New Book: Starr and Dubinsky, The Israeli Conflict System

Starr, Harvey, and Stanley Dubinsky, eds. The Israeli Conflict System. Analytic Approaches, Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Politics. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2016.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : crossing disciplinary and methodological boundaries in conflict systems analysis / Harvey Starr and Stanley Dubinsky — Event Type, sub-state Actor and Temporal Dimensions of the Dissent-Repression Relationship : Evidence from the Middle East / Philip A. Schrodt and Ömür Yilmaz — Turbulence in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict System : Predicting Change / G. Dale Thomas — Causes and Consequences of Unbalanced Relations in the International Politics of the Middle East, 1946-2010 / Zeev Maoz and Belgin San-Akca — Trade Networks and Conflict Processes in the Israeli Conflict System / Nadia Jilani, Ashley Murph-Schwarzer, Dona Roy, Matthew Shaffer, and Brian Warby — Trade in Conflict Zones : The Israeli Conflict System / Katherine Barbieri and Adrian R. Lewis — The Geography of Conflict : Using GIS to Analyze Israel’s External and Internal Conflict Systems / Harvey Starr, Roger Liu and G. Dale Thomas — Language, Conflict, and Conflicting Languages in Israel/Palestine / Stanley Dubinsky and William D. Davies — The Role of Holocaust Memory in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict / Andreas Musolff — An Experimental Procedure Comparing How Students in Middle Eastern and Western Democracies Cope with International Conflicts / Ranan D. Kuperman — Subjectivity in the Application of the Just War Doctrine to Collateral Damage : An Experimental Test in Israel and the US / Nehemia Geva and Belinda Bragg — Predicting Revolution and Regime Instability in the Middle East : The Uncertain Future of Arab-Israeli Relations / Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith.

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New Book: Pardo, Normative Power Europe Meets Israel

Pardo, Sharon. Normative Power Europe Meets Israel: Perceptions and Realities. Lanham and Boulder: Lexington Books, 2015.

 

0739195662

 

The book draws on some of the scholarship in perception studies and “Normative Power Europe” theory. The study of perceptions, although dating back to the mid-1970s, is gaining renewed currency in recent years both in international relations, in general, and in European Union studies, in particular. And yet, despite the significance of external perceptions of the European Union, there is still a lack of theoretical forays into this area as well as an absence of empirical investigations of actual external role conceptions. These lacunae in scholarly work are significant, since how the European Union is perceived outside its borders, and what factors shape these perceptions, are crucial for deepening the theory of “Normative Power Europe.” The book analyzes Israeli perceptions towards “Normative Power Europe,” the European Union, and NATO through five themes that, the book argues, underscore different dimensions of key Israeli conceptions of “Normative Power Europe” and NATO. The book seeks to contribute to the existing research on the European Union’s role as a “normative power,” the Union’s external representations, and on Israeli-European Union relations more broadly.

 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Normative Power Europe Meets Israel
  • Chapter 1: Normative Power Europe in Israeli Eyes
  • Chapter 2: The Seventh Would-Be Member State of the European Economic Community
  • Chapter 3: Normative Power Europe and Perceptions as Cultural Filters: Israeli Civic Studies as a Case-Study, with Natalia Chaban
  • Chapter 4: When a Lioness Roars: The Union’s Guidelines Prohibiting the Allocation of Funds to Israeli Entities in the Occupied Territories
  • Chapter 5: An Elusive Desire: Israeli Perceptions of NATO
  • Conclusion: Normative Power Europe as Israel’s Negative “Other”

Sharon Pardo is Jean Monnet chair ad personam in European studies in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
 

Research in Progress: Scoping Study of U.S.-Israel Dialogue (Chen Kane, Middlebury Institute of Int’l Studies)

Scoping Study of U.S.-Israel Dialogue
Performer: Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Project Lead: Chen Kane
Project Cost: $70,000
FY15-16

URL: http://calhoun.nps.edu/handle/10945/45427

Objective:
Over the last twenty years, there has been an increase in security-related Track 2 dialogues in the Middle East. Yet, with Israel, one of the region’s most important states and a nuclear power, few Track 2 dialogues addressing mutual security concerns have been held. They are needed to foster a more open exchange and discussion of emerging mutual security issues. This study will evaluate the feasibility and scope of a future Track 2 dialogue between the United States and Israel within the 2016 timeframe.

