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Title: Beltway battles : ideology and infighting in US foreign policy toward the Middle East 2001-2006
Author: Ashooh, Jessica P.
ISNI:       0000 0000 5119 8484
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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The record of American foreign policy in the Middle East between 2001 and 2006 is marked mostly by failures of the Bush Administration to achieve its stated objectives, including reducing terrorism, stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and spreading liberal democracy. Still, there are also notable bright spots, including the case of Libya’s diplomatic rehabilitation. What is it, then, that accounts for this success in the face of so many other failures where the policy goals were markedly similar? I argue that a partial explanation of this discrepancy can be found in the nature of infighting between ideological realists and neoconservatives within the foreign policy bureaucracy. In doing so, process tracing is used to examine policy development toward four country cases: Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and Libya, with Libya acting as the control. The object of these case studies is to demonstrate existence of a previously undescribed model of bureaucratic infighting, based on competing ideological differences regarding the fundamental direction and conduct of US foreign policy. I call this the Ideological Infighting, or I2, Model. Whereas previous works of US foreign policy analysis have focused only on the roles of individuals’ ideology or on bureaucratic interests, this study unites both. In doing so, it describes the policy effects that result from ideological disagreements within the executive agencies, rather than viewing a presidential administration as an ideologically coherent entity. It also refines understandings of the relationship between the President and his advisors. Finally, although this work deals specifically with the Middle East, the model is generalizable to all areas of US foreign policy.
Supervisor: Shlaim, Avi Sponsor: Marshall Scholarship ; Clarendon Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Middle East ; American politics ; Political science ; International studies ; Political ideologies ; Foreign policy analysis ; US foreign policy ; Middle East ; bureaucratic politics ; Iraq ; Iran ; Lebanon ; Libya ; neoconservatism