AbstractsPolitical Science

The good soldier: dynamics of moral judgment among Israeli reserve soldiers and conscientious objectors within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

by Athanasios Manis

Institution: The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Year: 2015
Keywords: JZ International relations
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2066250
Full text PDF: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/3322/


It is not only war and conflict that can determine the political fate of a leader but also peacemaking initiatives. Reversing long-standing national foreign policy choices that perpetuate animosity, friction and lack of diplomatic relations between states can put leaders in a precarious situation given domestic and external reactions. Accordingly, can foreign policy change of that respect be considered as risk-seeking or risk-averse behaviour on the part of leaders? Furthermore, if foreign policy change is considered as risk-seeking behaviour, then why do leaders and decision-makers spearhead and engage actively with these initiatives of peacemaking? This study, the first of its kind in the literature of prospect theory, analyses peacemaking initiatives under conditions of risk and uncertainty by shedding light on the decisions undertaken by the leadership of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), focusing specifically on its foreign policy choices vis-à-vis Cyprus and Armenia in 2004 and 2009 respectively. In particular, it raises questions as to the extent to which Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s and his inner circle’s decision to promote the resolution of two long-standing diplomatic issues was risky and what induced them to actively engage with the cases at hand. Using prospect theory’s analytical tools, it is argued that the revisionary policies that the AKP leadership, in particular Recep Tayyip Erdogan, introduced and promoted were riskier choices compared to Turkey’s long-standing policies vis-à-vis Cyprus and Armenia. This raises questions as to what induced Erdogan to push for a solution of the Cyprus issue during the Annan negotiations between 2002 and 2004, and the Annan Plan referendum in 2004, despite Turkish Cypriot leader’s, Rauf Denktas’s reactions and his support from the Turkish establishment at the time. Similarly, what induced Erdogan to seek the normalisation of Turkish-Armenian relations? This is a particularly puzzling question if one considers that Erdogan’s government signed the Zurich Protocols on 10 October 2009, which provided for the normalisation of Turkish-Armenian relations without any reference to the NagornoKarabakh issue - the foremost security concern for Azerbaijan and one of Turkey’s main prerequisites for normalising relations with Armenia – but then shortly after reversed the process. Towards that end, I have developed questions concerning the riskiness of these options, the risk propensity of Erdogan himself and the factors that affected this. After a comprehensive empirical analysis on the basis of two new prospect theoretical models (a. prospect theory-diversionary peace theory model, b. prospect theory-external balancing theory model) that provide alternative hypotheses about what induces risk-seeking and riskaverse behaviour in cases of peacemaking through concessions, I argue that the prospect theory-diversionary peace model’s main assumption about the effect of internal threats on decision-makers’ risk propensity is validated. Accordingly, there is a direct causal link…