Approach:
This project involves background research and analysis, including of past attempts to establish Track 1.5 strategic dialogues and the reasons they have failed. Additionally, researchers will conduct in-depth consultations with current and former U.S. government and non-government personnel. They will also travel to Israel to discuss the project’s objectives with a select group of Israeli government and non-government interlocutors. Subjects for discussion will include Iran’s nuclear program, Syria’s civil war, a Middle East WMD-free zone, extended deterrence, missile defense, and other emerging security issues.

Click here for PDF.

New Article: Voltolini,Non-State Actors and Framing Processes in EU Foreign Policy

Voltolini, Benedetta. “Non-State Actors and Framing Processes in EU Foreign Policy: The Case of EU–Israel Relations.” Journal of European Public Policy (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2015.1085429

 

Abstract

This article investigates the role of non-state actors (NSAs) in European Union (EU) foreign policy, focusing on how they contribute to the emergence and codification of new frames that underpin EU external policies. It argues that changes in EU foreign policy are the result of interactions among a frame entrepreneur, often played by an NSA, and policy-makers in situations of cognitive uncertainty and when a policy window opens. The empirical evidence is based on the case of EU–Israel relations: a non-governmental orgaization (NGO) called MATTIN Group acted as frame entrepreneur and contributed to the emergence and codification of a new frame of understanding of EU–Israel relations, redefining them on the basis of a legal paradigm. This clarifies the territorial scope of bilateral agreements and ensures that the bilateral relations are constructed and implemented in accordance with EU legal framework and its commitments under international law.

 

 

Events: Jewish Review of Books, Conversations on Jewish Future (Oct 18, 2015)

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JRB-future

New Book: Voltolini, Lobbying in EU Foreign Policy-Making: The Case of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Voltolini, Benedetta. Lobbying in EU Foreign Policy-Making: The Case of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Routledge/UACES Contemporary European Studies. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2016.

 

voltolini

 

This book examines lobbying in EU foreign policy-making and the activities of non-state actors (NSAs), focusing on EU foreign policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It sheds light on the interactions between the EU and NSAs as well as the ways in which NSAs attempt to shape EU foreign policies. By analysing issues that have not yet received systematic attention in the literature, this book offers new insights into lobbying in EU foreign policy, EU relations surrounding the conflict and the EU’s broader role in the peace process.

The book will be of key interest to scholars and students of political science, international relations, EU politics, EU foreign policy-making, Middle East studies and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: ‘Embedded’ lobbying in EU foreign policy
  • 1 Exploring lobbying in EU foreign policy-making
  • 2 The EU and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict: An overview of declarations, policies and actors
  • 3: Who’s who? Mapping non-state actors in EU policies towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • 4: Trade relations between the EU and Israel: Lobbying on the territorial scope of the EU–Israel Association Agreement
  • 5 The Goldstone Report: To endorse or not to endorse it?
  • 6 Framing the EU–Israel Agreement on pharmaceutical products: Cheaper medicines, territorial scope or policy coherence?
  • 7 Using the national level to lobby the EU
  • 8 Conclusions

 

Benedetta Voltolini is Lecturer in International Relations at the Department of Political Science, Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

 

 

New Article: Voller, Israeli Identity and Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Voller, Yaniv. “From Periphery to the Moderates: Israeli Identity and Foreign Policy in the Middle East.” Political Science Quarterly 130.3 (2015): 505-35.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/polq.12360

 

Excerpt

In short, then, aspects of continuity in Israeli foreign policy have been far greater than what most analysts and commentators have assumed. Even more importantly, they have been as great, or even greater, than aspects of change. The moderate axis conception has meant that different actors now assume different roles—past radicals have now turned into the moderates. The center, in turn, has been occupied by a new force: radical Islamism. This new threat has steered the Middle East into a new era of uncertainty and struggle. Nonetheless, the essence of the periphery doctrine has survived the transitions. In spite of shifts in the regional balance of power and the new political dynamics, of which Israel has been an inseparable part, Israel still views itself as a peripheral actor, facing constant pressures from the center. The moderate axis conception embodies this as the moderate regimes have come to be seen in these terms as well.

