ethnic return migration, state-diaspora relations, and high-risk collective action.

    Lior is also interested in processes of identity-making through group interactions. He recently published a paper about Zionist identity-making in the British Mandate of Palestine in Nations and Nationalism: “Zionist identity and the British Mandate: Palestine's internment camps and the making of the Western native.” In his research, Lior highlights the utility of researching group-making interactions in different contexts to develop a more nuanced understanding of identity-making processes. In specific, to capture the evolution of the Zionist identity more fully, Lior moves away from the common analysis of the Zionist relationship with the British and instead turns attention to a new triadic relationship: the British, Zionists, and a group of German settlers. Lior, thus, shows how Zionism could claim both Western traits of enlightenment (in relation to the Arabs) and the status of the colonized native (in relation to the Germans and British).

    Lior holds an MA in Sociology from Rutgers University and an MA in Sociology from Tel Aviv University.