The alliances of a regional power : the case of Syria, 1970-1989
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The topic of this dissertation is the alliances of a regional power. The framework used to explain this central aspect of International Relations is the realist one, and particularly the work of the Classical Realist Arnold Wolfers. The regional, state and domestic dimension are integrated in order to provide an “updated realist” interpretation of alliances, why states form them, maintain them or break them. This dissertation seeks to recover the concept of state’s goals that was central to Classical Realism and then “abandoned” when Neorealism became the dominant Realist paradigm. The case studies used in this research is Syria during the 1970-1989 phase and particularly five pivotal relations: the Egypt 1973 war alliance, the 1978 failed détente with Iraq, the 1979 Damascus-Tehran alliance, the regional client-superpower alliance with the USSR and finally the relation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. By analysing Syria’s foreign policy and particularly these five relations this dissertation show how a framework based on realism provides a coherent and insightful interpretation of a regional power’s foreign policy.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2020-06-01
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 1st June 2020, pending formal approval
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