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Title: Saudi Arabia and Iraq, 2003 to 2010 : a study of interaction in international relations
Author: Harvey, Katherine St. John
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 5317
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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This study draws upon the constructivist and political psychology literatures to examine the interaction between the Saudi and Iraqi governments in the period between the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and 2010, the eve of the Arab Spring. Specifically, it assesses the Saudi foreign policy decision not to engage with the first government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. The thesis argues that King ʿAbdallah of Saudi Arabia, who operated as the ultimate foreign policy decision-maker within the Saudi state with regard to policy toward Iraq, refused to engage with the al-Maliki government because of his mistaken belief that Prime Minister al-Maliki was an Iranian agent and therefore an enemy to Saudi Arabia. In adhering to this belief, ʿAbdallah appeared to overlook the considerable evidence which existed to disprove it. Moreover, in believing that al-Maliki was an enemy and treating his government as such, King ʿAbdallah contributed to the creation of a self-fulfilling prophecy. In the early years of his premiership, al-Maliki demonstrated a desire to establish a positive relationship with Saudi Arabia, while taking actions that indicated a genuine intention to pursue an independent course from Iran. By the end of the period under examination, however, al-Maliki perceived that Iraq's new Shiʿa-led order, as well as his premiership, was threatened by Saudi Arabia due to its refusal to engage with his government. He therefore ultimately decided to align with Iran, while becoming openly hostile to Saudi Arabia. Constructivist scholar Alexander Wendt contends that when one actor casts another into the role of an enemy, their relations are likely to devolve into conflict through the mechanism of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Consistent with Wendt's analysis, examination of the interaction between Saudi Arabia and Iraq in the period through 2010 provides a case study of how enmity becomes self-fulfilling.
Supervisor: Farquhar, Michael James ; Gunning, Jeronimo Willem Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available