Chapter

Comparative foreign policies: explaining foreign policy variation

Raymond Hinnebusch

in The International Politics of the Middle East

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print April 2003 | ISBN: 9780719053450
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700204 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719053450.003.0006
Comparative foreign policies: explaining foreign policy variation

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This chapter uses comparative analysis to elucidate how the interaction between the system level and particular state formation paths shapes similarities and differences in states' international behaviour. What explains the similarities and differences in the foreign policy behaviour of Middle East states? As this chapter shows, neither state features nor systemic forces alone have an impact on foreign policy but the interrelation between a state's specific position in systemic structures and its particular internal features determines its foreign policy behaviour. The level of consolidation determines whether a state remains a victim of its systemic environment or becomes an effective actor in it. Finally, leadership, by virtue of its location at the intersection of the systemic and the domestic, can make choices that set states on new tangents.

Keywords: state formation; international behaviour; Middle East; systemic forces; state consolidation

Chapter.  12447 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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