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Between Passive and Active: The Saudi Arabian Foreign Policy Towards Israel

Alghashian, Abdulaziz (2019) Between Passive and Active: The Saudi Arabian Foreign Policy Towards Israel. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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The Saudi foreign policy towards Israel is often misunderstood. The discourse surrounding Saudi-Israeli relations have either emphasised the strong animosity between them, or, have suggested a kind of ‘alliance’ resulting from Saudi-Israeli shared animosity towards Iran. This project argues against both accounts. Instead, it will argue that Saudi foreign policy towards Israel balances between promoting significant security interests, while maintaining its conservative identity. As a result, I conceptualise both concepts of cooperation and communication to explain how Saudi Arabia has achieved this balance. Passive cooperation is a concept where actors reach mutual goals, but not engage openly or publically with each other, nor explicit coordination. Accordingly, Saudi Arabian foreign policy achieves mutual goals with Israel, while navigating around domestic and external constraints. The Saudi ruling elite have also communicated their willingness of having active cooperation, if certain conditions are met. Although they have communicated the potentiality of active cooperation, they have not done this in an explicit way, rather, in a passive way. In brief, passive communication achieves a ‘communicative balance’ where actors balance between different audiences and their own identity. The nature of the language used by Saudi statesmen and diplomats is contingent, and therefore enables simultaneous different meanings to be communicated to different actors, and can also allow the perception of Israel to change according to each context. Finally, the project examines the passive foreign policy that Saudi Arabia has towards Israel, a foreign policy that delicately balances between not being too close, and not being too far.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2019 13:04
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2021 11:15

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