What explains the similarities and differences in the foreign policy behaviour of Middle East states? The relative explanatory weight carried by domestic politics versus that of the systemic arenas in which states operate is a matter of some dispute between pluralists on the one hand, and realists and structuralists on the other. On the face of it, if the domestic level is determinant, as pluralists tend to argue, different kinds of states should follow different foreign policies and similar ones similar policies. If the systemic level is
internationally, leaving a vacation in Rio de Janeiro or Carnaval in Salvador as the annual break. Put more prosaically, just as English is a near-necessity for easy travel by a foreigner in the US, life in Brazil without some basic Portuguese can be almost impossible – Spanish is not a substitute. It is thus not too surprising to find that until recently foreign policy has remained something of an esoteric pursuit undertaken by an isolated group of specialists, most of whom could be found inside the Itamaraty Palace. Indeed, the 2014 presidential election debates in Brazil
Conspiracy theory and American foreign policy examines the relationship between secrecy, power and interpretation around international political controversy, where foreign policy orthodoxy comes up hard against alternative interpretations. It does so in the context of American foreign policy during the War on Terror, a conflict that was quintessentially covert and conspiratorial. This book adds a new dimension to the debate by examining what I coin the ‘Arab-Muslim paranoia narrative’: the view that Arab-Muslim resentment towards America was motivated to some degree by a paranoid perception of American power in the Middle East. Immediately after 9/11, prominent commentators pointed to an Arab-Muslim culture of blame and a related tendency towards conspiracy theories about America’s regional influence as an important cultural driver of anti-Americanism. This narrative subsequently made its way into numerous US Government policy documents and initiatives advancing a War of Ideas strategy aimed at winning the ‘hearts and minds’ of Arab-Muslims. The book provides a novel reading of the processes through which legitimacy and illegitimacy is produced in foreign policy discourses. It will also appeal to a wider cross-disciplinary audience interested in the burgeoning issues of conspiracy, paranoia, and popular knowledge, including their relationship to and consequences for contemporary politics.
It is frequently claimed that foreign policy making in Middle East states is either the idiosyncratic product of personalistic dictators or the irrational outcome of domestic instability. In fact, it can only be adequately understood by analysis of the multiple factors common to all states, namely: (1) foreign policy determinants (interests, challenges) to which decision-makers respond when they shape policies; and (2) foreign policy structures and processes which factor the ‘inputs’ made by various actors into a policy addressing these
Introduction This chapter explores how the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) has instrumentalized development to project influence into sub-Saharan Africa. This analysis contributes to the extant scholarship on the IRI's foreign policy in terms of geography, periodization, and tactics. Geographically, the literature tends to focus on the United States (US) and the Middle East, especially its Shi‘a territories and communities. Numerous books examine the root causes of the adversarial relationship between the US and Iran, as
Introduction The current dispute between Qatar and the Quartet countries (a coalition of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates [UAE], Bahrain, and Egypt) initiated a new, complex pan-regional dynamic involving a web of contradicting foreign policy directions and interests. The massive financial resources and international connections of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have provided considerable political leverage at the regional and international levels. The contest for political influence between the Gulf states became
Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century provides the first analysis of the state of UK Africa policy in the era of austerity, Conservative government and Brexit. It explores how Britain’s relationship with Africa has evolved since the days of Blair, Brown and Make Poverty History and examines how a changing UK political environment, and international context, has impacted upon this long-standing – and deeply complex – relationship. This edited collection provides an indispensable reference point for researchers and practitioners interested in contemporary UK–Africa relations and the broader place of Africa in British politics and foreign policy. Across twelve chapters, the book’s contributors examine how far UK Africa policy has been transformed since the fall of the 1997–2010 Labour Government and how far Conservative, or Conservative-led, Governments have reshaped and re-cast links with the continent. The book includes analyses of UK approaches to diplomacy, security, peacekeeping, trade and international development in, or with, Africa. The contributions, offered by UK- and Africa-based scholars and practitioners, nonetheless take a broader perspective on UK–Africa relations, examining the changing perspectives, policies and actions of political parties, advocacy groups and the UK population itself. The authors argue that the Afro-optimism of the Blair years no longer provides the guiding framework for UK engagement with Africa. It has not, however, been replaced by an alternative paradigm, leaving significant space for different forms of relationship to be built, or reconstructed. The book includes a foreword by Chi Onwurah MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Africa.
