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The International Politics of the Middle East$
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Raymond Hinnebusch

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780719053450

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719053450.001.0001

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Comparative foreign policies: explaining foreign policy variation

Comparative foreign policies: explaining foreign policy variation

Chapter:
(p.121) 6 Comparative foreign policies: explaining foreign policy variation
Source:
The International Politics of the Middle East
Author(s):

Raymond Hinnebusch

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719053450.003.0006

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

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