The still-unfolding events of the Arab Spring mark a turning point in regional geopolitics. As violence still rages in Syria, and as the Egyptian army struggles to consolidate its power vis-à-vis the various Islamist factions in the country, it is still hard to envision the future political map of the Middle East. Nevertheless, we can assume that some important changes may take place. Israel may be slow to respond to such changes, as happened in the transition from the periphery doctrine to the moderate axis conception. Or it may learn the lessons and quickly reassess its old commitments and agendas. If there is one thing we can learn from Israel’s policymaking and its responses to changing regional threats, it is that the actions and decisions of Israeli foreign policymakers will continue to be percolated through its identity and self-perception. Whether these are going to change is as difficult to determine as the future of the Middle East.

 

 

CFP: The Past in the Present of the Middle East (CBRL Conference, April 15-16, 2016, London)

 
CBRL Conference: The Past in the Present of the Middle East
15 & 16 April 2016 at the London Middle East Institute in SOAS
The Council for British Research in the Levant is pleased to open a call for papers and posters for a two-day conference to be held in London with the LMEI to showcase the work of CBRL and its partners in the region. The conference will present sessions on a number of themes linking the past to the present day in the Middle East.
• Cultural heritage in conflict
• Cultural heritage, society and economics
• Britain and the Levant: Culture and (Mis)Communication
• The past in the political present: the legacy of colonialism and intervention
• The Politics of Dissent: challenges to Orientalism and Zionism
• The impact of research – working with humanitarian agencies/practitioners
Closing session: The future of the past in the Middle East
Participants in the conference will include both invited speakers and participants who respond to this call, including early career scholars sponsored by CBRL to undertake new research, as well as established scholars presenting their own research, and research partners from the region. The conference is intended as an opportunity to speak to a wide audience, not only the academic community but also policy makers, practitioners and members of the public. We believe that this event will make an important contribution to the profile of research in the region.
Please send proposed paper or poster titles and abstracts of no more than 250 words to CBRL@britac.ac.uk by September 7th 2015. We will notify participants whether their paper or poster has been accepted by the end of October.
The conference fee is £50 (with an early bird rate of £40 until 15 January 2016), with a discounted rate of £20 for student participants. The fee will cover attendance at the conference, including lunches during the conference and the conference reception.
The CBRL is the British Academy-sponsored organization that promotes, sponsors and carries out high-quality research in the humanities and social sciences throughout the countries of the Levant.
Please circulate to all interested colleagues.
Council for British Research in the Levant
10 Carlton House Terrace
London SW1Y 5AH.  UK

Reviews: Ayoob, Will the Middle East Implode?

Ayoob, Mohammed. Will the Middle East Implode? Cambridge: Polity, 2014.

0745679242

Reviews

  • Waterbury, John. “Review.” Foreign Affairs Capsule Review, March/April 2014.
  • Postel, Danny. “Review.” Middle East Policy 21.3 (2014).
  • Delgado, Magdalena C. “Review.” LSE Review of Books blog
  • Beckerman-Boys, Carly. “Review.” Global Policy, December 18, 2014.
  • Khashan, Hilal. “Review.” Middle East Quarterly 22.3 (2015).
  • Cappucci, John. “Review.” Political Studies Review 13.3 (2015): 465-66.

