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The International Self
Psychoanalysis and the Search for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
The International Self
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Mira M. Sucharov - Author
SUNY series in Israeli Studies
Price: $65.00 
Hardcover - 244 pages
Release Date: July 2005
ISBN10: 0-7914-6505-5
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6505-9

Quantity:  
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 244 pages
Release Date: June 2006
ISBN10: 0-7914-6506-3
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6506-6

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Uses a social-psychoanalytic model to argue that collective identity shapes foreign policy changes.

The International Self explores an age-old question in international affairs, one that has been particularly pressing in the context of the contemporary Middle East: what leads long-standing adversaries to seek peace? Mira M. Sucharov employs a socio-psychoanalytic model to argue that collective identity ultimately shapes foreign policy and policy change. Specifically, she shows that all states possess a distinctive role-identity that tends to shape behavior in the international realm. When policy deviates too greatly from the established role-identity, the population experiences cognitive dissonance and expresses this through counternarratives—an unconscious representation of what the polity collectively fears in itself—propelling political elites to realign the state’s policy with its identity. Focusing on Israel’s decision to embark on negotiations leading to the 1993 agreement with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Sucharov sees this policy reversal as a reaction to the unease generated by two events in the 1980s—the war in Lebanon and the first Palestinian Intifada—that contradicted Israelis’ perceptions of their state as a “defensive warrior.” Her argument bridges the fields of conflict resolution, Middle East studies, and international relations.

“Sucharov’s attempt at introducing a new way to analyze the conflict is a courageous and definitely innovative one … [it] is particularly pertinent in light of the recent American rhetoric of ‘no choice’ with regard to its war against Iraq.” — International Journal of Middle East Studies

“…Sucharov successfully provides a balanced account … In the final analysis, this book does much more than provide important new insights into Israeli-Palestinian peace-making. It introduces innovative tools to analyze policy decisions in conflict situations, and should generate comparative studies in other regions of the world.” — International Journal

“This is an innovative case study of why the stronger party in an enduring international rivalry would negotiate for peace, perhaps more about social psychology and interaction than about psychoanalysis … It is surprisingly readable, yet technically sound; more process oriented than the often-quoted Freudian pseudo analyses of governmental leaders.” — CHOICE

“Sucharov provides a genuine contribution to contemporary debates in international relations theory. Her application of psychoanalysis to international conflict and peace studies is entirely new and will promote further research in this area.” — Tami Amanda Jacoby, coeditor of Redefining Security in the Middle East

Mira M. Sucharov is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Carleton University.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

1. Introduction

2. Psychoanalysis and International Relations

3. The Israeli Self

4. The Security Ethic of the IDF

5. Israel and the Lebanon War

6. Israel and the Intifada

7. From Dissonance to Rightsizing—Israel's Path to Oslo

8. Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index



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44068/44069(MR/KW/MC)

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