The United States and Israel:
: A Trusting Relationship?

  • Nicolas Eric Boring

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Economic and Social Studies


The United States and Israel have an unusually close relationship, and this relationship is a major factor in Middle Eastern politics. The concept of trust, which has only recently become a subject of study in the field of international politics, can be useful to fully understand the U.S.-Israeli relationship. There are two main theories of trust in international relations: the rationalist approach and the binding approach. The rationalist approach focuses on how the parties perceive their interests, and whether these interests encapsulate each-other. The binding approach is more subjective, as it looks at whether the parties perceive each-other as honest and reliable. This perception comes from feelings of friendship and collective identity, which is fostered by extensive positive interactions. The U.S.-Israeli relationship fits well within both of these approaches, and there is substantial evidence that they have a trusting relationship. The best way to identify a trusting relationship is to see whether the parties voluntarily accept some degree of vulnerability to each-other. A look at the behaviour and policies of Israel and the United States reveals several instances of accepted vulnerability, particularly on the American side. This evidence, interpreted in light of the two main approaches to trust, shows that the two states have a trusting relationship.
Date of Award2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorHuw Lloyd Williams (Supervisor)

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