 

New Book: Alpher, Periphery – Israel’s Search for Middle East Allies

Alpher, Yossi. Periphery. Israel’s Search for Middle East Allies. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

 

1442231017

 

Since its establishment after World War II, the State of Israel has sought alliances with non-Arab and non-Muslim countries and minorities in the Middle East, as well as Arab states geographically distant from the Arab-Israel conflict. The text presents and explains this regional orientation and its continuing implications for war and peace. It examines Israel’s strategy of outflanking, both geographically and politically, the hostile Sunni Arab Middle East core that surrounded it in the early decades of its sovereign history, a strategy that became a pillar of the Israeli foreign and defense policy. This “periphery doctrine” was a grand strategy, meant to attain the major political-security goal of countering Arab hostility through relations with alternative regional powers and potential allies. It was quietly abandoned when the Sadat initiative and the emerging coexistence between Israel and Jordan reflected a readiness on the part of the Sunni Arab core to deal with Israel politically rather than militarily. For a brief interval following the 1991 Madrid conference and the 1993 Oslo accords, Israel seemed to be accepted by all its neighbors, prompting then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to muse that it could even consider joining the Arab League. Yet this periphery strategy had been internalized to some extent in Israel’s strategic thinking and it began to reappear after 2010, following a new era of Arab revolution. The rise of political Islam in Egypt, Turkey, Gaza, southern Lebanon and possibly Syria, coupled with the Islamic regime in Iran, has generated concern in Israel that it is again being surrounded by a ring of hostile states—in this case, Islamists rather than Arab nationalists.

The book analyzes Israel’s strategic thinking about the Middle East region, evaluating its success or failure in maintaining both Israel’s security and the viability of Israeli-American strategic cooperation. It looks at the importance of the periphery strategy for Israeli, moderate Arab, and American, and European efforts to advance the Arab-Israel peace process, and its potential role as the Arab Spring brings about greater Islamization of the Arab Middle East. Already, Israeli strategic planners are talking of “spheres of containment” and “crescents” wherein countries like Cyprus, Greece, Azerbaijan, and Ethiopia constitute a kind of new periphery.

By looking at Israel’s search for Middle East allies then and now, the book explores a key component of Israel’s strategic behavior. Written in an accessible manner for all students, it provides a better understanding of Israel’s role in the Middle East region and its Middle East identity.

Table of Contents

For Whom it May Concern
Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction

  1. The Periphery Doctrine at Work
  1. Evolution of a Grand Strategy
  2. The Northern Triangle: Iran and Turkey
  3. Morocco
  4. The Southern Periphery
  5. The Levant Minorities
  6. The Kurds of Northern Iraq
  7. The Jewish Dimension
  8. The American Dimension
  9. End of the First Periphery, 1973-1983

  1. Ramifications
  1. Iran: periphery nostalgia and its costs
  2. Israeli skeptics
  3. Between peripheries: peace, isolation and Islam
  4. Is there a new periphery?
  5. Arab reaction

  1. Conclusion
  1. Can Israel find a regional identity?

Heads of Mossad
Persons interviewed
Maps:

  1. The original periphery concept
  2. The expanded southern periphery
  3. The ethnic periphery
  4. A new periphery?

Index
About the Author

Yossi Alpher was an officer in Israeli military intelligence, followed by twelve years of service in the Mossad. Until 1995, he was director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. In July 2000, he served as Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Israel during the Camp David talks. From 2001 to 2012 he was coeditor of the bitterlemons.net family of internet publications.

