A Methodological Introduction

  • Adeed I. Dawisha


The study of international relations generally and foreign policy in particular has suffered, until recently, from an excessive concentration on the external activities of the great and medium powers, neglecting in the process the foreign policy behaviour of the countries of the third world.1 Not only does this undue emphasis on the large, industrialised and organisationally complex states reveal an obvious parochialism on the part of Western scholars, but it also carries an implicit assumption that states with different attributes (e.g. size, population, level of development, etc.) exhibit similar traits in their foreign policy behaviour—that for example an understanding of British foreign policy should by definition, lead to an appreciation of, say, Burmese or Jordanian external relations.


Foreign Policy Crisis Period International Politics International Crisis Palestine Liberation Organisation 
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  1. 1.
    One very recent study which deals with the foreign policies of the third world is Christopher Clapham (ed.), Foreign Policy-Making in Developing States: A Comparative Approach (London: Saxon House, 1977).Google Scholar
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    The distinction is drawn by Williams, op. cit., pp. 21–7. This distinction corresponds to the analytical difference between the decision-making and systemic approaches, as elaborated in Charles F. Hermann (ed.), International Crises: Insights from Behavioural Research (London: CollierMacmillan, 1972), pp. 6–17.Google Scholar
  44. 18.
    Charles F. Hermann, ‘International Crisis as a Situational Variable’, in James N. Rosenau (ed.), International Politics and Foreign Policy, 2nd ed. (New York: The Free Press, 1969), p. 414, quoted in Brecher, op. cit. (1977), p. 42.Google Scholar
  45. 21.
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  47. 22.
    Munazzamat al-Kata’ib al-Lubnaniya (The Lebanese Phalange Organisation). A Maronite Christian organisation with a well-armed militia of some 40,000 members. Al-Kata’ib was the best organised and most effective of all the Christian forces during the civil war of 1975–6. For a succinct account of the organisation’s history, ideology and policies, see Michael W. Suleiman, Political Parties in Lebanon: The Challenge of a Fragmented Political Culture (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1967), pp. 232–60;Google Scholar
  48. see also Frank Stoakes, ‘The Supervigilantes: The Lebanese Kataeb Party as Builder, Surrogate and Defender of the State’, Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 11 (1975) pp. 215–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 25.
    President Hafiz al-Assad, Speech Delivered before a General Plenum of Local Government, 20 July 1976 (Damascus: The Baath Arab Socialist Party, 1976), pp. 24–6.Google Scholar


  1. Enver M. Koury, The Crisis in the Lebanese System: Confessionalism and Chaos (Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1976) pp. 79–80.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Adeed I. Dawisha 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adeed I. Dawisha
    • 1
  1. 1.The Royal Institute of International AffairsUK

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