Identity and Foreign Policy-Making: A Comparative Analysis of Self-Other Perceptions in EU-Russia Peace-Making Towards the Palestinian Statehood, 2000-2012. 'An Analysis of the Role of Identity in the Process of Peace-Making in the Middle East.'
Alagha, Malath Abed Elraheem
Date: 23 July 2014
University of Exeter
PhD in Politics
This thesis seeks to answer the following question: How and to what extent does identity and Self-Other perception influence the foreign policy of the EU and Russia toward the establishment of a sovereign and viable Palestinian State? The thesis scrutinises the assumption that identity and Self-perception as well as perception of ...
This thesis seeks to answer the following question: How and to what extent does identity and Self-Other perception influence the foreign policy of the EU and Russia toward the establishment of a sovereign and viable Palestinian State? The thesis scrutinises the assumption that identity and Self-perception as well as perception of ‘otherness’ play a vital role in defining foreign policy-making, with policy toward the Middle East being no exception. The investigation focuses on how the EU’s and Russia’s desire to reinforce their ‘global actorness’ on the international stage informs their involvement in the Middle East peace process. This assumption brings into the analysis the dynamic of constructivism in the shaping of foreign policy. Through a constructivist approach, the thesis attempts to explore how Self-Other perception informs foreign policy-making, specifically by the EU and Russia, in relation to Palestinian statehood. Thus the thesis problematises existing views about the role of established IR schools in understanding foreign policy-making (namely, in terms of peace-making). The study seeks to deepen our understanding of the role of identity and Self-Other perception in EU and Russian foreign policy-making by going beyond conventional understanding of foreign policy-making that are fixated on ‘power’, with special reference to the question of Palestinian statehood. In this vein, I advance the argument that, contrary to the old assumptions of schools such as realism and liberalism, there is a role played by identity and ideas that needs to be assessed in the context of EU and Russian peace-making in the Middle East. The thesis tests these assumptions using a qualitative methodology to investigate the making of foreign policy by the EU and Russia. Discourse analysis is the main method employed to interpret the role of identity and Self-Other perceptions. This is done through a study of discourse made up of official documents and statements as well as interviews with diplomats with current and past involvement in the formulation of EU and Russian foreign policy.
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