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Conceptions of Israel and the formation of the Egyptian foreign policy: 1952-1981.

Stein, Ewan (2008) Conceptions of Israel and the formation of the Egyptian foreign policy: 1952-1981. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis examines conceptions of Israel in the formation of Egyptian foreign policy during the eras of Nasser and Sadat, with the particular goal of clarifying the way in which Israel was conceptualised following the October 1973 War and the beginning of a process of 'normalisation' between the two states. It suggests that examining ideas in terms of paradigms is more useful than using the concept of 'identity' to understand the evolution of ideas about Israel in Egypt. I argue that Israel has been conceptualised by Egyptian intellectuals and regimes from within three main paradigms, which I term 'anti-imperialism', 'the nation-state' and the 'culture-clash.' Although these paradigms were closely associated with Egyptian Marxist, liberal and Islamist political movements, the thesis shows that from 1952 thinkers associated with these movements, as well as regimes, combined elements of the different paradigms in conceptualising Israel in ways that changed over time. The thesis draws on Antonio Gramsci, Karl Mannheim and E.H. Carr to make the theoretical argument that conceptions of other state actors must be understood in relation to a state's international and regional priorities as well as the way in which regimes, and 'counter-hegemonic' movements, seek to connect intellectually with key domestic constituencies. While Carr and modem constructivist IR theorists help shed light on the regional and international factors contributing to the adoption of certain conceptions of Israel at the level of the state, viewing Egyptian politics through a Gramscian lens highlights domestic political factors and their interaction with regional and global dynamics. I conclude that where there is an ideological disconnect between elites and masses-where a Gramscian 'historical bloc' is absent-conceptions of international politics and the nature of other state actors may be configured with reference to the idea systems promoted and accepted by 'counterhegemonies' and constitute neither 'masks' for self-interested foreign policy nor reflections of an evolving national identity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations, History, Middle Eastern, History, African
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International Relations
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2149

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