Lecture: Indyk, Challenge of Restoring Order in the Middle East (American U, April 1, 2015)

Amos Perlmutter Memorial Lecture by Ambassador Martin Indyk.  Co-sponsored by AU School of Public Affairs and CIS  
Wednesday, April 1, 7:00 PM
Free with RSVP here: http://www.american.edu/cas/israelstudies/rsvp/rsvp1.cfm

Please join us to hear Ambassador Martin S. Indyk discuss “Order from Chaos: The Challenge of Restoring Order in the Middle East.” The lecture, in memory of beloved AU Professor and former Israeli Knesset member Amos Perlmutter, is jointly sponsored by the AU School of Public Affairs and Center for Israel Studies. Ambassador Indyk is Executive Vice President of the Brookings Institution and founding director of its Saban Center for Middle East Policy. He took leave from the Brookings Institution to serve as the U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli–Palestinian Negotiations from 2013 to 2014. Location: American University’s Butler Board Room, on the 6th floor of Butler Pavilion (free parking in Sports Center or Katzen Arts Center garage). For more information please contact Laura Cutler, cutler@american.edu, 202-885-3780

 

Indyk

Location: Butler Board Room (Butler Pavilion Floor 6)  (free parking in Katzen garage or Sports Center garage).  For sports center garage, enter university main entrance at Mass. Ave., drive through tunnel, and immediately make sharp right u-turn up garage ramp.  Park on any level 3 or higher, enter either Mary Graydon or Butler doors from garage, and take elevator to level 6.

New Book: Oren, Fishing with the President; The Rise of the Diplomatic Spin (in Hebrew)

אורן, יצחק. לדוג עם הנשיא. עלייתו של הספין הדיפלומטי. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2014.

 

book_806_big

 

URL: http://resling.co.il/book.asp?book_id=806

 

Yitzhak Oren’s book examines and analyzes four dramatic events in the relationships between Israel and the United States towards the end of the 20th century, in which the diplomatic spin dominated the chain of events: the loan guarantees crisis, Israel’s willingness to attend the Madrid Conference, the deportation of Hamas leaders, and the receipt of the loan guarantees, accompanied by a journalist speculation about “fishing with the president.” The book further diagnoses and proposes the characteristics of the diplomatic spin as a new and fascinating theoretical field. The author adds to these case studies his personal perspective, as one who experiences the events from within the Prime Minister’s office.

Dr. Yitzhak Oren teaches political science and public diplomacy at the Academic College of Emek Yezreel and Haifa University. In the past he was a political advisor to Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin, as well as an envoy for US congress matters at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. and an Ambassador in Nigeria.

ToC: Journal of Palestine Studies 43.3 (2014)

Table of Contents Alert
University of California Press is happy to notify you that the new issue of Journal of Palestine Studies is now available. The online issues of this journal are hosted on JSTOR on behalf of University of California Press.
Journal Cover Journal of Palestine Studies
Vol. 43, No. 3, Spring 2014

Cover
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3

Front Matter
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3

Table of Contents
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3

FROM THE EDITOR
Rashid I. Khalidi
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 5.

REFLECTION

A Tribute to Eyad al-Sarraj
Sara Roy
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 6-8.

ARTICLE

Colonialism, Nationalism, and the Politics of Teaching History in Mandate Palestine
Elizabeth Brownson
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 9-25.

ESSAY

French Intellectuals and the Palestine Question
Farouk Mardam-Bey
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 26-39.

COMMENTARY: THE KERRY NEGOTIATIONS

Chronicles of a Death Foretold
Rashid I. Khalidi
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 40-42.

Behind Israel’s Demand for Recognition as a Jewish State
Diana Buttu
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 42-45.

The Debate about Kerry’s Economic Initiative: Pitfalls, Benefits, and Risks
Raja Khalidi
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 45-49.

Implications of the Kerry Framework: The Jordan Valley
Samia Al-Botmeh
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 49-51.

It’s Not Over until It’s Over
Mouin Rabbani
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 51-55.

SPECIAL DOCUMENT FILE

Academic Boycott of Israel: The American Studies Association Endorsement and Backlash
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 56-71.

RECENT BOOKS

Recent Book: The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge
The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge by by Ilan Pappé
Review by: Gilbert Achcar
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 72-74.

Recent Book: Communism and Zionism in Palestine during the British Mandate
Communism and Zionism in Palestine During the British Mandate by by Jacob Hen-Tov; Isaiah Friedman
Review by: Shira Robinson
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 74-75.