France has been a central actor in human protection, yet the existing literature has too often focused on Anglo-Saxon states or states that are wary of its development. In order to address this gap, this book provides an original and much-needed account of France’s relationship to human protection since the 1980s. It analyses a ‘tale of two norms’ using an innovative theoretical framework: The first is ‘France’s domestic norm of human protection’, and the second is the dominant international principle or norm of human protection at the time (chiefly humanitarian intervention in the 1990s and the responsibility to protect (R2P) in the 2000s). Through this ‘tale of two norms’, and also thanks to interviews with key actors such as Gareth Evans and Bernard Kouchner and analysis of fourteen case studies, the book reshapes our understanding of the development and influence of key principles and norms of human protection. It also corrects prevailing assumptions about France’s foreign policy and allows us to anticipate its future foreign policy more accurately. Last but not least, by showing how important it is to pay more attention to the interplay between domestic and international norms and building an innovative framework that can be used beyond the analysis of France and human protection, the book makes a key contribution to the literature on norms and International Relations theory more generally. The book is therefore an essential read for anyone interested in human protection, peace studies, France, foreign policy analysis, International Relations and norm diffusion.
This edited volume explores the political, economic and security legacies former US President Barack Obama leaves across Asia and the Pacific, following two terms in office between 2009 and 2017. The aim is to advance our understanding of Obama’s style, influence and impact by interrogating the nature and contours of US engagement throughout the region, and the footprint he leaves behind. Moreover, it is to inform upon the endurance of, and prospects for, the legacies Obama leaves in a region increasingly reimaged in Washington as the Indo-Pacific. Contributors to the volume examine these questions in early 2019, at around the halfway point of the 2017–2021 Presidency of Donald Trump, as his administration opens a new and potentially divergent chapter of American internationalism. The volume uniquely explores the contours and dimensions of US relations and interactions with key Indo-Pacific states including China, India, Japan, North Korea and Australia; multilateral institutions and organisations such the East Asia Summit and ASEAN; and salient issue areas such as regional security, politics and diplomacy, and the economy. It does so with contributions from high-profile scholars and policy practitioners, including Michael Mastanduno, Bruce Cumings, Maryanne Kelton, Robert Sutter and Sumit Ganguly. The volume will be of interest to students and scholars of the international relations of Asia and the Pacific, broadly defined; US foreign policy and global engagement; the record and legacies of former President Barack Obama; and the foreign policies of the administration of President Donald Trump.
This book analyses the Syria crisis and the role of chemical weapons, in relation to US foreign policy. The Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons and their subsequent elimination would dominate the US’ response to the conflict, where these are viewed as particularly horrific arms – a repulsion known as the chemical taboo. On the surface, this would seem an appropriate reaction: these are vile and intolerable weapons, and eradicating them would ostensibly comprise a ‘good’ move. But this book reveals two new aspects of the taboo that challenge this view. First, actors employ the taboo strategically to advance their own self-interested policy objectives. This is in contrast to the highly static and constructivist approaches that have informed conceptualisation of the taboo until now. Far from a situation of normative adherence, this is a case in which the taboo exists as a strategic political resource, used to achieve aims that may have nothing to do with preventing chemical warfare. Second, it is argued that applying the taboo to Syria has exacerbated the crisis. While many expound the benefits of the taboo, it is demonstrated here that the exact opposite is true. The taboo has actually made the conflict significantly worse. As such, this book not only provides a timely analysis of Syria, but also a major and original rethink of the chemical taboo, as well as international norms more widely.