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Title:International Relations Theories and International Organizations: Realism, Constructivism, and Collective Security in the League of Arab States
Author(s):Salem, Ahmed Ali
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Diehl, Paul F.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, Middle Eastern
Abstract:Realism and constructivism are international relations paradigms that define different necessary conditions for international organizations to act. While Realists argue that international organizations actions are mere reflections of the imperatives of global and regional balances of power, constructivists contend that these actions reflect not only power politics but norms and identity politics as well. Non-state-centric constructivists further argue that international organizations act as consensual communities and bureaucracies. I developed a set of four realist and four non-state-centric constructivist hypotheses as applied to international organizations, and tested them in collective security actions that an international organization undertakes against a member that evidently planned or committed aggression against another member. I used the Arab League's responses to the Iraq-Kuwait crises in 1961 and 1990 as case studies. These cases are especially appropriate for testing necessary conditions because they are the only cases in which the Arab League invoked its collective security measures, and although they are most similar in terms of backgrounds, the Arab League's collective security measures invoked in them varied significantly. Among other sources, I examined Arab League documents that were available to very few researchers. The test results are mixed. Of the two realist hypotheses testing the principal actors in international organizations, one is firmly confirmed in one case and confirmed with qualifications in the other case. The other hypothesis is also firmly confirmed in one case only. The two constructivist hypotheses on principal actors are firmly confirmed in one case and firmly falsified in the other case. One of the two realist hypotheses that subdue norms to power in international organizations is confirmed with qualifications, while the other is falsified with qualifications. As for the two constructivist hypotheses that highlight normative impacts in international organizations, one is confirmed with qualifications, while the other is firmly falsified. Because neither realism nor constructivism is decisively supported or refuted, I suggest testing the realist and constructivist hypotheses developed in this study in different contexts, and combing key realist and constructivist variables or even synthesizing them carefully so that their allegedly incompatible ontological and epistemological bases are taken into account.
Issue Date:2006
Description:281 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3242980
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2006

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