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Dissertation zugänglich unter
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:18-39443
URL: http://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/volltexte/2010/3944/

Israel's European Policy after the Cold War

Israels Europapolitik seit Ende des Ost-West-Konfliktes

Ahlswede, Stefan

 Dokument 1.pdf (1.835 KB) 

SWD-Schlagwörter: Israel , Abkommen über den Europäischen Wirtschaftsraum , Europäische Gemeinschaften , Europäische Gemeinschaft , Europabild , Europäische Integration
Freie Schlagwörter (Deutsch): Europapolitik , assymmetrische Interdependenz , Alltagspolitik
Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): foreign policy , European Union , low policy , European integration , European Economic Area , European Communty , perception
Basisklassifikation: 89.73 , 89.50 , 89.90
Institut: Sozialwissenschaften
DDC-Sachgruppe: Politik
Dokumentart: Dissertation
Hauptberichter: Tetzlaff, Rainer (Prof. Dr.)
Sprache: Englisch
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 10.12.2008
Erstellungsjahr: 2008
Publikationsdatum: 28.01.2010
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: Israel is the European Union's most important trade partner in the Middle East, the only democracy in the region and a central actor in this conflict-ridden area to which the EU has been moving closer and closer. This study establishes what has been governing Israel’s attitudes and behaviour towards the European Community/ European Union since the late 1980s. With the help of a number of case studies a set of four questions is answered: What does Israel want from Europe? Why does Israel want whatever it wants? How does it go about it? And finally, who are the relevant actors?

Centrally, this study scrutinises if changes in the environment of Israel's European policy have a profound impact on Israel's policy towards the EC/EU, so the end of the Cold War and particularly the reversal of Israel's peace process policy under Rabin, but also changes of Israel's government. As our analysis shows, Israel's European policy is astonishingly autonomous: These developments certainly had an impact on Israel’s behaviour, but the change in behaviour has been due to the change in circumstances and not to a change in the substance of Israel's attitude. In terms of the enhanced systems theory framework we use, output variations are caused by input variations, not by a change in process.

Israel's European policy is almost exclusively day-to-day politics. No great crises and no threats to Israel’s vital interests have arisen from this policy field. At the same time, Israel-EC/EU relations show an asymmetry of power which is heavily tilted in favour of the Europeans. This analysis thus offers an insight into the workings of low politics of second or third priority, a view that is far from rare but rarely taken. It also sheds light on the behaviour of a state at the inferior end of an asymmetry of power. How does Israel cope as a much less powerful state when dealing with a vastly larger and more powerful actor, the EU? Which tactic will it use, which behaviour will it show?

Case studies used to establish Israel's European policy include Israel's conflict with the European Parliament over independent Palestinian export 1986–1988 and the issue of a European participation in the 1991 Madrid Conference; the question of a European role in the 1996 “Grapes of Wrath” Agreement on South Lebanon; Israel’s stance towards the EU’s special envoy to the Middle East; Israel’s attitude towards the Barcelona Process and finally if and in what way Israel has tried to counterbalance a possible decrease of American commitment by moving closer to the EU. To understand Israel’s aims and tactics in integration policy, the 1995 upgrade of formal relations in the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement and Israel’s admission to the EU’s Research and Development Framework Programme is analysed in detail.

Special attention is paid to images and perceptions that Israel has held of itself, of Europe and of the EU's attitude. We shed light on misperceptions and on possible policy failures that may result from these. Conflicts of aims in Israel's European policy are presented as well as incompatibilities with Israel's self-perception and vision.


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