The Process of change in the foreign policy of Jordan: the role of the leadership in the cases of the 1991 Gulf war and the 2003 Iraq war

Al Kayed, Basel
This study aims to analyze the differences between the Jordanian foreign policy response to the two US-led wars against Iraq: the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 War on Iraq. The two monarchs of Jordan during this time, Hussein and Abdullah II, held very different foreign policy positions in the two wars, and the main subject of this dissertation is to question why. It is striking to compare how King Hussein aligned himself with Iraq against the US-led international coalition in 1991, whereas in 2003, King Abdullah decided to align with the US. Both monarchs of Jordan have had to consider domestic dynamics when responding to external influences. This, in turn, has led to changes in foreign policy choices which affected the outcomes of the two wars. Within the framework of this study, I have aimed to analyze the importance the change in foreign priorities between the two monarchs in the two wars through using a neoclassical realist approach. The purpose of this work is to contribute further to the existing literature on foreign policy change, with a reasonable explanation for the shifting foreign policy of the two monarchs of Jordan, benefiting from the multi-dimensional neoclassical realist approach. Drawing on the neoclassical realist viewpoint, this thesis argues that the different foreign policy choices of the two monarchs cannot be entirely understood through a sole focus on external structural variables. Moreover, it defends the neoclassical realist perspective that the foreign policy decisions of Jordan can be explained through an examination of domestic concerns and the role of the monarch as the chief foreign policy maker in filtering those concerns while responding to external pressures, which were imposed mainly by the US throughout these two wars.


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Citation Formats
B. Al Kayed, “The Process of change in the foreign policy of Jordan: the role of the leadership in the cases of the 1991 Gulf war and the 2003 Iraq war,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.