The Cultural Turn in the US-Israeli Relationship

The Cultural Turn in the US-Israeli Relationship Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 2 (2009) 13–32 brill.nl/mjcc MEJCC © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI 10.1163/187398609X430598 Th e Cultural Turn in the US-Israeli Relationship Elizabeth Stephens and Steve Morewood University of Birmingham Abstract Th e ‘special relationship’ between the United States and Israel has endured for more than four decades and is one of the more anomalous global political alliances. Conventional explanations have consistently failed to elucidate the underlying nuances of a relationship that has endured the transition from the Cold War to the unipolar world to the present day ‘war on terror’ and is often costly to the USA in economic and geostrategic terms. Th is article argues that the nebulous but still valuable concept of political culture provides a crucial ingredient to any understanding of the special relationship. In perceiving their society to be a beacon of what they like to call ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy,’ in a world in which these values are largely absent, Americans have been encouraged to believe that they share a political kinship with societies similarly imbued and that they have an obligation to assist where such values are under threat. Th is process of identifi cation is http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication Brill

The Cultural Turn in the US-Israeli Relationship

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2009 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1873-9857
eISSN
1873-9865
DOI
10.1163/187398609X430598
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 2 (2009) 13–32 brill.nl/mjcc MEJCC © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI 10.1163/187398609X430598 Th e Cultural Turn in the US-Israeli Relationship Elizabeth Stephens and Steve Morewood University of Birmingham Abstract Th e ‘special relationship’ between the United States and Israel has endured for more than four decades and is one of the more anomalous global political alliances. Conventional explanations have consistently failed to elucidate the underlying nuances of a relationship that has endured the transition from the Cold War to the unipolar world to the present day ‘war on terror’ and is often costly to the USA in economic and geostrategic terms. Th is article argues that the nebulous but still valuable concept of political culture provides a crucial ingredient to any understanding of the special relationship. In perceiving their society to be a beacon of what they like to call ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy,’ in a world in which these values are largely absent, Americans have been encouraged to believe that they share a political kinship with societies similarly imbued and that they have an obligation to assist where such values are under threat. Th is process of identifi cation is

Journal

Middle East Journal of Culture and CommunicationBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2009

Keywords: US-ISRAELI RELATIONSHIP; ISRAEL; US FOREIGN POLICY; POLITICAL CULTURE

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