My remarks today represent my attempt to look beyond one experience with our field and suggest some patterns that may transcend political borders. As some of you may know, I have seen my role as a chronicler and documenter of the field of policy analysis. As someone originally trained as a historian, I have tried to watch the changes that have occurred in this field both in the academy and in the field of practice. Both editions of my book Beyond Machiavelli represent my attempt to describe different eras within the field, first largely inside the US and then in the 21st century when the field clearly moved to recognize global experience. I am always on the lookout for changes in what we all call policy analysis yet those two words are used to encompass very different behaviors.
The second theme that underlies my remarks is more personal and focused on the Israeli context and my relationship to this country. I am a first generation American Jew who was brought up in South Dakota -- an unusual place for someone with my family’s background. My family was attentive to the creation of the state of Israel and my first trip to Israel took place nearly 50 years ago, before the Six Day War. My subsequent trips allowed me to observe the changes that have occurred in this country. My last trip took place in 2013 when I spent a week at Tel Aviv University where Gila was the chair of the policy program; I was there as a visiting faculty member. I do not pretend to be an expert in Israeli policy analysis but I have some familiarity with some of the issues discussed in the book. I found a number of themes in the volume we are celebrating that seem to support an interesting pattern.