Balancing Act: US Foreign Policy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Balancing Act

US Foreign Policy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1st Edition

By Vaughn P. Shannon


156 pages

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Hardback: 9780754635918
pub: 2003-06-28
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Vaughn P. Shannon argues that US foreign policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict has been determined at three levels of analysis: that of systemic strategic context, that of domestic politics, and that of individual decision-makers. In this book he explores the role of each level of influence, as well as the implications for the posture which the US has chosen. Reflecting changing circumstances, the volume examines the Cold War, the Gulf War and the new 'War on Terror' and how they have each placed differing pressures on US policymakers as they strive to maintain the ultimate strategic goal of preserving regional oil from becoming dominated by hostile forces. It is suitable for courses on American foreign policy, world politics and politics of the Middle East.


'In a concise yet wide-ranging analysis, Vaughn Shannon traces America's complex undertaking in the Middle East since World War Two. He shows clearly and persuasively that the formulation of US policy has been constrained by two competing pressures: the geo-strategic need for security and access to oil which requires good relations with the Arabs ranged against electoral and interest-group politics that entail a pro-Israeli stance. The result is that on many occasions, successive American administrations tried to please all parties to the conflict, but often ended up pleasing no one. The prose is fluid and accessible, yet analytically rigorous, and a volatile subject matter is treated with admirable neutrality.' Adeed Dawisha, author of Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century: From Triumph to Despair 'This work is especially recommended for undergraduates who seek to understand the dynamics shaping US policy toward the Middle East in recent decades. It is especially useful in highlighting the role of domestic politics in affecting foreign policy.' Professor Gifford B. Doxsee, Ohio University, Athens ’…a very structured and analytical approach…an excellent monograph…Shannon does a masterful job of situating and assessing US policy success or failure within this three-cornered framework.’ Journal of Energy Literature '…Vaughn Shannon's work offers a significant contribution to our existing knowledge of the conflict and enriches our understanding of it…Shannon's well-documented monograph is timely.' Etudes internationales 'Shannon has written a concise and thorough introduction to the Israeli-Arab problem…This book should be more than adaquate as a research tool or as a graduate reader. Yet its easily followed prose makes it suitable for the layman as well…this book is a recommendable read.' Contemporary Security Policy '…a timely contribution to the understanding of US foreign policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict…On balance, Balanci

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Context of conflict: perspectives on the Arab-Israeli conflict; Present at the creation: US policy to 1949; Evolution of a 'Special Relationship': 1949-1967; War and peace: 1967-1979; From Cold War to Gulf War: new threats and new opportunities, 1979-1991; Implementing Oslo: 1991-2000; After Oslo: the politics of peace and terror, 2000-2002; Conclusion: assessing the balance sheet; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Vaughn P Shannon is Assistant Professor within the Department of Political Science at Wright State University, USA

About the Series

US Foreign Policy and Conflict in the Islamic World

US Foreign Policy and Conflict in the Islamic World
The proliferation of an anti-US ideology among radicalized Islamic groups has emerged as one of the most significant security concerns for the United States and contemporary global relations in the wake of the end of the Cold War. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 demonstrated the danger posed by Islamic extremists to US domestic and foreign interests. Through a wealth of case studies this new series examines the role that US foreign policy has played in exacerbating or ameliorating hostilities among and within Muslim nations as a means of exploring the rise in tension between some Islamic groups and the West. The series provides an interdisciplinary framework of analysis which, transcending traditional, narrow modes of inquiry, permits a comprehensive examination of US foreign policy in the context of the Islamic world.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General