Download Contested State Identities and Regional Security in the by Raffaella A. Del Sarto PDF

By Raffaella A. Del Sarto

Focusing on domestic political debates constraining cooperation, Del Sarto argues that inner disputes over national identity limit the facility of states to take part in nearby boards. This is a detailed examine difficulties confronted in negotiating the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership as a neighborhood safeguard venture, with specific realization to case experiences of Israel, Egypt, and Morocco.

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Thus, interpretative strategies are the adequate tool for seeking to explain the meaning of behavior. Max Weber’s concept of verstehen (understanding) very much depicts this approach to the social sciences (Weber 1922: 503–512). Second, “understanding from within” implies a departure from generalizing, Theoretical Framework 39 or deductive, explanations that are widely associated with positivist science. Indeed, law-like generalizations will not help us to understand the meaning of actions within a specific cultural context.

Thus, the human mind, or, better, collective human minds, plays a crucial role in deciding what counts as scientific knowledge (Quine 1963: 42). To put it differently, as much as communication is a social process of making sense of the world, so is knowledge. Certainly, this affirmation is particularly tricky for the social sciences, as they are part of their own field of inquiry. Indeed, the social sciences are “internal with respect to their subject matter in a way in which the natural sciences are not” (Bhaskar 1979: 59).

Yet this point is certainly contestable. To give an example, the cold war did not end because of altered systemic conditions, but as a result of profound domestic changes within the former Soviet Union. As Robert Keohane (1986b: 182) correctly argues, neo-realism’s “efforts to define the national interest on a priori basis . . ” Applied to the Euro-Mediterranean case, neo-realism may offer an explanation for the launching of both the Arab–Israeli peace process and the EMP by pointing to the end of the cold war as an altered systemic condition.

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