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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Abedi, Amir, 1966-

Second Advisor

Biswas, Bidisha

Third Advisor

Johnson, Vernon Damani


This study tests whether the consensus on German foreign policy continuity after unification is applicable to foreign policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where the involvement is complicated by historical legacies resulting from the Holocaust, and includes an evaluation of realist and constructivist theories. An interpretative case study with comparative insights from EU, UK and French foreign policy considers three cases in the pre- and two in the postunification period: the 1967 War, the 1982 Israel-Lebanon War and the 1987 Intifada; and the Red-Green Coalition period from 2000-2005 and the Grand Coalition period from 2005-2009 respectively. The hypothesis of foreign policy continuity caused primarily by an elite level norm of philo-Zionism is confirmed, although a constructivist reading needs to also acknowledge rational liberal norm compliance. European integration and national interests are further determinants of German foreign policy towards the conflict, whereas transatlantic relations and U.S. involvement have merely an enabling or obstructing impact on the success of German (and European) policy. While the findings support constructivism and illustrate the salience of norms in German foreign policy making, they also demonstrate the limitations of the civilian power model, which is at the core of the constructivist continuity thesis.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Arab-Israeli conflict--Government policy--Germany; Germany--Foreign relations--Middle East

Geographic Coverage

Germany; Middle East




masters theses




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