INTERNATIONAL ALIGNMENT IN THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT A quantitative study with Andrew Moravcsik’s liberal theory of international relations
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has received a lot of international attention since its evolvement during the 20th century. This thesis aims to resolve the puzzle of worldwide alignment: it tries to identify the factors which lead countries to align with either the Israeli or the Palestinian party. For this end, Andrew Moravcsik’s liberal theory of international relations will be employed to single out operationalisable national characteristics. In line of this theory, variables are created which describe a country’s socio-political composition. These variables are run in the quantitative method of an OLS regression against measures which capture a country’s actions with regards to the conflict. Across all models, a country’s share of Muslim population is significant: a higher Muslim population seems to lead a country to align slightly stronger with Palestine. The other main independent variable of seats in parliament held by Christian parties does not lead to significant results. Out of the control variables, which are less directly linked to Moravcsik’s liberal theory, two produce meaningful results in some of the models: higher economic complexity seems to lead to more alignment with Palestine, while more years under democratic rule have the opposite effect. The subjective choice of variables and the limitations of their operationalisation, in combination with the weak regression results, allow for few reliable conclusions. However, the novel approach of this thesis opens an avenue for further quantitative research using modified models.