Iraq and the theory of base politics : Cooley, institutionalism and culture
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This thesis presents a critique of Alexander Cooley's base politics theory by testing it against the recently concluded US-Iraq Pact, comprising the Status-of-Forces Agreement (SOFA) and the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA). A cursory look at Cooley's predictions for the U.S. military presence in Iraq in the conclusion of his book encourages a misleading verification of his institutional model for understanding when and why bilateral military basing agreements become accepted, politicized, or challenged by host countries. An in-depth account of the Iraq case study combined with a critical examination of Cooley's theory will show much merit for an institutional approach, but find it insufficient. Alternative theories, which Cooley is quick to dismiss, will enrich our understanding and posit important implications for U.S. policy-makers. In particular, I argue that accounting for the role of political culture, misperceptions and the impact of individual leaders in international politics is critical, despite the reluctance of many international relations scholars in the field to do so.
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