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The Middle East in Transatlantic Politics 2003 – 2009. Why European and American Policies Towards Middle East Issues Converge and Diverge Despite Agreement on Common Goals

Metawe, Mohamed

German Title: Der Mittlere Osten in der transatlantischen Politik 2003 - 2009

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Abstract

The study asks a major question: Why do European and American policies converge and diverge towards Middle East issues despite their agreement on common goals? In answering this question the study examines the actual behavior of transatlantic allies towards Iraq, Iran, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In its second part, the study draws on the Arab elite perception of transatlantic policies towards Middle East. The study presumes two main arguments; the first is that transatlantic divergences with respect to the Middle East are in details (tools), but not in the essence of policies. The second is that transatlantic allies' convergences regarding the Middle East make their policies more coherent. Based on a multidimensional methodology, the study attempts to illustrate the reasons behind the transatlantic divergences and convergences over the Middle East issues, particularly with respect to the Iraq war, the Iranian nuclear crisis, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In a sense, the study uses the combination of neo-realism, neo-liberalism, and constructivism to explain the ups and downs in the transatlantic policies towards the Middle East through three case studies; the Iraq war, the Iranian nuclear quandary, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The first part of the study puts forward that transatlantic policies in Middle East diverge and converge for different reasons in each case study that range from neo-realist to neo-liberal to constructivist explanations. In doing so, the study examines transatlantic theoretical frameworks, strategies, priorities, and policies towards three case studies (Iraq war, Iranian nuclear crisis, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict). Anchored in a questionnaire, the second part dwells on the Arab elite perspective towards transatlantic policies in the Middle East, through personal interviews with a random sample of Arab pundits in both Egypt and Jordan. In this part, the study puts forward that the Arab interview partners maintained that transatlantic convergence was the landmark of their policies even though there were superficial divergences. Based on a statistical and an analytical examination of the interview partners’ answers, the author modestly attempts to link Arab perception’s findings with dissertation’s theoretical framework and the findings of the first part. A final conclusion attempts to answer both the sub-questions and the major question and verifies the main arguments of the study. Finally, out of the dissertation’s two parts findings a very modest and slight comparison between the Arab and the western perspectives towards transatlantic policies in the Middle East is examined.

Translation of abstract (English)

Die Arbeit stellt eine Frage: Warum nähern sich europäische und amerikanische Politiken dem Mittleren Osten an, obwohl sie sich auf gemeinsame Ziele geeinigt haben?

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Junker, Prof. Dr. Detlef
Date of thesis defense: 21 July 2011
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2011 09:26
Date: 2011
Faculties / Institutes: Service facilities > Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA)
Subjects: 320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords: Middle East , Transatlantic relations , Iraq , Iran , Palestinian-Israeli Conflict , Arab Prespective
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