The uncounted: Citizenship and exclusion in the Israeli census of 1948

Anat Leibler, Daniel Breslau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Previous research on official statistics, and the national census, has established the role of these practices in the construction of modern political institutions, particularly the state and citizenship. Studies have described the use of statistics in transforming a territorial population into a citizenry, but have not examined the role of the census in the exclusion that is an essential element in the constitution of citizenship. Based on a case study of the Israeli national census and registration of 1948, we discuss the use of this census to legitimate an ethnic/national exclusion at the heart of Israeli citizenship. It is this task that explains the peculiar features of our case: a census carried out in wartime, under a 7-hour general curfew.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)880-902
Number of pages23
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Census
  • Citizenship
  • Israel
  • Nationalism
  • Palestine
  • Statistics


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