Prof. Asher Cohen is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Studies where he has been employed since completing his M.A in 1978. He wrote his PhD dissertation on Religious Zionism's vision of the ‘Torah state’ in the early years of the State of Israel, and later, in 1996, was guest researcher at Harvard University’s Center for Jewish Studies. Between 2002 and 2005 he served as academic head of Bar Ilan’s special programs for the Security Forces and headed the University’s School of Communication from 2017 to 2021. Between the years 2011-2015 he chaired the Civics committee at the ministry of Education.
His research focuses on collective identity in Israel; the relationships between Religion, Society and the State; and more specifically Jewish identities and especially political contexts of Religious Zionism.
He published a number of books including ‘The Tallit and the Flag’ on Religious Zionism and the Vision of the Torah State in the Early Years of the State; ‘The Politics of Jewish Identity’ published by Johns Hopkins University, USA; ‘From Accommodation to Escalation’ on the secular-religious rift in Israel at the turn of the 21st century (with Bernard (Baruch) Susser); ‘Non-Jewish Jews in Israel: the Challenge of expanding the Jewish nation in Israel’ on the Jewish identity of new immigrants to Israel from the Former Soviet Union who are not Jewish according to the Halacha; and finally, ‘From Supremacy to Anxiety’ on Religious Zionism in the First Decade of the State of Israel (with Dov Schwartz). He also published many papers and chapters in books on Religion, Society and State relations and on the politics of Religious Zionism. In the first twenty years of the 21st century, following every election campaign in Israel he published papers focusing on the political parties and organizations comprising religious Zionism and the voting patterns of the religious Zionist citizens of Israel.