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This book examines leaders of the seemingly intractable conflict between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors. It takes as an intellectual target of opportunity six Israeli prime ministers, asking why some of them have persisted in some hard-line positions but others have opted to become peacemakers. This book argues that some leaders do change, and above all it explains why and how such changes come about. This book goes beyond arguing simply that “leaders matter” by analyzing how their particular belief systems and personalities can ultimately make a difference to their country's foreign policy, especially toward a long-standing enemy. Although no hard-liner can stand completely still in the face of important changes, only those with ideologies that have specific components that act as obstacles to change and who have an orientation toward the past may need to be replaced for dramatic policy changes to take place.Read more
- Explores the conditions under which wars end and peace is negotiated
- Analyzes the conversion of leaders from hard-liners to negotiators of peace and the way these conversions influence the timing and probability that peace can be achieved
- Provides a comparative study of the personalities and ideologies of six Israeli prime ministers and how these traits influenced Israel's foreign policy toward the PLO and the Palestinian Authority
Reviews & endorsements
"Yael S. Aronoff’s book interweaves international relations theory with selected aspects of Israeli history (Israeli leadership styles) in a very skilful way, making an important contribution both to IR theory and to the literature on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Composed in a clearly written style, it will offer important insights to undergraduates, graduate students, and researchers alike."
Robert O. Freedman, The Johns Hopkins UniversitySee more reviews
"Making her case through political biographies of six recent Israeli leaders, Yael S. Aronoff argues that leaders matter when it comes to peace. Aronoff details that features of Israeli leaders’ ideology and their propensity for risk taking predispose them for, or against, major changes in the status quo. She evaluates the extent to which their image of the enemy is subject to change and other psychological dimensions relevant to rethinking foreign policies toward the Palestinians and Arab states. Nicely structured and written in accessible prose, the book draws on an impressive familiarity with psychological theory and Israeli politics."
Richard Ned Lebow, King’s College London
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- Date Published: May 2014
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107669802
- length: 248 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.37kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: when hard-liners opt for peace
2. Yitzhak Shamir: once a hawk, always a hawk
3. Benjamin Netanyahu: battling the world
4. Ariel Sharon: from warfare to withdrawal
5. Yitzhak Rabin: from hawk to Nobel Prize peacemaker
6. Ehud Barak: all or nothing
7. Shimon Peres: from Dimona to Oslo
8. Expanding the political conversion story
Appendix A. Political psychology of Israeli prime ministers: summary table of key factors and findings
Appendix B. Interviews by the author.
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