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Balance of Threat Theory: The case of Saudi Arabian-Israeli relations
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Balance of Threat theory is an evolution of the dominant Balance of Power theory. It is a comprehensive framework for explaining alliance formation between states in the international system. The theory proposes that states form alliances in response to threats which could endanger their survival. States determine threats by looking at aggregate power, geographic proximity, offensive power, and aggressive intentions. Balance of Threat theory also offers hypotheses about how the internal and ideological make-up of the state affects its choice in alliance-partners. This thesis aims to test this theory.As the civil war in Syria enters its seventh year and Iran is increasingly expanding its influence in the region, two unlikely states find themselves with converging interests. Despite significant historical, societal and ideological differences, Balance of Threat theory predicts that Saudi Arabia and Israel should form an alliance in response to the threat of Iran. The purpose of this thesis is to test Balance of Threat on the case of Israeli-Saudi Arabian relations, with a focus from the period between 2000 and early 2018.The paper concludes that the major hypotheses Balance of Threat makes are correct. Israel and Saudi Arabia have formed a covert alliance in response to the emerging threat of Iran, confirming hypotheses about the role of ideology and state-level factors when state determine suitable alliance partners.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 36
Keywords [en]
Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Middle East, International Relations, Realism, Balance of Threat, Balance of Power, Theory testing
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-352019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-352019DiVA, id: diva2:1211941
Subject / course
Political Science
Educational program
Bachelor Programme in Oriental Studies
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-06-05 Created: 2018-05-31 Last updated: 2018-06-05Bibliographically approved

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