Recent Book: Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel
Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel by by Max Blumenthal
Review by: Steven Salaita
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 76-77.

Recent Book: Jil Oslo: Palestinian Hip Hop, Youth Culture and the Youth Movement
Jil Oslo: Palestinian Hip Hop, Youth Culture and the Youth Movement by by Sunaina Maira
Review by: Loubna Qutami
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 77-80.

Recent Book: Land of Progress: Palestine in the Age of Colonial Development, 1905-1948
Land of Progress: Palestine in the Age of Colonial Development, 1905-1948 by by Jacob Norris
Review by: Max Ajl
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 80-81.

Recent Book: Back Stories: U.S. News Production and Palestinian Politics
Back Stories: U.S. News Production and Palestinian Politics by by Amahl Bishara
Review by: Mike Berry
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 82-83.

SELECTIONS FROM THE PRESS
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 84-103.

PHOTOS FROM THE QUARTER
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 104-109.

PALESTINE UNBOUND
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 110-117.

UPDATE ON CONFLICT AND DIPLOMACY
Ben White
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 118-139.

CONGRESSIONAL MONITOR
Paul Karolyi
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 140-185.

DOCUMENTS AND SOURCE MATERIAL
Journal of Palestine Studies Spring 2014, Vol. 43, No. 3: 186-208.

New Article: “Symposium: Two States or One? The Future of Israelis and Palestinians”

Lustick, Ian, Yousef Munayyer, Jeremy Ben-Ami, and Ahmad Samih Khalidi. “Symposium: Two States or One? The Future of Israelis and Palestinians.” Middle East Policy 20.4 (2013): 1-28.

URL:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mepo.12042/abstract

Abstract

The following is an edited transcript of the seventy-fourth in a series of Capitol Hill conferences convened by the Middle East Policy Council. The meeting was held on October 9, 2013, at the Washington Court Hotel, with Omar Kader moderating and Thomas R. Mattair as the discussant. The video can be accessed at http://www.mepc.org/hill-forums/two-states-or-one-future-israelis-and-palestinians

Reviews: Hermann, The Israeli Peace Movement. A Shattered Dream

Hermann, Tamar S. The Israeli Peace Movement. A Shattered Dream. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

 

9780521884099i

Reviews

Steinberg, Gerald M. “Review.” Middle East Quarterly 17.3 (2010): 81.

Gidron, Benjamin. “Review.” Shofar 29.3 (2011): 180-182.

Darweish, Marwan. “Review.” Peace Review 23.1 (2011): 123-126.

Hrynkow, Christopher. “Review.” Peace & Change 37.4 (2012): 609-611.

Cite: Haas, Missed Ideological Opportunities and George W. Bush’s Middle Eastern Policies

Haas, Mark L. “Missed Ideological Opportunities and George W. Bush’s Middle Eastern Policies.” Security Studies 21.3 (2012): 416-54.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09636412.2012.706499

 

Abstract

Numerous analysts have criticized George W. Bush’s Middle Eastern policies for their strong ideological content. This article agrees with a core premise of these critiques, but it does so for very different reasons from most analyses. Ideological rigidity on some issues, paradoxically, prevented the Bush administration from taking advantage of the full range of ways in which ideologies shape international relations. There were three major opportunities to advance US interests in the Middle East during Bush’s presidency that were created by the effects of ideologies. First, liberalizing parties in otherwise illiberal regimes tended to be significantly more supportive of US interests than other ideological groups in the same country at the same time. Second, major ideological differences among different types of illiberal enemies of the United States enhanced America’s ability to adopt “wedge” strategies toward various hostile coalitions. Finally, the existence of different types of ideological enemies in the Middle East created incentives for some illiberals to align with the United States because of mutual ideological enmity for a third ideological group. The Bush administration, however, failed at key times to take advantage of these openings. If Bush administration officials had been less ideologically dogmatic while, somewhat paradoxically, making better strategic use of ideologies’ major international effects, America’s security would have been significantly advanced in critical cases.