Deconstructing Identity in Russian-Israeli Relations: The Kremlin’s Narrative under Putin and Medvedev
This paper offers a critical examination of the significance of identity in the development of foreign policy in the context of Russia’s bilateral relations with Israel. It investigates over 200 speeches, press statements, and interviews to challenge the notion that outside the former Soviet Union the use of identity as a political tool is irrelevant to Russian foreign policy. From the perspective of Social Constructivism, this paper illustrates how the Kremlin’s official narrative promoted themes of a shared identity with Israel over the course of four presidential administrations between 2000 and 2017. These themes reflected perceived interests and threats which correspond with assumptions about Russia’s role and relationship to the world. Furthermore, it explains how the construction and maintenance of such an identity has aided in the development of strategically beneficial social, political, and economic relations between the Russia and Israel which is conducive to a more active Russian engagement in the region.
Re-imagining Almond & Powell's Theory of Political Culture: Contemporary American Politics
This paper developed a contemporary analysis of G.A. Almond & G.B. Powell’s (1966, 1992) theory of political culture and civic engagement, and provided suggestions as to how the traditional theory might be adapted for future research. In particular, it identified limitations in the theory’s understanding of party-constituent relationships, while illuminating additional factors which may have influenced processes of political socialization and interest articulation. The research attempted to examine this theory within the context of the rising distrust and disillusionment in contemporary American political culture as was illustrated in the 2016 Presidential Election and the evolution of the "anti-establishment" sentiments from both ends of the spectrum.